Melbourne vs Collingwood Queen’s Birthday Clash The Star of AFL Round 12

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Four teams have their bye round in round 12 of the AFL season but it’s going to be a long round regardless, with the first footy contest on Thursday, and the round ending with a Monday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood, two teams that sit just outside of the top 8 at the start of the round. Here is your complete preview.

Melbourne vs Collingwood Queen’s Birthday Clash The Star of AFL Round 12

Sydney Swans vs. Western Bulldogs (Thursday at the SCG)

The Bulldogs won this contest in round 2 by 23 points, and they would have won by even more if their goal kicking had been cleaner. Since then the Swans have struggled, now holding just a 3-7 record, while the Bulldogs are 6-4, in the 6th spot in the ladder. Travis Cloke comes back in for the Bulldogs as they look to generate goals, while the usual suspects of Buddy Franklin and Dan Hannebery will need to step up if Sydney is going to pull off an upset. The Swans have the talent to win this, but the Bulldogs have better chemistry and form. Bulldogs by 16 

Adelaide Crows vs. St. Kilda (Friday at Adelaide Oval)

The Crows have dominated St. Kilda as of late and playing at home with an 8-3 record, they are deserving favorites over the 5-5 Saints, a young side that have struggled for consistency (and dropped their last two games). The Crows have demonstrated weaknesses and they can be beaten, far removed from their aura of unstoppable play earlier in the season, but I don’t think the Saints can put it all together on the road. Crows by 27

Hawthorn vs. Gold Coast Suns (Saturday at the MCG)

In round 3 the Suns beat the Hawks into the ground, handing Hawthorn a shocking defeat which they still haven’t recovered from, entering this contest with a 4-7 record, their finals hopes on life support. Gold Coast is just 4-6 though, and this is a must-win game if they are going to remain alive in contention to make the finals. The Suns have struggled with inconsistency all year, while the Hawks look in need of a serious rebuild. Hawthorn likely won’t be shellacked, but I have more confidence in the Suns to rise up in this one and get the win. Suns by 17

Brisbane Lions vs. Fremantle (Saturday at the Gabba)

The 1-9 Lions have struggled in recent years against the Dockers and although 6-5 Fremantle is starting to see their finals hopes dim after losing two straight they are still sitting at 8th on the ladder, and this is a must win game if they are going to stay in finals contention. The Dockers have struggled with slow starts, while the young Lions have struggled to finish games and keep it close. Despite home field advantage, I have little hope that Brisbane can boost their morale in this one. Fremantle should step up. Dockers by 37

Essendon vs. Port Adelaide (Saturday at Etihad Stadium)

Although Port is the traveling side, they should be the favorites against an Essendon side that has been competitive, but inconsistent. The Power have exceeded expectations this season, and appear to be genuine contenders, while the Bombers have not been able to get back to back solid showings from their key players like Joe Daniher. If Essendon’s stars show up, they’ll win this, but I’ll take the consistent Power. Power by 8

Carlton vs. GWS Giants (Sunday at Etihad Stadium)

Carlton has a lot of respect for GWS, having raided their list for talent in recent years. Regardless, GWS has been dominant in recent games against the Blues, and at 9-2 and first in the ladder, they are clearly superior to the competitive, but still developing Blues, who sit at 3-7 and already look to be out of contention for finals. As long as GWS stays focused, the Giants should remain the best team in the AFL. Giants by 29 

Melbourne vs. Collingwood (Monday at the MCG)

A banged up Collingwood side are 10th in the ladder at 5-6, and have a must win game against Melbourne as they look for a fourth straight victory to resuscitate their season. The Demons won prior to their bye round and sit at 5-5. They have been slightly sharper in the stats sheet compared to the Pies, while dealing with their own injury woes, and have defeated Collingwood the last three meetings. This isn’t an easy contest to predict, but I trust Melbourne a little more to outcompete in a huge clash. Demons by 11

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