Round 14 features a huge clash between the Tigers and Blues on Thursday night at the ‘G and another rivalry matchup between the Giants and Bulldogs.
Richmond Tigers (9th) vs Carlton Blues (4th)
The Tigers got over the line against the Power last Thursday night by 2 goals and they’ve won 4 of their last 5. They come up against the Blues on Thursday and will be looking for revenge after their Round 1 defeat. They could be without Dusty Martin due to illness but Tom Lynch and Lambert could return to the side.
The Blues responded after a close loss against the Pies with a comfortable win over the Bombers on Friday night, 80-54. Harry McKay returned from injury to kick 3 goals and Sam Docherty continued his fine season in the backline with 33 touches. However, they have lost the unlucky Caleb Marchbank to injury again and their backline depth will be tested. Alex Cerra also hurt his hamstring and will likely miss the next few weeks.
Carlton beat the Tigers in Round 1 and ended a long hoodoo against the yellow and black. Their forward line looks strong with Curnow and McKay on the park and that should be the major difference between the two teams. Meanwhile, the Tigers are without Dusty and Tom Lynch will be coming back from an injury layoff. So the Blues are looking good value as underdogs.
Richmond holds a 4 game winning streak at the MCG and have won 6 of 8 this season. Carlton are 4-1 at the MCG this year.
Head to Head Record
The Blues ended an 11 game losing streak against the Tigers in Round 1 with a 25 point win.
The Saints 3 game winning streak ended on Saturday night as they were run down by the Lions at the Gabba. After leading at half-time by 2 goals, the Saints struggled in the second half as they allowed 19 scoring shots to their 6. But they’ll be expecting to bounce back against the reeling Bombers. In injury news, Zak Jones has a hamstring issue and Owens/McKenzie will likely miss this clash after suffering a concussion.
The Bombers are looking to end a 4 game losing streak as they take on the Saints on Friday night. They come off another disappointing performance against the Blues and their forward line needs to find some form. They brought back Stringer but he looked underdone and should be better for the run on Friday. Parish injured his calf and probably won’t play and that’s a blow for their midfield.
St Kilda love playing at Marvel as they’ve covered in their last 4 and should have far too much scoring power in them compared to the struggling Bombers. Essendon have failed to kick off 54 pts in their 4 game losing streak and it’s hard to see that improving against the Saints.
St Kilda have won 4 straight at Marvel. Essendon are 2-3 in their last 5 at this venue.
The Power will be back at home on Saturday and looking to bounce back against the Swans. They come off a close loss against the Tigers by 2 goals. Marshall was good up forward with 3 goals and Finlayson fought hard in the ruck. Meanwhile, Amon picked up plenty of the ball and Travis Boak had one of his best games of the season. However, they have lost Dumont to injury for a few weeks and Trent McKenzie won’t play due to a concussion.
The Swans are coming off the bye and currently sit 7th on the ladder with 8 wins. Previously, they stormed home to beat the Demons at the MCG and should bring a lot of confidence to Adelaide. They’ll also get Lance Franklin back from suspension and that will boost their scoring ability.
While the Power have the wood over Sydney with 5 straight wins, this should be another close and high-scoring affair. The Over is trending with the Swans in day games (10-5) and their forward line will be stronger with Franklin. Meanwhile, the Power will likely trouble the Sydney defence with their tall forward line as well.
Port have won their last 3 at home but hold a 3-3 record at the Adelaide Oval this year. Sydney are 5-4 at this venue in their history.
The Eagles are sitting equal last on the ladder and will be hoping the bye freshened up some of their key players. They’re expecting the likes of Sheed, Ryan, Rioli, McGovern and Yeo to return against the Cats. That should give them a good chance of competing with Geelong and hopefully, this doesn’t turn into another ugly loss.
The Cats head to Perth after the bye and have won their last 3 games. They sit nicely on the ladder in 5th and will be looking for a percentage boost against the struggling Eagles. They should get Henry, Higgins and Kolodjashnij back from injury in this clash as well.
West Coast should be better off the bye with a few of their better players back on the park but upsetting Geelong is a long shot. Instead, we like the chances of Jeremy Cameron kicking a bag against the Eagles struggling defence. He’s kicked 10 goals in his last 2 games, including 6 against the Dogs last time out.
West Coast are 0-8 at Optus Stadium. Geelong have lost 5 of 8 at this venue in their history.
Head to Head Record
The Cats have won 3 of the last 4 meetings since 2019.
Greater Western Sydney Giants (13th) vs Western Bulldogs (10th)
The Giants thrashed the Roos as expected on Sunday and have started to move up the ladder with 2 wins in their last 3. This will be a huge game against the Dogs and these two sides usually have tough battles. They did suffer a few injuries against North with Perryman and De Boer. But Taranto should be back for Perryman and Nick Haynes is expected to return.
The Dogs are back from the bye and will look to bridge the gap between them and the top 8 with a win over the Giants. They come off the bye and previously lost a close against the Cats on Friday night. It’s been an inconsistent season for the Dogs and the Bailey Smith distraction doesn’t help.
Another tough game to pick as the Giants are looking much improved under Mark McVeigh. But the Dogs will be desperate to get into the top 8 after an inconsistent season. In the end, a high-scoring affair does look the best bet as the Over has saluted in the last 4 meetings when the Giants are the home side.
GWS are 4-1 at this venue since May, 2021. The Dogs hold a 2-2 record at this venue.
The Suns are in great form at the moment after 4 wins in their last 5 and will be fresh after the bye. Touk Miller is in career best form and will enjoy this matchup against the Crows as well. However, they have lost Weller for the season and that will hurt their run-off halfback. But Casboult should be able to return from a calf injury.
The Crows are coming off the bye and beat the Eagles at home previously by 6 goals. Their forward line was tough to handle as Walker, Fogarty and McAdam all kicked 3 goals. So they’ll be looking for similar results against the Suns on the road. They should also be boosted by the return of Rachele, Butts and Cook.
Adelaide have a great record against the Suns and they should head to the Gold Coast with confidence. Meanwhile, the Suns haven’t played well on their home turf with just 2 wins in their last 8. So look for a close game where the Crows can cover by 5 goals.
Gold Coast are just 2-6 in their last 8 home games. Adelaide have lost 4 of their last 5 at this venue.
Head to Head Record
The Crows have won 14 of 15 meetings against the Suns in AFL history.
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