Full Week 3 AFL Finals Preview
September 9, 2021
The third week of AFL Finals are here and kick off tomorrow night in Perth when Melbourne face Geelong. Whilst on Saturday night Port Adelaide play host to the Western Bulldogs in Adelaide. These four teams faced off only three weeks ago with both matches decided by under a goal! Bring on Preliminary Final weekend.
Preliminary Final – Melbourne vs Geelong
Optus Stadium – Friday 10th September – 7.50pm AEST
To kick off the Preliminary Final weekend of football we have the premiership favourites in Melbourne taking on the Geelong Cats in Perth. The Demons come off a weekend off after dismantling Brisbane in the first week of finals. Whilst for the Cats it’s been a long road having to face the GWS Giants last week after a poor showing in the first round of finals against Port Adelaide.
These two teams met just 20 days ago in a thriller down in Geelong with the Demons skipper Max Gawn kicking a goal after the siren to book Melbourne a home qualifying final. It was a topsy turvy affair with the home side kicking away to lead by as much as 44 points in the 3rd quarter before a final quarter resurgence saw Melbourne complete an incredible comeback to win their first minor premiership since 1964.
Melbourne have made the one change for tomorrow night’s clash with veteran Michael Hibberd called up to replace Joel Smith, who is out with a hamstring injury. Whilst Geelong have also been forced to make a change losing Brandon Parfitt to injury after he was subbed off in the early stages of last week’s win. Zach Guthrie who came on last week as sub will keep his spot in the team.
It will be an interesting match up with the best defence in the league with All Australian duo May and Lever coming up against arguably the most deadly forward line with the likes of Cameron and Hawkins. Whilst the midfield is filled with A-grade superstars in Gawn, Oliver, Petracca, Dangerfield, Selwood and Guthrie.
The pressure is on both teams with Melbourne trying to break their premiership drought after falling at this stage just three years ago when they were embarrassed by the West Coast Eagles. Whilst for Geelong this could be their last roll of the dice with an ageing list with stars Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Tom Hawkins in the twilight of their careers.
Final Verdict: Flip of the coin this one after their Round 23 epic. If Melbourne aren’t overwhelmed by the occasion I expect them to get it done in a tight one. Melbourne by 4 points.
TopSport H2H Odds
- Melbourne $1.49
- Geelong $2.70
Last Five Meetings
- Geelong 12.5.77 def by Melbourne 12.9.81 @ GMHBA Stadium on 21st August 2021
- Melbourne 12.13.85 def Geelong 9.6.60 @ MCG on 11th April 2021
- Melbourne 6.8.44 def by Geelong 7.5.47 @ MCG on 28th June 2020
- Geelong 20.6.126 def GWS Giants 6.10.46 @ GMHBA Stadium on 30th March 2019
- Melbourne 10.15.75 def Geelong 6.10.46 @ MCG on 7th September 2018
Preliminary Final – Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs
Adelaide Oval – Saturday 11th September – 7.40pm AEST
The Preliminary Final action continues on Saturday night when Port Adelaide play host to the Western Bulldogs at the Adelaide Oval. Similarly to the first Preliminary Final these two teams faced off just three weeks ago with Port Adelaide coming out on top beating the Dogs by two points. The Dogs lost the double chance and have since had to beat both Essendon and Brisbane to reach this stage. For the Power their task was much easier beating the Cats at home earning them a week off before this week’s encounter with the Dogs.
The hosts will go into the Prelim with an unchanged lineup whilst the Dogs have had to make a few changes. Cody Weightman and Alex Keath are out due to injury whilst Lewis Young has been omitted with Stefan Martin and Zaine Cordy the two in’s. It’s one big roll of the dice from Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge who has selected veteran ruckman Stefan Martin for his first senior match since Round 12.
As mentioned these teams only just faced off in Round 23 with the Power prevailing to seal a home Qualifying Final. However it was the Dogs who claimed a famous away victory at Adelaide Oval when they upset Port Adelaide by 19 points to stamp themselves as a true premiership contender in 2021.
The loss of Keath is a major blow who would have faced Charlie Dixon whilst the small Power forward line will cause some troubles with Charlie Cameron exposing Easton Wood last weekend. The midfield battle in this contest is also filled with superstars with the two Brownlow Medal fancies to go into battle in Ollie Wines and Marcus Bontempelli.
Port Adelaide will once again host a Preliminary Final after bowing out last year to the eventual premiers by one goal at Adelaide Oval. For the Dogs they haven’t reached this stage since their famous 2016 premiership triumph. Both teams have had successful seasons
Final Verdict: The Dogs have had to do it the hard way and I think their run will end here and don’t be surprised if they run out of gas late after playing in four states in four weeks. Home side should get the job done. Port Adelaide by 23 points.
TopSport H2H Odds
- Port Adelaide $1.40
- Western Bulldogs $3.05
Last Five Meetings
- Western Bulldogs 10.4.64 def by Port Adelaide 9.12.66 @ Marvel Stadium on 20th August 2021
- Port Adelaide 12.5.77 def by Western Bulldogs 15.6.96 @ Adelaide Oval on 15th May 2021
- Port Adelaide 8.7.55 def Western Bulldogs 5.12.42 @ Adelaide Oval on 3rd August 2020
- Port Adelaide 5.11.41 def by Western Bulldogs 10.6.66 @ Adelaide Oval on 29th June 2019
- Western Bulldogs 5.4.34 def by Port Adelaide 11.12.78 @ Ballarat Stadium on 29th July 2018
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