Round 13 begins with the Tigers hosting the Power on Friday night footy. On Saturday, the Lions clash with the Saints in a top 8 battle. Meanwhile, Monday afternoon at the MCG sees the traditional Queens Birthday clash between the Dees and Pies.
Richmond Tigers (10th) vs Port Adelaide Power (12th)
The Tigers are back from the bye and will look to bounce back from a tough 6 point loss in Sydney a few weeks ago. They have played well at the MCG this year with 5 wins and their injury list is looking a lot healthier. They’ll get Pickett and Balta back from injury on Friday as well. However, Tom Lynch is still out with a hamstring issue.
Port have rebounded from a poor start to the season with 4 wins in their last 5 and will be fresh from the bye. They’re just 1 win behind the Tigers on the ladder so this is a huge game for their top 8 chances. In injury news, they should get Trent McKenzie back to strengthen their backline. However, they have dropped Hayes in the ruck and that’s a questionable decision against the Nank/Soldo combo.
Richmond are always tough to beat at home and have covered in their last 6 games. I like the value on offer for 1-39 as this should be a close finish with the Tigers just getting the job done.
Richmond are 5-2 at the MCG this season. Port are 3-3 in their last 6 at this venue.
The Bombers have lost 3 on the trot and will be desperate to find some form against the Blues. However, their forward line is struggling as they’ve failed to score 50 or more points in their last 3. The return of Jake Stringer should give their scoring ability a boost.
The Blues will be eager to get back on the park after a gruelling 4 point loss against the Pies in Round 11. However, they’re sitting nicely in the top 8 and should be confident against Essendon. Carlton have played well at the MCG this year and they’ve got a good record against the Bombers recently. In injury news, Matt Kennedy should return to boost their midfield depth.
Carlton are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 night games and have won 7 of their last 8 in Melbourne. Essendon don’t seem to have the scoring ability to keep up with the Blues.
Essendon have lost 4 straight at the MCG. Carlton are 3-1 at the ‘G this season.
Fremantle outplayed the Lions last Sunday night and sit 3rd on the ladder. They’ve beaten the top 2 sides in the AFL over the last 2 weeks and will be favoured to beat the young Hawks on their home turf. They have suspended Mitchael Frederick but they’ll be expecting Fyfe, Walters and Switkowski to return in Round 13.
The Hawks almost rallied to beat the Pies last week but fell short by a kick. While they have lost 4 of their last 5, this is a young side and they’re showing good signs for the future with several close losses. They could get Lynch and Scrimshaw back into the side this week.
Hawthorn are a tough underdog team and they should be able to cover in this clash, despite playing in Perth. The Dockers are coming off 2 tough wins and could be a bit flat against a bottom 8 team.
Fremantle are 5-2 at home this season. Hawthorn have lost 3 straight at Optus.
Head to Head Record
The Dockers are riding a 3 game winning streak against the Hawks.
The Lions will look to bounce back at home after a tough loss in Perth last week against the Dockers. They’re undefeated at the Gabba this year and should be fired up after losing 2 of their last 3 games. They should also get Daniher back into the forward line.
The Saints have jumped to 5th on the ladder after 3 wins in a row. Considering Jack Steele has been out injured, the Saints have stepped up in his absence. They do have a good record at the Gabba so this should be a close game. Their depth should be boosted by the return of Billings and Clark as well.
Brisbane are a bit out of form at the moment and will be coming off a Perth trip. Whereas the Saints are fresh from the bye and do have a good record against the Lions. Saints to cover and an upset win isn’t out of the question.
Brisbane are 5-0 at the Gabba this season. St Kilda are 3-3 in their last 6 at this venue.
North Melbourne Kangaroos (17th) vs Greater Western Sydney Giants (15th)
The losses keep coming for North as they come off a 109-47 defeat in NT against the Suns. They have a long injury list and will be hoping that can improve after the bye.
The Giants had the bye last week and previously lost a close one against the Lions by 14. They’ve found a bit of form under interim coach Mark McVeigh so they should be expecting an easy win over the struggling Roos. In injury news, Whitfield is expected to return from injury and Callan Ward from concussion.
North have lost 8 straight by a 40+ margin and the Giants have scored an average of 117 pts since Leon Cameron departed. So a 40+ margin looks the best value as Giants should enjoy moving the ball freely at Marvel.
North are 1-5 at Marvel in their last 6. GWS have won their last 2 at Marvel.
Head to Head Record
The Roos are 7-3 against the Giants and the last matchup was a draw.
Collingwood Magpies (8th) vs Melbourne Demons (1st)
The young Pies have won back to back games by 4 points and have now jumped into the top 8. So they’ll be fired up to give the Demons a close game on Monday afternoon. Darcy Cameron has been a bright spot in the absence of Grundy and the ruck matchup with Gawn will be one to watch. Jamie Elliot was a late out last week but should be fine to play on Monday.
The Dees have hit a mid-season hurdle after losing back to back games to the Dockers and Swans at the MCG. To top it off, Steven May has been suspended by the club for a week. So their backline will need to regroup against the in-form Pies.
This should be a tight game, especially with high stakes on the line. The Demons will be desperate to end a 2 game losing streak and the Pies want to stay in the top 8 with another statement win. However, I do prefer the Under since the Dees forward line is struggling to convert and the Under is 4-0 in the Magpies last 4 games.
Collingwood are 4-1 in their last 5 at the MCG. Melbourne have won 5 of 7 at the ‘G this year.
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