Richmond vs. Adelaide Grand Final Replay Highlights Five Days of AFL Round 2 Footy

The 2018 Grand Final replay game highlights an AFL Round 2 that will be spread over five days and features the Good Friday Appeal game between St. Kilda and North Melbourne, and the Easter Monday rivalry clash between Geelong and Hawthorn. Here is your full round preview.

Adelaide vs. Richmond (Thursday at the Adelaide Oval)

Adelaide has actually beaten Richmond three of their last four meetings, but Richmond one the biggest game of all, last years Grand Final at the MCG. The venue this time is the Crows home ground in Adelaide as key forward Tex Walker returns, with Richard Douglas (suspension), and Curtly Hampton out. Richmond brings back backline anchor Bachar Houli and of course won last week, while Adelaide lost.

The Adelaide side has been going through internal turmoil after leaks to the press about a preseason camp that some players found distressing, home field advantage counts for something, and if Richmond starts slow, the Crows would have an edge. All of that said, Richmond seems more cohesive at the moment and with Houli back they should be able to check the Crows attack. I’ll back Richmond in a fun clash. Richmond by 9¬†

North Melbourne vs. St. Kilda (Friday at Etihad Stadium)

The Good Friday Appeal game is a marquee game for North, but they simply aren’t very good this year. St. Kilda comes off a win last week against Brisbane and the same core player group that performed in week 1 is back with Jack Steven, Jack Billings, and Blake Acres leading the Saints. North will try hard but I don’t see this one finishing close. Saints by 36

Carlton vs. Gold Coast Suns (Saturday at Etihad Stadium)

Both teams had solid opening rounds but are still expected to be near the bottom of the ladder by the end of the year. The Blues drop Matthew Kennedy and Alex Silvagni to bring in Cam O’Shea, a rookie, and David Cunningham. Aaron Hall replaces Matt Rosa to strengthen the Suns. Carlton is at home and their attack looks a bit sharper than last year, but the Suns pressure and chemistry actually looks good right now. Hall’s return will help the Suns notch a road upset under their new coach. Suns by 14

Collingwood vs. GWS Giants (Saturday at the MCG)

GWS looked great in round 1 while the Pies did not, the Giants also add Tom Scully, while the Pies lose Mason Cox. Collingwood is at risk of getting run off the ground at home as GWS should be able to open things up. The Giants forward line (Toby Greene and Jeremy Cameron) and marquee midfield with Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio is way too strong in this one. I don’t see how Collingwood keeps up. Giants by 50

Brisbane Lions vs. Melbourne (Saturday at the Gabba)

The Lions have dropped Tom Bell and lose Daniel Rich and Mitch Robinson this week, while Rhys Mathieson comes in. The Demons, looking to recover from a rough round 1 at the siren loss, have dropped Corey Maynard and Mich Hannan. Brisbane at home should compete, but Melbourne still has the better list, keep an eye on rookie forwards Cam Rayner (Brisbane) and Bayley Fritsch (Melbourne) in this one. Demons by 19

Fremantle vs. Essendon (Saturday at Optus Stadium)

Freo has made some changes after getting drubbed last week. Stephen Hill, Joel Hamling, and Adam Cerra, their top pick, are among the ins. They play their first game at the new Optus Stadium, but face a tough Essendon side. If Zach Merrett, who is named, plays at even an average level, the Essendon midfield and forward line is going to dominate this one. Bombers by 27

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

My upset pick of the week, the Bulldogs are in disarray and the Eagles could use a confidence boosting win in Victoria early in the season. Willie Rioli may debut for the Eagles, while the Dogs lose Hayden Crozier and Tom Liberatore (for the season). Mitch Wallis, Tom Boyd, and rookie Ed Richards probably improve the Dogs a bit, but the Eagles should be more organized. Look for Nic Naitanui to fire and help the Eagles grab the win. Eagles by 15

Sydney Swans vs. Port Adelaide Power (Sunday at the SCG)

Dan Hannebery may return for the Swans, while Gary Rohan is also an in. The Power lose ruck Paddy Ryder, a key part of their side, but Robbie Gray does return. These are two sides likely to be competing for a top four finish all season. Home field advantage makes Sydney the favorites though. Dougal Howard and Riley Bonner were great in round 1 but will be tasked with shutting down Lance Franklin and Isaac Heeney this week. Tom Rockliff will need to fire in the Power forward line after a shaky round 1. All things put together, a narrow Sydney win is the safest expectation. Swans by 7

Geelong vs. Hawthorn (Monday at the MCG)

Patrick Dangerfield returns to lead a full strength midfield of Dangerfield, Ablett, Duncan, and Joel Selwood against Tom Mitchell and Hawthorn. Both sides won last week, and the Hawks would love a win in this clash of rivals. All of that said, Geelong, presuming their forwards fire, will control the disposal count and notch a win. Cats by 17

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