AFL Finals Preview – Week 1
We have arrived at the big stuff, and it took until the very last game of the season to find out who would be there.
Melbourne fans are no doubt devastated, and fair enough too. However, it is what it is, and we are all set for a brilliant finals series.
Let’s kick things off.
Here is our AFL Finals Preview for Week 1.
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Adelaide Crows v GWS Giants
Adelaide Oval – Thursday 7th September 2017
The Crows have basically done this season what most thought the Giants would. They were the best team all year, and at home can be very tough to contain. The simple fact remains that to beat the Crows you need to score over 100 points, and probably way over.
The huge news in this game is that Rory Sloane will miss. That is the last bit of news the Crows need on the eve of finals, but it is one they must deal with for this week. They have the squad to cover, but the number 1 tackler in the AFL will be missed.
If there is one team in the finals who can put on a score, you would think it is the Giants. Although surprisingly, they have done very little to suggest they will this season with an average score of around 90. That seems ok, but it is 20 or more less than the Crows.
The question here is does it really matter now we are in finals. I suspect no, because this becomes a completely different ball game. So the question is who wins?..
What a tough one to start the week, but I have to side with the home team (just). The Giants lose Devon Smith, and have omitted the experience in Stevie J. In fairness his form has been rubbish, but that experience is hard to replace in a team that has shown less than expected composure this season.
It’s finals time, so the Giants will give this a shake, but the home team ‘should’ earn the week off considering their form this year.
Crows by 12
Geelong Cats v Richmond Tigers
MCG – Friday 8th September 2017
The game I am most looking forward to, and no doubt it will see 95,000 people jam pack the ‘G’.
Both teams should be close to full strength, and while it’s a qualifying final, there will be so much more riding on this for the Tigers. To break any doubt from the footy world, they either need to win this, or at the very least go exceptionally close.
Dusty Martin re-signing will be motivating, but really if they can’t get ready to go here then they never will.
All accounts are saying Selwood will return, and I have no doubt he will for this. Despite the Cats amazing finishes in the past few years, they have a surprisingly poor qualifying final record, winning none in the past 4 years (3 attempts).
The Cats do hold the wood over the Tigers though, and have won their past 6 clashed, and 9 of the past 10. That’s hard to ignore.
Big cat v Big cat, Dusty v Dangerfield, MCG with 95,000 people, doesn’t get much better than this.
I am bucking the historical trend and backing in the Tigers. Call me nuts, but they have been impressive all season when almost everyone didn’t expect it. They play very good even team footy, and like I have said all season, the Cats can sometimes rely on too much from too few. They can still win though, make no mistake. But I am from Tiger-Land this week in an absolute heart-stopper.
Tigers by 4
Sydney Swans v Essendon Bombers
SCG – Saturday 9th September 2017
Good on the Bombers for booking a finals spot, considering everything they have been through in recent times.
I know it is finals, and clearly, anything could happen. However, you would be a very brave person to go against the Swans in this spot.
At the SCG, at basically full strength, with confidence and momentum after a history breaking season. Swannies for me, and maybe easily.
Swans by 24
Port Adelaide Power v West Coast Eagles
Adelaide Oval – Saturday 9th September 2017
Jeepers, isn’t this a nightmare.
First and foremost I am picking the Power to win. Not with any confidence, but purely because they are at home, and are more likely to keep the Eagles scoring to a minimum.
The Power are second in scoring behind the Crows in the home and away season, and top 2 for scores against. This spells trouble for the Eagles, who have been neither convincing in attack or defense all year.
I am not saying the Eagles can’t win because the Power are known to put in some shockers. I am happy to give the Power a good edge in this, providing they come to play. If they don’t then the Eagles could march to an unexpected second week of the finals.
Power by 18
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