West Coast Eagles Battle Collingwood in Top 4 Round 17 AFL Clash

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AFL Round 17 features a slate of interesting games that could result in some upsets, while Collingwood vs West Coast Eagles is the big top 4 clash this week. Here is a look at all the games with predictions.

Adelaide vs Geelong (Thursday at Adelaide Oval)

Adelaide sit a full 2 wins and a significant percentage off of the 8th position in the ladder, with just 6 games to play that makes this one a must win and even then the odds of last years Grand Finalist making the finals is slim. Geelong is in a pack of four teams at 9-6 who occupy the 6-9 slots on the ladder, meaning that both a win, and percentage matter in this road clash. Eddie Betts and Rory Atkins are among the 4 changes for the Crows while Geelong returns Dan Menzel but drops Harry Taylor, along with 2 other changes. Adelaide won both meetings last year, and they are at home. It will take a massive performance from newly resigned Crow Rory Sloane, and fellow midfielders Matt Crouch and Bryce Gibbs to win this game. Geelong have a finals worthy side but I’ll back the upset with Adelaide keeping their finals hopes (barely) alive and getting a home win. Adelaide by 24

St Kilda vs Carlton (Friday at Etihad Stadium)

Carlton must win a game like this to avoid finishing with the wooden spoon. It’s been a season to forget for both teams but the Saints have won the last three meetings and should be slightly better at kicking goals, which makes all the difference in this sport. St. Kilda by 33

Hawthorn vs Brisbane (Saturday in Tasmania)

Another of those 9-6 sides, Hawthorn is in Tasmania to take on a renewed Brisbane side that has won consecutive games for the first time in a long time. This is a danger game for the Hawks, on paper they are simply the better side with the better season, but Brisbane is playing with house money and winning a third straight game would really brighten the spirits of everyone at the club. Given Brisbane won in round 9, I’ll pick the upset with legendary Hawk (and now Lion) Luke Hodge inspiring his new team to a win over his old team. Brisbane by 17

Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs (Saturday at the MCG)

Melbourne should win this home clash against a Bulldogs side that is in poor shape. Melbourne ran away from the Dogs in round 11 and I’d expect more of the same this time with Clayton Oliver playing a starring role. Melbourne by 40

Gold Coast Suns vs Essendon (Saturday at Metricon Stadium)

Even at home, the Suns have been awful since the first part of the season. Essendon like Adelaide are 2 games and percentage off 8th, and this is a must win to keep their finals hopes alive. Given the circumstances I don’t see the Suns backline containing Devon Smith, Jake Stringer, and the rest of an effective Essendon attack. Essendon by 66

GWS Giants vs Richmond (Saturday at Spotless Stadium)

As much as the 8-6-1 Giants, who sit 2 points and percentage off of 8th, would love to win this. Even at home that looks unlikely. Richmond has reeled off three consecutive wins and the Giants just lost last round after a solid four game winning streak. If Richmond plays close to their best, even the best performance for Josh Kelly and the Giants won’t be enough to knock them off. Richmond by 18

Collingwood vs West Coast Eagles (Sunday at the MCG)

The game of the week, West Coast gets a rare chance to show their stuff at the MCG, while Collingwood is looking to keep flying having won 7 straight contests. Things matchup well for Collingwood it seems. Their midfield is firing on all cylinders with Scott Pendlebury and Taylor Adams among the standouts. Their forward line looks fitter than the Eagles, and ruckman Brodie Grundy matches up well against the Eagles Nic Naitanui. If the Eagles win this they will put themselves back in the conversation for a flag, but the Pies are favorites for a reason. Collingwood by 27

North Melbourne vs Sydney (Sunday at Etihad Stadium)

A pivotal game for both teams, as the winner will be a step closer to reaching finals. Sydney is just one game ahead of the of the 6-9 logjam, while North is just one place off finals due to their current percentage. North stunned the Swans in round 7, and I’d expect this game to be similarly close. With Sydney coming off consecutive losses and not near their best, I’ll back North to notch a (slight) upset and return to the top 8. North Melbourne by 12

Fremantle vs Port Adelaide (Sunday at Optus Stadium)

Port Adelaide won the previous matchup between these sides easily in round 1. Fremantle is struggling and even at home they will be underdogs against Port. The Power are in great form and should maintain their place in the top 4 with a solid win here. Port Adelaide by 33

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