A Grand Final rematch kicks off AFL Round 17 when West Coast Eagles host Collingwood in Perth on Friday night.
After the shocks of Round 16, the Geelong Cats, Pies and GWS Giants will all be looking to get the finals charge back on track.
We preview all nine games:
West Coast Eagles v Collingwood
Little separates the two sides from a win-loss record point of view but it is the West Coast Eagles that head in with the superior recent form, having won their past three. Adam Simpson’s side come off a 91 point victory over their cross-town rivals, Fremantle, in the Western Derby and sit in 2nd spot on the ladder with 11 wins under their belt for the season. Third placed Collingwood have won 10 of their 15 games this year but have dropped their past three and let their Round 16 game slip to Hawthorn, going down to the Hawks by four points. On recent form, it is hard to go past West Coast but Collingwood do have a superb record interstate and they can push the premiers. However, their injury list might just be too big an obstacle to overcome.
Prediction: Eagles by 1-39 ($1.99 TopBetta)
Sydney Swans v Carlton
The two sides have been among the strugglers in 2019, combining for just nine wins but it is Sydney that will start as favourites on their home deck of the SCG. The Swans have won three of their past four and narrowly went down to Essendon by 10 points at the MCG in Round 17. On the same weekend, Carlton suffered a five point loss to Melbourne after leading that contest with just over a minute to go. Sydney should have the answers at the SCG and can keep alive their small chances of featuring in the finals this season.
Prediction: Swans by 1-39 ($2.06 TopBetta)
Hawthorn v Fremantle Dockers
Hawthorn have picked up six victories from their 15 games this year and are currently 13th on the ladder, while Fremantle have won seven games and sit in 11th spot. The Hawks come off a four point win over Collingwood last weekend and that effort snapped a four game losing streak. Fremantle have lost their past three games and were humiliated by their local rivals, West Coast, in Round 16, going down to the Eagles by 91. It is hard to overlook Hawthorn’s impressive record at the venue and the Hawks can head in with confidence after their victory last weekend.
Prediction: Hawks by 1-39 ($2.12 TopBetta)
Essendon Bombers v North Melbourne
This shapes as a beauty and the two sides are among the form sides of the competition over the past month or so. Essendon have won four of their past five and are knocking on the door of the eight. They have won eight games this season and are in 9th spot, just behind Adelaide Crows on percentage. North Melbourne are in 10th spot with seven wins and have won five of their past six. They come off a 39 point win over St Kilda, while on the same weekend, Essendon overcame Sydney to win by 10 points. This is a real flip of the coin job but North Melbourne might just have the answers in front of goal.
Prediction: North Melbourne win ($1.93 TopBetta)
Gold Coast Suns v Adelaide Crows
The Gold Coast Suns are in dire straights with the club staring down the barrel of a second wooden spoon. The team hasn’t finished higher than 12th since arriving in the AFL and their record against the Adelaide Crows is atrocious as it sits at 0-12. History shows that the Crows have smashed the Suns every single time they have met and there is no reason they won’t do so again.
Prediction: Crows -31.5 ($1.90 TopBetta)
Geelong Cats v St Kilda
Geelong come off a shock-loss to the Western Bulldogs. It was their third loss for the season to go along with 12 wins as they sit in first place on the ladder. St Kilda on the other hand are in 15th place with six wins and nine losses. The Cats have now lost two of their last three, while the Saints have lost three in a row. Geelong have blown apart quality sides at home in the past and St Kilda have been struggling recently. This could get ugly.
Prediction: Cats -44.5 ($1.90 TopBetta)
Richmond Tigers v GWS Giants
This shapes as a huge game for both sides as they are evenly poised on the ladder with seven matches remaining in the 2019 home and away season. Both have won nine of their 15 games this season and it is the Giants that sit in 5th position on the ladder, just ahead of 6th placed Richmond due to their superior percentage. It is the Tigers that head in with the superior recent form, having won two in a row, while GWS have lost two in a row. Home advantage should give the Tigers the edge.
Prediction: Tigers by 1-39 ($2.08 TopBetta)
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne Demons
Last week’s performance was a little bit of the 2016 Bulldogs running around and their past three matches have shown they are on the way up. Back-to-back wins over Port Adelaide and Geelong is impressive as they sit 12th with seven wins and eight losses. They meet a five-win Melbourne who are 16th on the ladder. The Western Bulldogs defeated leaders Geelong last week and can carry that momentum to knock off Melbourne.
Prediction: Bulldogs by 1-39 ($2.16 TopBetta)
Port Adelaide v Brisbane Lions
Port Adelaide have been enigmatic in recent weeks, displaying brilliance to defeat Geelong and Adelaide. They defeated the Crows by 57 points in the Showdown last weekend. Those two wins were punctuated by a poor loss to the Western Bulldogs. Brisbane have been the improvers in 2019 and find themselves in the top four with seven matches to go. It is hard to overlook Port Adelaide after their performance against Adelaide last weekend and while the Lions won on the road in Round 16, the Power are in the box seat here.
Prediction: Port Adelaide win ($1.51 TopBetta)