Geelong and Richmond Hoping to Bounce Back in AFL Round 3

Round 2 saw some upsets, and we could be in for the same in the third round of AFL action for 2018. The Collingwood vs. Carlton rivalry begins the weekend of footy, while West Coast will host Geelong to close the weekend. Here is your preview of all the action.

Carlton vs. Collingwood (Friday the MCG)

Carlton and Collingwood enter this game both in desperate need of a win to avoid an 0-3 start. The Pies and Blues have had one solid showing, and one horror showing in the early part of the season. Carlton gets Matt Kreuzer back in the ruck to battle Brodie Grundy, while Matthew Kennedy also returns. Cieran Byrne and Cam O’Shea are out in the backline.

For the Pies Ben Reid and Mason Cox returns, while Darcy Moore and Tim Broomhead are both out with injuries. The Pies have a better midfield and they will need to rise in this one. I’ll back the young Blues to grind their way to a win led by the Curnow brothers. Carlton by 12 points

Port Adelaide vs. Brisbane (Saturday at Adelaide Oval)

Port are in great form and have dominated the Lions in recent years. At home they are heavy favorites to thump the winless Lions. Anything could happen, and the Lions do get Mitch Robinson back, but Port Adelaide’s strong lineup should roll the Lions in this one. The Port backline looks set to lockdown the Lions inconsistent attack. Port Adelaide by 36

Melbourne vs. North Melbourne (Saturday at the MCG)

North just doesn’t lose to Melbourne, and they did win last week. That said, Melbourne is still the sensible choice, they have a better list and a better midfield. Forward stars Jesse Hogan and Ben Brown should be fun to watch in this one. Melbourne by 14

Gold Coast vs. Fremantle (Saturday at Optus Stadium)

Neither side is expected to continue by the end of the season but they posted big wins last week. Freo are home favorites but the Suns have been playing with a fiery focus, and they get Pearce Hanley back (but lose Jack Bowes). I’ve become a believer of what the Suns have been showing early in the season and I’ll back them in an upset. Gold Coast by 9

Sydney vs. GWS Giants (Saturday at the SCG)

A rivalry between two great teams. Sam Reid is in for the Swans, while the Giants swap the injured Zac Langdon and Tom Scully with Harry Perryman and Jacob Hopper. The Swans aren’t bad, but they rely too much on Buddy Franklin and the Giants are the strongest team in the comp in my estimation. Their team effort should win out. GWS by 24

St. Kilda vs. Adelaide (Saturday at Etihad Stadium)

The Crows have dominated the Saints in recent meetings and the Saints were a horror show last week. Adelaide looks stable and they get Tom Lynch and Richard Douglas back (while losing Matt Crouch). Unless St. Kilda can control contested possession in the midfield they will get rolled by the Crows forward line. Adelaide by 46

Richmond vs. Hawthorn (Sunday at the MCG)

If the Hawks are truly back they need to win games like this. The reigning premiers looked lost last week while Hawthorn has had two great rounds. James Sicily and Shaun Burgoyne are key outs for the Hawks, but the Tigers are missing Josh Caddy and unless they improve in the midfield in a big way they are going to lose this one. Look for Tom Mitchell to keep building his Brownlow case and shake a tag. Hawthorn by 14

Western Bulldogs vs. Essendon (Sunday at Etihad Stadium)

The Dogs are in crisis and Essendon wants a bounce back win against a side they have lost three straight against. Despite some changes to their best 22 this week with Tory Dickson/Jack Redpath/Mitch Wallis replacing Jordan Roughhead/Lukas Webb/Jackson Trengrove, the Dogs are unlikely to bring the pressure against a strong Bomber attack. Joe Daniher is looking to get his act together after an awful round 2, Orazio Fantasia and David Myers return, and Zach Merrett is also hoping to step up his performance. Bombers should work out some frustrations here. Essendon by 49

West Coast vs. Geelong (Sunday at Optus Stadium)

Playing at home the Eagles have a real upset shot in this one. The Cats get Scott Selwood back, but they will need to produce goals and a decent showing in the ruck despite their amazing midfield led by Paddy Dangerfield and Gary Ablett. The Eagles will need their best performance, but look for Nic Naitanui and the young Eagles forward line to rise. West Coast by 7

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