Round 14 AFL Preview

Thursday, August 27
Hawthorn vs Essendon @ Adelaide Oval - 16:40
In their match against Essendon at Adelaide Oval on Thursday evening, the Hawks have a chance to go some way to getting out of the serious funk they find themselves in. Last round both teams put up a good fight before going down to better teams, with the Hawks losing to the Power by 10 points, and the Bombers falling to the Tigers by 12 points. Even though Essendon are a game and a half ahead of Hawthorn on the ladder, both teams are in similar form at this time. It should be an entertaining match on Thursday.
Hawthorn by 14 points

Richmond vs West Coast @ Metricon Stadium - 19:10

Richmond will certainly need to lift their game if they are to have any chance of getting a win over an Eagles team that is flying high and fast at the moment. While they aren't at the top of the ladder, it is West Coast who has shown themselves, through a long stretch of quality play, to be the form team of the competition. Both teams are coming off twelve-point wins last round, where the Eagles beat the Giants and the Tigers got past the Bombers. The Eagles have been in great form, and on a quality winning streak, whereas the Tigers are getting wins, but they haven’t been at all convincing.
West Coast by 28 points

Friday, August 28
W. Bulldogs vs Geelong @ Metricon Stadium - 19:50

As they come up to their meeting at Metricon Stadium on Friday night, both the Western Bulldogs and Geelong Cats are coming off quality wins last round. Funnily enough, both teams won by the same amount last round as the Bulldogs took care of the Demons, and the Cats waited until the last quarter to get a solid 28-point win over the Crows. Looking at who the two teams have played recently, and who they have beaten, Geelong has clearly had the tougher run, and yet has beaten more Top 8 teams.
Geelong by 17

Saturday, August 29
Port Adelaide vs Sydney @ Adelaide Oval - 13:45

The "mighty" will meet the "minnows" as Port Adelaide take on the Sydney Swans this coming Saturday. The Swans will be looking at the Power's short injury list with envy in the lead up to this match. As Sydney has ruled our Lance Franklin for the rest of the season, there will be more emphasis on getting game time into the club’s younger players. While this is usually a positive for a club's future, it often results in losses coming up. Then we have to add that the Power is in great form atop the ladder, only having lost a single game from their last five.
Port Adelaide by 36 points

Fremantle vs GWS Giants @ Optus Stadium - 16:35

In a game that sees two evenly matched teams meeting at Optus Stadium this Saturday afternoon, the Fremantle Dockers, inspired by their youth, will look to find a way past a Giants team sitting one win ahead of their WA opponents. While the Docker's stocks are rising, the Giants have dropped their past two matches and now find themselves at eleventh spot on the ladder with their chance at a finals berth slowly slipping out of reach.  As this is a tough one to call, I am going to let the fact the Giants have won four of their past five meetings be the deciding factor.
GWS Giants by 11 points

Melbourne vs St. Kilda @ Traeger Park - 19:40

After holding the lead at half-time in their match against the Bulldogs last round, the Demons were run over, and run past, by their canine opponents. The Doggies showed quality ball spread and movement. Against the Saints this weekend, the Demons will need to be very wary of the same thing being done to them by a speedy, sharing Saints outfit. St Kilda went down by two points to the Lions last round, but it really should have been more! Both teams will need to kick more accurately and keep doing what helped them get three wins from their past five matches.
St Kilda by 14 points

Sunday, August 30
Carlton vs Collingwood @ The Gabba - 15:35

At the Gabba on Sunday afternoon two traditional rivals will take up the cause, when Carlton plays host to a struggling Collingwood team that has slipped to the edge of the Top 8, after losing three of their past five matches. While Carlton hasn't beaten any of the Top 8 teams recently, they are at least getting wins on the board! Last round Collingwood took care of North, while the Blues should have thumped the Suns but ended up kicking eighteen points instead... Collingwood has won four of the past five encounters between these two teams, but can they make it five of six?
Carlton by 9 points
 
Gold Coast vs North Melbourne @ Metricon Stadium - 18:10

The Suns and Kangaroos are respectively struggling with form and injuries, as we go into Round 14 this weekend. Last round the Suns were beaten by Carlton and the Kangaroos couldn't match it with the Magpies. While not the reason you want to see a match be close, these two teams should make for an entertaining encounter on Sunday night. With North Melbourne's Jack Mahony looking likely to join the hospital ward at Arden Street, I think the Suns will have enough to break their losing streak at their home ground.
Gold Coast by 16 points

Byes: Adelaide, Brisbane

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