All the latest team news and predictions for this weekend's big games in the AFL.
Geelong Cats vs Sydney Swans @Simonds Stadium, Friday 7:50pm
Stat Fact: Sydney have won four of their past five clashes against Geelong. The biggest one of those being a 110-point victory in 2014.
Big Talking Point: Earlier in the week Sydney player Zak Jones signed a two-year contract extension with the club. This was despite all of Melbourne, North Melbourne, Essendon and St Kilda among others having interest in him. Jones was the 15th pick in the 2013 AFL Draft and his re-signing is great news ahead of Sydney’s run into the finals.
What Will Happen: A fiery, tight encounter. Geelong are fighting for first place while Sydney are fighting for a spot in the top four. Sydney knocked Geelong out of the finals last season so that should add even more spice and flavour into what will be an awesome game to watch.
What Won’t Happen: Geelong play fine without Patrick Dangerfield. He’s been suspended and unfortunately for him ruled out of the Brownlow Medal race in the process in another big talking point coming into this encounter. Geelong are such a good team that when they are missing one star they’ll still play well, but there will be obvious cracks without their star player in tow.
Our Tip: Sydney by six.
Greater Western Sydney Giants vs Melbourne Demons @UNSW Canberra Oval, Saturday 1:45pm
Stat Fact: Jeremy Cameron is ranked 7th in this years goal-scoring charts with 42.24 for the season.
Big Talking Point: Brett Deledio will finally make his debut for GWS after being out for a large part of this season with an injury. The former Richmond man knows how to score a goal or two and will be a great veteran presence for the young GWS side. No matter who you go for you’d have to hope that after being out for so long that his debut for the club goes well.
What Will Happen: GWS started the year alight but recently it’s been well-documented of their struggles to score points. All they could conjure up two weeks ago was 45 against Richmond. Against a Melbourne side that themselves aren’t too shabby defensively this trend of a lack of points should continue for GWS.
What Won’t Happen: Melbourne’s Canberra curse continues. At UNSW Canberra Oval, Melbourne have won only two of the six games they’ve played there. Against a struggling GWS side they should finally get another win there.
Our Tip: Melbourne by 14.
Essendon Bombers vs Carlton Blues @Melbourne Cricket Ground, Saturday 2:10pm
Stat Fact: Sam Docherty leads the league in marks this season with 169 (9.4 per game).
Big Talking Point: All the talk recently has been about Carlton’s battle with Brisbane to avoid coming last. This season Carlton have only five wins from eighteen games and are only a win ahead of last place on the competition ladder. Given that in their run home after this clash they face West Coast, Hawthorn and Sydney, this game arguably represents their best chance for a win to finish the season and hopefully avoid the Wooden Spoon.
What Will Happen: A shocking result will give Carlton only their sixth win of the season against a finals-dreaming Essendon side. Lower ranked sides this season have proven that on their day they are not to be taken lightly and this game will be no different. Expect Carlton to come out firing in a desperate act to avoid getting what nobody wants to get.
What Won’t Happen: Essendon making the finals. Essendon’s finals drought will continue into this season as a loss to Carlton will effectively end their season. Unfortunately for their passionate fan base this will indeed be the case as Essendon is still in some-what of a rebuilding stage post the ASADA saga.
Our Tip: Carlton by 10.