Geelong and GWS Battle To Be AFL’s Best in Round 15

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The biggest matchup of AFL round 15 is the Geelong Cats taking on the top of the ladder GWS Giants. Melbourne takes on Sydney Friday night as Sydney looks to continue to make a push for the top 8, the Western Bulldogs take on West Coast, and Port Adelaide takes on Richmond in other key matchups between finals contenders. Here is your full round preview.

Melbourne Demons vs. Sydney Swans (Friday at the MCG)

A pair of teams in fantastic form, the Demons have won four in a row, and the Swans have won three in a row as both teams are battling for finals. Sydney has won this matchup five straight times, and they get Zak Jones and Jarrad McVeigh back in their backline. The Demons have Max Gawn back in the ruck and keep improving, but with Christian Salem and Jeff Garlett out Melbourne is still shorthanded. As much as their use of the footy has been great, I still feel that Melbourne is at a disadvantage, and I’ll back the Swans form, and their forward line to grab a road win. Swans by 19

Western Bulldogs vs. West Coast Eagles (Saturday at Etihad Stadium)

The Eagles won by 8 points in round 8, but are in poor form having lost four of their last five. The Bulldogs have had their share of struggles too, having won just two of their last five. Both teams are in need of a win, but the Eagles are traveling and have four starters out with Matt Priddis and Shannon Hurn among them. Tom Liberatore is out for the Dogs, but Bob Murphy returns to provide backline leadership. The Eagles have not been as solid up front without Josh Kennedy, and I back Jake Stringer and the Bulldogs to get a home win. Bulldogs by 6

Carlton vs. Adelaide Crows (Saturday at the MCG)

Charlie Cameron and Tom Lynch are out for the Crows, and their key midfielder Rory Sloane continues to struggle with a tag. All of that said, the Crows are better than the young Blues, and unless Bryce Gibbs and the backline led by Sam Docherty have memorable performances, Adelaide should still win this. They are hoping for better performances from Eddie Betts and Tex Walker, who just resigned to finish his career as a one club player. Crows by 27

Gold Coast Suns vs. North Melbourne (Saturday at Metricon Stadium)

The Suns would love a home win in Gary Ablett Jr’s 300th game, but both sides are struggling, and form is a big question. The Suns have more talent on their list, and typically generate more possessions, but key forward Tom Lynch has been shut down recently, and if that continues the Kangaroos will win. Missing key midfielder Ben Cunnington, and already playing poorly, I have the Kangaroos losing again this week. Suns by 14

GWS Giants vs. Geelong Cats (Saturday at Spotless Stadium)

10-3 vs 9-4, this is the matchup of the round, and at home the Giants, who are fantastic at playing keep away with the footy, should have the edge, that is if their forward line shows up. Josh Kelly returns for GWS, with Dylan Shiel and Jeremy Cameron key. Patrick Dangerfield will have to put the Cats on his back, as Joel Selwood is out. The Cats struggled for three quarters last week, looking shaky, especially on attack, the Giants are best in the AFL for a reason. Giants by 21

Port Adelaide vs. Richmond (Saturday at Adelaide Oval)

At the Adelaide Oval, with Richmond missing key defender Bachar Houli, the Power should have the advantage. If they are going to be genuine top 4 contenders, they need to beat better sides in the competition like the Tigers. Richmond’s Dustin Martin and Jack Riewoldt pairing can light up a game, but Ollie Wines and Robbie Gray are leaders for a Power side that is underrated. This game just sets up for another heartbreaking loss for the Tigers.¬†Power by 4

Essendon vs. Brisbane Lions (Sunday at Etihad Stadium)

Essendon has already won this matchup (in round 2), and the Lions are missing Dayne Beams, one of their key midfielders. With Tom Rockliff and other Lions out of form, the Bombers look set to continue their top 8 push, with the newly resigned Joe Daniher hoping to kick a bag and help the Bombers fly into the top 8. Bombers by 37

Hawthorn vs. Collingwood (Sunday at the MCG)

A must-win game between Victorian rivals at the G, Collingwood has a great midfield, and a terrible forward line, while the Hawks found enough form to win last week and remind dangerous, although their almost certain to miss finals. With the Hawks in form, and Collingwood poor, I’ll go with Alistair Clarkson to out think Nathan Buckley and get the win. Hawks by 21

Fremantle vs. St. Kilda (Sunday at Domain Stadium)

With Nat Fyfe and Aaron Sandilands probably coming back, the Dockers should be better than their poor form would suggest. A fifth straight loss would likely doom their finals chances, while the Saints at 7-6 also need a win to remain top 8 contenders. Alan Richardson’s men have won two straight and with a better list, look for Nick Riewoldt and company to get a win. Saints by 32

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