AFL Preview – Round 23

The Palmerbet Sports Team run their eye over this weekend’s action. Everything you need to know about team line-ups, crucial clashes, and where the money is going for each game – right here!

Hawthorn Hawks v Western Bulldogs @ Etihad Stadium

Friday 25th August, 7:30pm

Hawthorn Western Bulldogs
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Shaun Burgoyne, Kaiden Brand, Blake Hardwick B Shane Biggs, Zaine Cordy, Dale Morris
HB Luke Hodge, James Sicily, Jack Gunston HB Matthew Boyd, Lewis Young, Matthew Suckling
C Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Billy Hartung C Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli, Bailey Dale
HF Ryan Schoenmakers, Tim O’Brien, Paul Puopolo HF Jason Johannisen, Josh Dunkley, Liam Picken
F Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, Jaeger O’Meara F Toby McLean, Tom Campbell, Robert Murphy
FOL Ben McEvoy, Daniel Howe, Liam Shiels FOL Jordan Roughead, Tom Liberatore, Jack Macrae
I/C Taylor Duryea, Will Langford, Conor Glass, Harry Morrison I/C BLuke Dahlhaus, Patrick Lipinski, Bailey Williams, Caleb Daniel
Emg Brendan Whitecross, Teia Miles, Marc Pittonet Emg Mitch Wallis, Fletcher Roberts, Mitch Honeychurch


History:
 
Played 159: Hawthorn 81 v Western Bulldogs 76 (2 Draws).

Last Meeting: Semi-final, 2016: Western Bulldogs (16.11) 107 d Hawthorn (12.12) 84 at MCG

Final Thoughts: The Bulldogs are still mathematically in the hunt for eighth spot still, but they need other results to fall their way; the fact the premiers won’t know their potential fate plays into their hands ahead of this round-opening showdown. The prospect of sending out club icon Luke Hodge a winner will be the out-of-contention Hawks’ biggest motivation, but the Bulldogs also have Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd on the cusp of retirement. The Bulldogs’ form has faltered in recent weeks after a late-season spike catapulted them back into contention, but there’s plenty of experience in their line-up and with more to play for they shape as a better bet in what is sure to be a close-fought contest.

Tip: Western Bulldogs 1-24 @ $3.40

Collingwood Magpies v Melbourne Demons @ MCG

Saturday 26th August, 1:45pm

Collingwood  Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Tyson Goldsack B Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB Jeremy Howe, Tom Langdon, Jack Crisp HB Nathan Jones, Tom McDonald, Jayden Hunt
C Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams, Tom Phillips C Jordan Lewis, Christian Petracca, Christian Salem
HF Josh Daicos, Darcy Moore, Callum Brown HF Clayton Oliver, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham
F Jamie Elliott, Ben Reid, Will Hoskin-Elliott F Jeff Garlett, Cameron Pedersen, James Harmes
FOL Brodie Grundy, Josh Thomas, Adam Treloar FOL Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince
I/C Matthew Scharenberg, James Aish, Tim Broomhead, Mason Cox I/C Jack Watts, Angus Brayshaw, Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen
Emg Jarryd Blair, Kayle Kirby, Josh Smith Emg Josh Wagner, Declan Keilty, Corey Maynard


History: 
Played 234: Collingwood 146 v Melbourne 83 (5 Draws).

Last Meeting: Round 12, 2017: Melbourne (15.14) 104 d Collingwood (15.10) 100 at MCG

Final Thoughts: The seventh-placed Demons have held their nerve to win their last two games and all but confirm a long-awaited return to the finals – but there is still a chance they could be bumped out of the eight if they stumble against the Magpies. The Pies are boosted by the return of Tyson Goldsack and Brodie Grundy, while the Demons will be missing co-captain Jack Viney, but with a fair bit at stake it’s hard to see the Dees letting this one slip. Bank on Melbourne chalking up their fifth straight win over Collingwood.

