AFL Grand Final Preview

Just one game remains in this year’s AFL season – the big one. The grand final. The granny. The big dance. The decider.

Who’ll be crowned premiers in 2021?

Melbourne are the heart’s tip for this one. Everyone wants to see a long drought broken and we’re sure Dogs fans will be somewhat happy for their opposite counterparts should that take place.

Unfortunately, for Demons fans, the wait looks likely to extend for another year.

The Western Bulldogs are just too good. Their midfield, when fully assembled and firing on all cylinders like it has all finals, is unstoppable to the point where just about any other advantage is negated.

Melbourne have some of those advantages. Max Gawn is a vastly superior ruckman to all of the opponents he’ll face on Saturday and we like the Demons’ key position stocks a lot more.

But midfield domination throws all that out the window. Your key forwards can’t do much if they’re getting no (or poor) supply. Your key defenders can only hold out for so long when the ball’s coming back three times a minute.

Both sides enjoyed disgustingly one-sided wins in the preliminary final, but the Dogs did it on the home deck of a side coming off a bye.

We won’t get a one-sided grand final and we’re not at all suggesting the Demons are no chance. This is anyone’s game.

But the Western Bulldogs are just in such outrageously irresistible form right now and a win in the region of 20-odd points looks likely.

The Norm Smith could go to any one of a number of players should the Bulldogs get up, but we sensed immense disappointment in Marcus Bontempelli when he fell short of the Brownlow on Sunday night and think that energy will be channelled into a monstrous grand final performance.

Tom Liberatore has been able to get off the chain early in matches all season as work gets put into Bontempelli and Jack Macrae. We’ll back him to bob up at another forward stoppage and snap the game’s first goal through traffic.


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