Adelaide Crows and Geelong Cats Face Off in Highlight of AFL Round 11

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Six teams have a bye week in the AFL for Round 11, but there are still some solid contests this week, including the ladder leading Adelaide Crows taking on the Geelong Cats, and Port Adelaide and Hawthorn battling to remain top 8 contenders. Here is your full weekend preview.

Port Adelaide vs. Hawthorn (Thursday at Adelaide Oval)

Despite being separated by six spots on the ladder, if Hawthorn wins this game as underdogs they would be roughly in the same place as Port midway through the season. The Hawks veterans rose up last week, but traveling to the Adelaide Oval, it’s a tough ask to expect them to do it again. The Power have been solid against most of the non-elite sides in the AFL this season and as long as they take care of business in terms of their goal kicking they should find a way past the Hawks, they will rue in the missed opportunity to beat Geelong last week. Power by 19 

Geelong Cats vs. Adelaide Crows (Friday at Simonds Stadium)

Despite sloppy play at points this season, both the Cats and Crows have won two straight and are sitting inside the top 4, with a solid chance to stay there through the rest of the year. Traveling to Geelong is a tough test for the Crows, despite their fantastic offensive performances this season, and Geelong has won their last four outings against the Crows. The Selwood brothers and Patrick Dangerfield will again be key for the Cats, while Rory Sloane will look to shake his tag again and feed the footy into the likes of Andy Otten and Eddie Betts to help the Crows pull off a win. Despite some shaky quarters from Adelaide, they have been the league’s best side this season, and should score enough to beat Chris Scott’s Cats. Crows by 10

Gold Coast Suns vs. West Coast Eagles (Saturday at Metricon Stadium)

The hapless Suns have looked worse than their 3-6 record in recent weeks, and they surrendered a lead last week when they had a clear chance at victory. West Coast likewise has dropped two straight and badly needs to get their 7th win to enhance their chances of making the top 8. Traveling has been a difficult task for the Eagles this season, but they typically ease past the Suns and I simply can’t trust Gold Coast’s consistency in this one. If the Eagles can solve how to deal with life without key forward Josh Kennedy they will prevail. Eagles by 23

GWS Giants vs. Essendon (Saturday at Spotless Stadium)

The Bombers have exceeded expectations this season, but knocking off GWS in Sydney would catapult them from fringe contenders to the real thing. GWS has now won three straight and with Adelaide facing a tough test this week, they could move to the top of the ladder with a win. Having dealt with serious injury woes all season, the Giants will be happy to get some of their best 22 back. Look for a complete performance in all facets of the contest as the Giants should ease past Joe Daniher and the Bombers. Giants by 31

North Melbourne vs Richmond (Saturday at Etihad Stadium)

Yet another game where despite the eight spot gap in the ladder, if the underdog side wins this matchup, the two teams will be roughly even in terms of chances to make the top 8. North Melbourne is hoping to win their third straight on Saturday, having beaten Richmond seven of the last eight times, and clearly being in better form despite nearly surrendering a large lead last week. The Tigers are talented, but just like North haven’t been able to totally put all the pieces together this season. Goalkicking will be the key to this matchup, as Richmond will need to convert set shots into goals, while North will hope their key forwards, including Ben Brown have big games. This is the toughest matchup to predict this week, but I’ll back Richmond’s backline to keep the Roos at bay. Tigers by 5 

Fremantle vs Collingwood (Sunday at Domain Stadium)

The Dockers were terrible last week but it was just their fourth loss of the season, and at 6-4 they have every chance to make the top 8, and perhaps finish higher than that. Collingwood has had a disappointing season, but a win in this pivotal road game would give Nathan Buckley plenty of hope for the second half of the season. Magpies forward Alex Fasolo is out dealing with depression, this is a further blow to an already erratic Collingwood forward line. Presuming Fremantle’s stars including Lachie Weller, Michael Walters, and Nat Fyfe can return to even average form, the Dockers should defend the west. Fremantle by 14

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