Tip: Melbourne Demons -8.5 @ $1.90

Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne Kangaroos @ Gabba

Saturday 26th August, 2:10pm

Brisbane  North Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Daniel McStay, Harris Andrews, Daniel Rich B Sam Durdin, Robbie Tarrant, Declan Mountford
HB Darcy Gardiner, Josh Walker, Sam Mayes HB Shaun Atley, Scott D. Thompson, Ryan Clarke
C Hugh McCluggage, Dayne Zorko, Ryan Bastinac C Andrew Swallow, Luke McDonald, Sam Gibson
HF Lewis Taylor, Michael Close, Jacob Allison HF Nathan Hrovat, Ben McKay, Kayne Turner
F Ryan Lester, Eric Hipwood, Jake Barrett F Shaun Higgins, Ben Brown, Jy Simpkin
FOL Stefan Martin, Tom Rockliff, Dayne Beams FOL Todd Goldstein, Trent Dumont, Ben Cunnington
I/C Claye Beams, Nick Robertson, Alex Witherden, Rhys Mathieson I/C Jed Anderson, Lachlan Hansen, Lindsay Thomas, Aaron Mullett
Emg Ben Keays, Cedric Cox, Tom Cutler Emg Josh Williams, Nick Larkey, Cameron Zurhaar


History:
Played 33: North Melbourne 17 v Brisbane 15 (1 Draw).

Last Meeting: Round 2, 2016: North Melbourne (17.15) 117 d Brisbane (11.17) 83 at Gabba.

Final Thoughts: The Gabba hosts one of the most intriguing matches of the final round, with the dreaded wooden spoon to go to the loser. The Lions have won only two of their last nine against the Kangaroos, but they have an 11-4 home record in the rivalry and, more importantly, bring far superior recent form into this clash. Both sides have 5-16 records, but four of Brisbane’s wins have come in the second half of the season while North have won just one of their last 11 games. Kangaroos star Jarrad Waite failed to overcome his injury while Mason Wood joins him on the sidelines, and a feel-good finish to the season beckons for long-suffering Lions fans.

Tip: Brisbane Lions 1-39 @ $2.18

Sydney Swans v Carlton Blues @ SCG

Saturday 26th August, 4:35pm

Sydney  Carlton
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe B Lachie Plowman, Liam Jones, Sam Docherty
HB Zak Jones, Lewis Melican, Jarrad McVeigh HB Kade Simpson, Jacob Weitering, Ciaran Byrne
C Isaac Heeney, Josh P. Kennedy, Jake Lloyd C Zac Fisher, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Blaine Boekhorst
HF Gary Rohan, Lance Franklin, Harry Cunningham HF Matthew Wright, Charlie Curnow, Dale Thomas
F George Hewett, Kurt Tippett, Sam Reid F Jed Lamb, Levi Casboult, Jarrod Pickett
FOL Callum Sinclair, Luke Parker, Kieren Jack FOL Todd Goldstein, Trent Dumont, Ben Cunnington
I/C Will Hayward, Callum Mills, Nic Newman, Dean Towers I/C Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy
Emg Jordan Foote, Jeremy Laidler, Daniel Robinson Emg Nick Graham, Kristian Jaksch, David Cuningham


History:
Played 225: Carlton 128 v Sydney 91 (6 Draws).

Last Meeting: Round 6, 2017: Carlton (15.7) 97 d Sydney (11.12) 78 at MCG.

Final Thoughts: The sixth-placed Swans have won 10 of their last 11, with their extraordinary resurgence arguably peaking in last week’s away win over competition leaders Adelaide. They are looking for a win by a big margin to overtake Port, and potentially nab fourth spot if the Tigers falter. Carlton, who are 15th, showed a ton of courage to end an eight-match losing streak with an upset of Hawthorn, but they’re unlikely to be able to match Sydney’s firepower at the SCG. The Swans have resisted the urge to bring Sam Naismith straight back into their side, emphasising their depth and the blistering form the team is currently in.

Tip: Sydney Swans -51.5 @ $1.90

Geelong Cats v GWS Giants @ Simonds Stadium

Saturday 26th August, 7:25pm

Geelong  GWS
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Tom Stewart, Tom Lonergan, Jed Bews B Adam Tomlinson, Nick Haynes, Nathan Wilson
HB Zach Tuohy, Lachie Henderson, Andrew Mackie HB Zac Williams, Phil Davis, Lachie Whitfield
C Mark Blicavs, Patrick Dangerfield, Steven Motlop C Josh Kelly, Dylan Shiel, Heath Shaw
HF Brandan Parfitt, Harry Taylor, Sam Menegola HF Callan Ward, Jonathon Patton, Toby Greene
F Daniel Menzel, Tom Hawkins, James Parsons F Rory Lobb, Jeremy Cameron, Steve Johnson
FOL Zac Smith, Scott Selwood, Mitch Duncan FOL Shane Mumford, Stephen Coniglio, Brett Deledio
I/C Wylie Buzza, Cameron Guthrie, Jake Kolodjashnij, Jordan Murdoch I/C Aidan Corr, Devon Smith, Jacob Hopper, Tom Scully
Emg Darcy Lang, Zach Guthrie, Jackson Thurlow Emg Tim Taranto, Matt de Boer, Harrison Himmelberg


History:
Played 7: Geelong 5 v GWS 1 (1 Draw).

