Round nine gave us a great indication of who the pretenders and the emerging contenders are, with certain teams rising to the challenge and others wilting under the pressure.
There’s an extended round this week with the traditional Queen’s Birthday clash on Monday between the Pies and Dees giving us a long weekend of football to enjoy.
There’s plenty to get through, so let’s get stuck into the action.
As always, we recommend that you focus on getting full value for every dollar you spend.
Dockers vs. Tigers
Friday, June 5th, 7:50pm, Domain Stadium
Fremantle – $1.92 (-29.5)
Richmond- $1.92 (+29.5)
Round 10 begins with the unbeaten Dockers hosting the in-form Tigers in a match up that has all the hallmarks of a Friday night special in the West.
The Dockers are in franchise-best form and will be looking to make it 10 wins in a row after surviving a tough test against the Crows in Adelaide last week.
The Tigers have finally found some quality form after an indifferent start to the season, winning three successive games in a row. That streak has included wins over fellow finals aspirants Essendon, Collingwood and Port Adelaide.
It is an unchanged lineup for Fremantle this week, with dependable Docker Michael Johnson playing his 200th game.
Richmond has made only one change from Saturday night’s win over the Bombers with Ty Vickery making his way back into the team. Liam McBean has been omitted.
Both teams bring in great form and will be full of confidence coming into the opening match of the round, but it is hard to go past the Dockers in the sort of form they are in – especially with the home ground advantage.
Tip: Fremantle to win 1-39 margin $2.10 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most disposals group A – David Munday $9.00 via Sportsbet
Blues vs. Crows
Saturday, June 6th, 1:40pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Carlton – $1.91 (+28.5)
Adelaide – $1.91 (-28.5)
The Blues were comprehensively dismantled by a rampant Sydney Swans at the SCG last Friday night, and did well to keep the margin at 10 goals.
It has been an indifferent season thus far for the Crows, who have electrified the competition at times, but then succumbed to opposition they are expected to put away. They are trying to correct a two-game losing streak. A third consecutive loss would see them drop out of the top-eight.
A host of stars are back for the Blues with dual Brownlow medallist Chris Judd returning to the fold, along with captain Marc Murphy and former number one draft pick Matthew Kruezer, who comes in for his first game of the season.
Chris Yarran and Liam Jones have been dropped while Dale Thomas is unavailable after sustaining a toe injury.
The Crows welcome back superstar duo Rory Sloane and Brodie Smith from injury, with promising youngster Jake Lever the only forced change.
For the third week in a row Carlton will not be looking to win, but rather limit the damage against a much stronger opponent. While the Crows are not up to the same standard as Sydney, they will prove far too good for a Carlton team bereft of talent and confidence.
Tip: Adelaide to win 40+ margin $2.40 via William Hill
Exotic: Scott Thompson to have 30 or more disposals $3.30 via William Hill
Suns vs. Swans
Saturday, June 6th, 4:35pm, Metricon Stadium
Gold Coast – $1.91 (+54.5)
Port Adelaide- $1.91 (-54.5)
Saturday twilight sees the Swans travel to Metricon to face the Suns in a match that could get very ugly, very fast for the hosts.
The Suns sit second last on the ladder with the third worst percentage in the league, with a raft of on and off-field issues to contend with. The fortress that Metricon Stadium threatened to become last year never materialised and now the Gold Coast are in danger of slipping into irrelevance.
The Swans are shooting for five in a row after overcoming reigning premiers Hawthorn in a Grand Final rematch for the ages, and casting aside an undermanned Carlton side last week.
At this point it is hard to be optimistic about the Suns when their off-field nonchalance mirrors their on-field displays, which are nothing short of embarrassing.
Something would seriously have to go wrong for the Gold Coast to even contend in this match, with their opponents the polar opposite in terms of professionalism and ruthlessness.
