AFL Finals Week Three Preview

Just four teams remain in the hunt for this year’s premiership. Who will punch their ticket to the big dance this weekend? Here’s who we’re backing.

Melbourne vs Geelong Cats

Melbourne are hotter than hot right now, coming into this prelim on the back of a five-game winning streak.

They looked every bit the minor premiers in their comprehensive qualifying final win over Brisbane and now have to get past their age-old rivals to make their first grand final since 2000.

Geelong have inflicting some of the worst defeats in what’s been a generally horrid 15-odd years for the Demons – so getting up here would be the ultimate revenge.

They defeated the Cats in both home-and-away meetings this season – the first time they’ve won consecutive games against Geelong since way back in 2005.

They’ve be out to avoid a repeat of history, however. That year, the Dees won both home-and-away clashes – including a late-season thriller in Geelong – before getting absolutely belted when they met again in the finals.

This time should be different. Geelong have really failed to impress in the finals, with Patrick Dangerfield looking particularly laboured.

They could be hiding an extra gear, but they just haven’t been in the form that makes us confident picking them.

Demons by 13

Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs

This one is even harder to pick. The Bulldogs got up by 19 when these sides clashed in Adelaide earlier in the season, but Port claimed a thrilling two-point win in the Round 23 rematch.

Crucially, the match the Power lost in Adelaide was without Scott Lycett – meaning Charlie Dixon had to play more in the ruck than he’s supposed too.

Port Adelaide have a pretty poor record when Dixon has to pinch-hit at stoppages and that continued.

Big Charlie may have been quiet in Port’s Round 23 win, but Lycett’s presence kept their forward structure intact and allowed backup ruckman Peter Ladhams to bob up with two crucial goals.

Port were electric against the Cats in Week 1 and, in fairness, the Dogs have been in impressive form too.

However, the loss of small forward Cody Weightman and big injury clouds over Marcus Bontempelli and Alex Keath are a huge worry.

Bontempelli’s x-factor would be irreplaceable, even with the Doggies’ crazy midfield depth.

If Keath were to miss, or even be hobbled, who knows what havoc the Port Adelaide tall forwards could unleash?

This game could go either way, but we’ll back the Power to get the job done in a classic.

Power by 8


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