Last Meeting: Round 15, 2017: GWS (10.8) 68 drew with Geelong (10.8) 68 at Spotless Stadium

Final Thoughts: The finals come early as the Cats and Giants square off in a shootout for a top-two spot, while the Giants could even snatch the minor premiership with a win if the Crows lose on Sunday. The qualifying final home-field advantage for a likely rematch, plus the excellent form both sides bring into this blockbuster, should ensure a gripping encounter. Marquee men Tom Hawkins and Steve Johnson are back for their respective teams, but the Cats’ home record (16 wins from their last 18 at Simonds Stadium) and the Giants’ so-so form on the road (five wins from 10 away games in 2017) gives them a significant edge.

Tip: Geelong Cats -1.5 @ $1.90

Port Adelaide Power v Gold Coast Suns @ Simonds Stadium

Saturday 26th August, 7:10pm

Power  Suns
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Riley Bonner, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston B Max Spencer, Steven May, Trent McKenzie
HB Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jasper Pittard, Hamish Hartlett HB Pearce Hanley, Callum Ah Chee, Adam Saad
C Justin Westhoff, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec C Brayden Fiorini, Will Brodie, Matt Rosa
HF Sam Gray, Todd Marshall, Robbie Gray HF Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Martin, Touk Miller
F Aidyn Johnson, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard F Ben Ainsworth, Keegan Brooksby, Darcy Macpherson
FOL Paddy Ryder, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak FOL Peter Wright, David Swallow, Aaron Hall
I/C Sam Powell-Pepper, Jake Neade, Karl Amon, Dougal Howard I/C arryd Lyons, Jesse Joyce, Mitch Hallahan, Brad Scheer
Emg Jackson Trengove, Matthew White, Jarman Impey Emg Jack Leslie, Michael Rischitelli, Alex Sexton


History:
Played 8: Port Adelaide 7 v Gold Coast 1.

Last Meeting: Round 8, 2017: Port Adelaide (16.14) 110 d Gold Coast (4.14) 38 at Jiangwan Stadium.

Final Thoughts: Fifth-placed Port Adelaide are still a chance of a top-four finish, while they are likely to need a win here by a decent margin to remain in fifth with Sydney breathing down their necks. Fortunately for the Power, the Suns are in a deep hole, losing their last seven games to plummet to 16th. Gary Ablett will again be missing, virtually ending Gold Coast’s hopes of a boilover. Port have won seven straight against the Suns and should put them to the sword in front of the Adelaide Oval faithful as they look to enter the finals with some momentum.

Tip: Port Adelaide Power -49.5 @ $1.90

Essendon Bombers v Fremantle Dockers @ Etihad Stadium

Sunday 27th August, 1:10pm

Bombers  Dockers
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Riley Bonner, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston B Max Spencer, Steven May, Trent McKenzie
HB Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jasper Pittard, Hamish Hartlett HB Pearce Hanley, Callum Ah Chee, Adam Saad
C Justin Westhoff, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec C Brayden Fiorini, Will Brodie, Matt Rosa
HF Sam Gray, Todd Marshall, Robbie Gray HF Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Martin, Touk Miller
F Aidyn Johnson, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard F Ben Ainsworth, Keegan Brooksby, Darcy Macpherson
FOL Paddy Ryder, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak FOL Peter Wright, David Swallow, Aaron Hall
I/C Sam Powell-Pepper, Jake Neade, Karl Amon, Dougal Howard I/C arryd Lyons, Jesse Joyce, Mitch Hallahan, Brad Scheer
Emg Jackson Trengove, Matthew White, Jarman Impey Emg Jack Leslie, Michael Rischitelli, Alex Sexton


History:
Played 31: Essendon 18 v Fremantle 13.