Tip: 10 goal hiding – Sydney win by 60 points or more $2.10 via William Hill
Exotic: Time of first goal – 0:00-01:00 $4.90 via Sportsbet
Saturday, June 6th, 7:10pm, Etihad Stadium
Essendon – $1.92 (+3.5)
Geelong – $1.92 (-3.5)
Etihad Stadium is the venue for Saturday night’s make-or-break clash between Essendon and Geelong, which will leave one team right in the hunt for a finals berth and the other languishing outside the eight with not much hope for September action.
Essendon come in off the back of a disappointing loss to Richmond – a game which the Dons had multiple opportunities to win but were unable to capitalise in front of goal.
The Cats were gallant against the Eagles for a half of football, but in the end had no answers for West Coast’s onslaught.
Captain Jobe Watson and 400 gamer Dustin Fletcher both miss this week’s clash with groin injuries, while classy half forward flanker Jackson Merrett has been omitted.
James Gwilt, Elliot Kavanagh and Orazio Fantasia all get opportunities after impressing at VFL level.
The Cats have made only the one change this week with Mitch Clark out of the side with a calf injury. Josh Walker is the man who will take Clark’s place.
Both teams are desperate for the win and will take a do-or-die mindset into the clash. The Dons will have done a lot of soul searching over the week and will be looking to sustain a big effort across four quarters, while the Cats will be looking to bounce back after a taxing game in the West.
The match should be close for the duration of the contest, but the travel factor as well as the shorter turnaround will leave the Cats low on energy – look for the Dons to overrun them in the second half.
Tip: Essendon to win 1-39 point margin $2.60 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most disposals group 1 –Dyson Heppell $4 via William Hill
Power vs. Bulldogs
Saturday, June 6th, 7:20pm, Adelaide Oval
Port Adelaide – $1.91 (-28.5)
Western Bulldogs – $1.91 (+28.5)
Saturday night’s second game sees the disappointing Port Adelaide Power hosting the surprise packet of the 2015 season, the Western Bulldogs.
Prior to the season many would have picked the combatants in this match to have their positions on the ladder reversed, with the Dogs right now destined for finals action and the Power poised to miss out.
The Power welcome back the man that sunk the Roos a month ago – Aaron Young. Nathan Krakouer has been omitted.
The Dogs welcome back the goal scoring power of Stewart Crameri and Jake Stringer, but emerging star Marcus Bontempelli and born-again midfielder Liam Picken are both set to miss with soft issue injuries.
It looms as a crunch match for both teams. The Power cannot afford to let home games slip after a lacklustre start to the season and the Dogs need to strike while the iron is hot with a young side and keep the momentum building towards September.
The Dogs will provide a stern test for the Port Adelaide, but expect Ken Hinkley’s Power to get across the line in this match – there is too much at stake for them.
Tip: Port Adelaide to win – 1-39 margin $2.20 via Sportsbet
Exotic: Most disposals/most goals – Travis Boak/Jay Schultz $15 via Sportsbet
Giants vs. Lions
Sunday, June 7th, 1.10pm, Spotless Stadium
Adelaide – $1.92 (-46.5)
Fremantle – $1.92 (+46.5)
The first of three Sunday games in round 10 sees the Giants hosting the Lions in a game that looms as lambs to the slaughter match-up for the visitors.
The Giants will be looking to atone after a poor showing last week against the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium, while the Lions had a nightmare encounter against St Kilda, letting a 36 point first quarter lead slip in a 22-point loss to the Saints at the GABBA.
The Lions list of outs reads more like an obituary with inspirational captain Tom Rockliff again sidelined after re-fracturing his ribs, while veteran defender Jed Adock and youngsters James Aish and Clay Beams also out with long-term injuries.
GWS will be hungry to find their best form after last week’s loss to the Dogs, and the AFL world will be keen to see if it is an aberration or a true reflection of where the Giants currently sit.
The Lions currently are having difficulties just fielding a team, and a huge loss unfortunately looms large. Expect the Giants to win by over ten goals.
