The AFL elimination finals for 2017 feature red hot Sydney Swans, the other strong side from South Australia, Port Adelaide, the pride of the west, the West Coast Eagles, and Essendon, which has gone from the wooden spoon to playing finals in just the course of a year. Here is your full preview.
Sydney Swans vs. Essendon Bombers (Saturday at the SCG)
Sydney only won their round 14 matchup by 1 at the siren, but the Swans have won their last four games and have played like a flag worthy side after an 0-6 start to the season. The Bombers have made huge strides this year and are worthy finalists, but the Swans have a stronger list. Buddy Franklin, the Coleman medal winner, spearheads their attack, Dan Hannebery returns to Sydney’s midfield, along with Tom Papley and Sam Naismith making the lineup. If Jarrad McVeigh and Callum Mills can prevent Essendon from running free with Zach Merrett feeding Orazio Fantasia and Joe Daniher up forward, the Swans will keep the score down and kick enough goals to win. Swans by 19
Port Adelaide Power vs. West Coast Eagles (Saturday at the Adelaide Oval)
These sides split meetings in 2017, and both matchups were competitive. At home the Power should have an edge, but they have not been at their best against top 8 sides. The big matchup will be up forward, as Charlie Dixon of the Power and Josh Kennedy of the Eagles are among the best forwards in the league. Eagles veterans Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie, and Matt Priddis are hoping to go out on top and extend their careers at least one extra game. Paddy Ryder should dominate the ruck for the Power. The Power have been underappreciated this season, and the Eagles have not been near as good on the road this season, and thus the home favorites should prevail thanks to a strong backline. Power by 24