Last Meeting: Round 7, 2017: Fremantle (17.14) 116 d Essendon (11.13) 79 at Domain Stadium.

Final Thoughts: The Bombers head into the final round in eighth spot, meaning all they require is a win by a handy margin to guarantee their place in the playoffs – a great result given what they’ve been through in recent seasons. Their form has been patchy of late, but they shouldn’t have too much trouble with a Dockers side coming in off back-to-back 104-point losses. The Bombers also have an 11-2 home record against the Dockers, who have won their last four games in this rivalry.

Tip: Port Adelaide Power -49.5 @ $1.90

Richmond Tigers v St Kilda Saints @ MCG

Sunday 27th August, 3:20pm

Bombers  Dockers
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Riley Bonner, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston B Max Spencer, Steven May, Trent McKenzie
HB Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jasper Pittard, Hamish Hartlett HB Pearce Hanley, Callum Ah Chee, Adam Saad
C Justin Westhoff, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec C Brayden Fiorini, Will Brodie, Matt Rosa
HF Sam Gray, Todd Marshall, Robbie Gray HF Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Martin, Touk Miller
F Aidyn Johnson, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard F Ben Ainsworth, Keegan Brooksby, Darcy Macpherson
FOL Paddy Ryder, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak FOL Peter Wright, David Swallow, Aaron Hall
I/C Sam Powell-Pepper, Jake Neade, Karl Amon, Dougal Howard I/C arryd Lyons, Jesse Joyce, Mitch Hallahan, Brad Scheer
Emg Jackson Trengove, Matthew White, Jarman Impey Emg Jack Leslie, Michael Rischitelli, Alex Sexton


History:
Played 182: Richmond 108 v St Kilda 71 (3 Draws).

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2017: St Kilda (21.12) 138 d Richmond (10.11) 71 at Etihad Stadium.

Final Thoughts: Both teams have it all to play for, with Richmond aiming to protect their top-four spot and St Kilda potentially still alive for the top eight. The Tigers bring great form into this encounter – winning five of their last six – while the Saints are limping towards the finish line, chalking up just two victories in the last six rounds. The Tigers have won six of their last eight against the Saints and have an excellent 8-2 record at the MCG in 2017. The fact club legend Nick Riewoldt’s career will be over with a loss won’t be enough to get St Kilda over the line on Sunday against Dustin Martin and the Tigers.

Tip: Richmond Tigers by 25+ @ $2.20

West Coast Eagles v Adelaide Crows @ Domain Stadium

Sunday 27th August, 2:40pm

Bombers  Dockers
Pos Player Pos Player
B
Riley Bonner, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston B Max Spencer, Steven May, Trent McKenzie
HB Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jasper Pittard, Hamish Hartlett HB Pearce Hanley, Callum Ah Chee, Adam Saad
C Justin Westhoff, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec C Brayden Fiorini, Will Brodie, Matt Rosa
HF Sam Gray, Todd Marshall, Robbie Gray HF Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Martin, Touk Miller
F Aidyn Johnson, Charlie Dixon, Chad Wingard F Ben Ainsworth, Keegan Brooksby, Darcy Macpherson
FOL Paddy Ryder, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak FOL Peter Wright, David Swallow, Aaron Hall
I/C Sam Powell-Pepper, Jake Neade, Karl Amon, Dougal Howard I/C arryd Lyons, Jesse Joyce, Mitch Hallahan, Brad Scheer
Emg Jackson Trengove, Matthew White, Jarman Impey Emg Jack Leslie, Michael Rischitelli, Alex Sexton


History:
Played 44: West Coast 24 v Adelaide 20.

Last Meeting: Round 23, 2016: West Coast (14.16) 100 d Adelaide (10.11) 71 at Adelaide Oval.

Final Thoughts: Currently in ninth after last week’s loss to the Giants, West Coast need a win – and probably by a handy margin – to feature in the finals. Meanwhile Adelaide, who went down at home to Sydney in Round 22, may require a win to clinch the minor premiership, depending on how GWS fare on Saturday. The Eagles boast an 8-3 home record this year and get veteran goal-machine Mark Le Cras back, but their terribly inconsistent 2017 campaign is set to end in fitting fashion against the firepower-laden Crows.

Tip: Adelaide Crows 1 – 39 @ $2.18

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