Tip: GWS to win – 60+ $2.50 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Cam McCarthy $9 via Sportsbet
Kangaroos vs. Eagles
Sunday, June 7th, 3:20pm, Blundstone Arena
North Melbourne – $1.91 (+6.5)
West Coast – $1.91 (-6.5)
Sunday afternoon down in Tasmania sees the North Melbourne Kangaroos hosting the West Coast Eagles in a do-or-die clash for the hosts.
The Kangaroos’ season was encapsulated in two halves last week – dominant in the first, deplorable in the last. The Roos gave up a six goal lead to the Magpies who managed to kick nine unanswered third quarter goals after booting only four for the opening half.
The Eagles are flying high, second on the ladder with only two losses to their name after man-handling Geelong last week at home. If not for some wayward kicking, the margin could have blown out to triple figures.
The Eagles are sitting pretty in second position, but have not been tested in recent weeks, and travelling down to Tasmania to face the Kangaroos with a point to prove will be the ultimate examination of where they are truly at.
The Roos have missed the grunt work of Swallow in and around the packs and his inclusion should prove decisive enough to get North over the line in a close contest.
Tip: North Melbourne to win 1-24 $3.35 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer –Drew Petrie $11 via Sportsbet
Saints vs. Hawks
Sunday, June 7th, 4:40pm, Etihad Stadium
St Kilda – $1.92 (+56.5)
Hawthorn – $1.92 (-56.5)
Sunday night winds down with the Saints hosting the Hawks at Etihad Stadium.
The Saints have been spirited all season and will be buoyed by their comeback victory over the Lions at the GABBA. St Kilda were six goals down early in the piece but rallied back to spectacularly take the points back to Victoria.
It was not quite the bloodbath that was expected, but still the Hawks destroyed the Suns down in Tasmania to keep in touch with the top four. Hawthorn was in control for the majority of the match and never got out of second gear.
The Hawks will be boosted by the return of superstar on-baller Jordan Lewis, with Will Langford also named on an extended bench. Paul Puopolo is the only confirmed out at this stage, succumbing to a foot injury.
The Saints have proven they have the want and desire to match it with the best this season, overturning an eight goal deficit to defeat the Dogs and pushing the Dons to the absolute limit just a month ago.
The Hawks are slowly getting their best 22 back into the team and will be at their ruthless best on Sunday. The final margin will be as large as the Hawks want it, and do not be surprised to see it surpass triple figures.
Tip: Hawthorn to win – 60 points or more $2.10 via Sportsbet
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jarryd Roughead $7 via Sportsbet
Demons vs. Magpies
Monday, June 8th, 3:20pm, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne – $1.91 (+24.5)
Collingwood- $1.92 (-24.5)
The traditional Queen’s Birthday clash between the Demons and the Magpies concludes round 10, with this year’s contest looming as one of the most competitive encounters in years.
The Dees are coming off the back of a hard-fought loss to Port Adelaide in Darwin in sweltering conditions, where the oppressive heat played a large role in the sloppy skills of both sides.
Collingwood returns to the happy hunting ground of last week which saw them overturn a massive halftime deficit to overrun North Melbourne in one of the finest come-from-behind victories the AFL has seen this year.
Melbourne has named an extended bench for Monday, with Max Gawn, Viv Michie and Ben Newton among the inclusions.
Taylor Adams is the only player left out of the Collingwood line up this week after injuring his toe, with Sam Dwyer or Ben Kennedy his likely replacement.
The Pies have made this fixture their own over recent times, with the Demons’ last victory over Collingwood on this day coming all the way back in 2007.
Expect this trend to continue, with Collingwood’s midfield a class above Melbourne’s emerging yet infantile on-ball brigade.
Tip: Collingwood to win 1-39 $2.05 via William Hill
Exotic: First goal scorer – Jamie Elliot $7.50 via Sportsbet
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