Finals spots are on the line in Round 17 as well as our reputations as well pick the ever-unpredictable winners.
Richmond Tigers vs Brisbane Lions @Etihad Stadium
The last time they played Richmond got taught a lesson or two by St Kilda on how to play proper Footy as they went down 138-71. As for Brisbane their efforts were just as poor as they went down 163-78 against Geelong. Brisbane need a win here to try and keep pace with North Melbourne and avoid finishing last. A win for Richmond could see them into the Top Four by the end of the round.
Richmond have a very strong recent history against Brisbane winning 10 of their past 10 clashes against them. With all due respect to Brisbane come the final siren on Sunday it will be 11 of the past 11 that Richmond have won against them.
Richmond’s injuries are Steven Morris (Hamstring), Shaun Hampson (Back), Ben Griffiths (Concussion), Reece Conca (Foot), Ben Lennon (Hamstring) and Nathan Drummond (Knee). While Brisbane’s are Allen Christensen (Shoulder), Ryan Harwood (Foot), Mitch Robinson (Foot), Tom Bell (Ankle) and Darcy Gardiner (Elbow).
Why Richmond will win: There are so many reasons why but here are the two major ones. Richmond will really want to bounce back from their horrific last round performance and what better team to do that against than the ones who are dead last. They also have power all over the park and make Brisbane’s squad look weak with the likes of Dustin Martin, Jack Riewoldt and David Astbury in tow.
Our Tip: Richmond by 50.
Carlton Blues vs Western Bulldogs @Melbourne Cricket Ground
Carlton were a little bit unlucky in their last start 90-82 loss to Melbourne as they could have probably won had they gone about things a little bit differently. The Western Bulldogs in their game seemed lifeless and had no backbone as they lost to Adelaide 104-45. The Western Bulldogs need a win to stay in touch with the Top Eight while at this point in their season Carlton are playing for pride, respect and not much else.
The Western Bulldogs have won five of their past seven against Carlton. The last game between these two sides resulted in a 13.7.85 to 7.7.49 Western Bulldogs win. Given the urgency of this game for the Western Bulldogs their trend against Carlton should continue.
Carlton currently has five injuries the worst of which is to Andrew Phillips who is out for the season with a Foot Injury. For the Western Bulldogs they have nine on the injured list. That is headed by Robert Murphy (Hamstring) and Tom Boyd (Mental Health).
Why Western Bulldogs will win: They were the Premiership winners last year and now this year they are in danger of missing the finals entirely. They will have looked at the ladder and realised how much this game could mean in the context of their season. The Western Bulldogs have no other ways to go about things other than getting an all-important win.
Our Tip: Western Bulldogs by eight.
Fremantle Dockers vs West Coast Eagles @Domain Stadium
In their last game Fremantle escaped with a tight 86-82 win over North Melbourne. As for West Coast they fell away late as they lost to Port Adelaide 120-88. A win for Fremantle keeps them within reach of making the finals while it’s the same for West Coast, they need a win to stay within touching distance of the Top Eight.
West Coast have won their past five clashes against Fremantle. The last one was 16.7.103 to 9.8.62 in favour of West Coast. Fremantle though given the way they’ve scraped and clawed to where they are could be changing the result for this encounter.
Combined the two squads have a sizeable fifteen players out through injuries. For Fremantle that’s highlighted by Aaron Sandilands (Hamstring) and Harley Bennell (Calf). While for West Coast it’s highlighted by Nic Naitanui (Knee) but Josh Kennedy is named to return from a calf problem.
Why Fremantle Dockers will win: It is a toss of a coin to decide the result for this game but Fremantle get the nod because of what they’ve achieved to date this season despite being rather youthful in some areas and suffering injuries quite constantly it has seemed. They’ve battled hard to be in a position to make the finals and on Sunday they’ll win another battle in the pursuit of their dream.
Our Tip: Fremantle by three.