Port Adelaide v Collingwood
Port Adelaide HT/FT Double @ 1.55
The Power got back to their winning ways over the weekend with a 13 point win over St Kilda, putting them back into the top 4 with wins in 4 of their last 5 games. Ollie Wines (36 disposals, 11 clearances, 1 goal) continued his run for the Brownlow while Mitch Georgiades equalled his career-high 4 goals to provide a much needed boost in a low scoring game.
The Pies however, were valiant in defeat once again, leading at three quarter time by 8 points against the Blues before getting outsored by 37 points in the last. Since the Queens Birthday clash, they have been competitive in every game they’ve played. A move that has worked wonders for them has been moving De Goey into a more permanent midfield position. He has gotten at least 29 disposals in his last 4 matches, and has kicked goals in two of them.
I don’t expect this to be a walk-over for Port Adelaide by any means at Marvel Stadium, and an upset would not surprise me entirely the way Collingwood are playing, but they should be bolstered by the return of Butters and Rozee, and I expect them to be too strong for the Pies.
Adelaide v Hawthorn
Adelaide to win @ 2.36
The Crows have been in a form slump of late, losing their last 4 matches by an average of 42 points. Three of those losses however, have come against the Eagles, Bombers and the Lions, teams which all currently sit inside the top 8. Ben Keays has continued his career-best season with a 30 disposal, 2 goal game against the eagles, whilst the usual suspects in Laird (34 disposals) and Smith (27 disposals) continue to provide much needed leadership for this young side.
The Hawks managed a draw over the #1 team in the competition at the minute, outscoring the Demons after quarter time by over 3 goals, with stellar performances from Mitchell (39 disposals, 1 goal), Phillips (25 disposals, 1 goal) and Worpel (29 disposals, 1 goal) in the midfield, whilst Breust (3 goals) and Lewis (2 goals) held the fort down forward.
It is clear to see why the Hawks are favourites in this game, with their recent competitiveness culminating in a draw with the Demons, but I think that the Crows can break out of their slump with a win here, and return to some of their earlier season form.
Carlton v North Melbourne
Carlton to win @ 1.41
North Melbourne are a vastly different team post-bye then they were pre-bye in terms of competitiveness. They have won two of their last four, including a 10 point win against the Eagles in Perth, whilst the losses consisted of a 29 point loss to the Bulldogs and most recently a 18 point loss to the Bombers. Aaron Hall racked up the uncontested ball once again over the weekend with 31 disposals, whilst Tarryn Thomas (23 disposals, 1 goal) had arguably his best game of the season.
Carlton got right back on the winners list over the weekend with a win against Collingwood, taking their win total in the last 4 rounds to 3-1, with the one loss coming against Geelong. Sam Walsh (39 disposals, 1 goal) has catapulted himself into the top handful of contenders for the Brownlow with another best on ground performance. McKay also continued his march towards the Coleman with another 4 goal haul.
The Kangaroos have been competitive, but the Blues seem to be hitting their strides at the right time of the season and I expect them to cruise past North Melbourne and make a late run to the finals.