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AFL Round 21 preview

Not long to go now, Spetember's coming! AFL previews from the sharp fellas at @AFLRatings.

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AFL Round 21 preview from aflratings.com.au, @aflratings.

Eight of nine AFL favourites were successful last week, 80% of Favourites have won in the last five rounds. Here are our thoughts for Round 21.

Hawthorn 14-5 v Port Adelaide 9-10

The Hawks should be in cruise control for the remainder of the 2015 Home & Away season, despite a hiccup vs Richmond a few weeks ago they have won ten of their last 11 games and sit in third position on the AFL ladder. Port Adelaide has to be one of the bigger disappointments this year, they were amongst the pre-season predictions for Premiership success in 2015. The Power will need to be at the top of their game if they are to compete with the Hawks on Friday Night, the betting line looks quite large at -51.5 in favour of Hawthorn but Port Adelaide have not cleared their line in four of the last five games. The Hawks should be good to collect a win with so much on the line for a top two position still up for grabs.

Collingwood 9-10 v Richmond 12-7

Richmond are not yet confirmed as a finals contender, a win against the Magpies will secure a position in the final eight and a chance at breaking a 35 year premiership drought. Collingwood will almost certainly not play Finals this year, they would need some serious help along with a three-game winning streak to sneak in but the reality could be no mathematical chance to make it after this week. The Magpies have lost seven of their last eight games, whilst they have been competitive in most of those games they don’t hand out ribbons for second place. The Tigers have been good defensively conceding 67.3pts from their last eight games, they are Ranked third in the AFL this year in points conceded. Collingwood won’t be an easy push over for Richmond, expect this to be a close game.

GWS Giants 10-9 v Sydney 13-6

The Giants have had their chances this year but seem to be a little short of experienced at crucial times during the season, a poor injury list has likely crippled their chances of playing Finals this year. Sydney have not exactly lit it up this season but still remain a very good chance to finish fourth on the AFL Ladder, injuries are starting to hurt the Swans so they will need to be super careful not to drop this game against their cross town rival. Sydney have steadied the ship defensively in the last three weeks conceding 78.7pts per game, the Giants conceded 100pts for the first time in seven games vs Adelaide last week. Rain could impact this game which could likely impact the scoring chances for both teams, expect a closely fought contest for the entire game.

Gold Coast 3-1-15 v Essendon 5-14

Will the relief of a coaching change at Essendon spark the players in to being more competitive? The answer is not as simple in this situation as the Bombers players are still mindful of potential action from WADA in the coming months that could critically harm their careers, Essendon have conceded 130.0pts average in their last four games which provides a little insight in to their lack of effort. As mentioned in previous previews, Gold Coast despite their own injury and off-field issues have been extremely competitive in the majority of games for quite a few weeks now. Essendon have firmed this week following the departure of James Hird as coach, but expect the Suns to be fully in to this game with positions on their playing list up for grabs.

St Kilda 6-13 v Geelong 10-1-8

The Saints have exceeded most expectations leading in to the 2015 home & away season, they have unearthed some genuine talent in to their team and will continue to do so in their remaining three games of the season which does represent a little raising of a white flag for winning chances. Geelong are desperate to stay in the hunt for a Finals spot and are in a must win situation, the Cats did press the Hawks for long periods of the game last week but ultimately fell a long way short of winning. St Kilda have conceded 109.3pts from their last three games, this provides an opportunity at reasonable value for Geelong to secure a comfortable win for favourite punters on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.

Adelaide 11-1-7 v Brisbane 3-16

This result is going to go one-way and one-way only in a big way, expect Adelaide to open up the scoring on Saturday night at the Adelaide Oval even in potential slippery conditions. The Crows have averaged 111.8pts from their last five games having won four, they are charging towards the Finals and it is extremely unlikely the Lions can disrupt their momentum. Brisbane finally ended an 11 game losing streak last week against the hapless Blues in Brisbane, prior to their win last week the Lions had conceded 112.3pts from their previous three games. Expect an Adelaide victory in a very comfortable way.

Nth Melbourne 12-7 v Fremantle 16-3

As expected Fremantle are intending to rest their players of age in travel games to finish off the Home & Away season, they are getting fully prepared for Finals which could impact their success in games for the short term. The beneficiary this week could be Nth Melbourne, they are in a desperate need of wins with an extremely tough finish to their season ahead. The Head to Head odds in this game have flipped to Nth Melbourne starting as favourite, it might be wise to let this game begin at Etihad Stadium on Sunday prior to making any type of investment, the unknown of how Fremantle will perform does provide a highly risky situation for punters. Just because Fremantle are resting some of their players doesn’t mean they can’t win, we have been down this track before under Ross Lyon coached teams.

Carlton 3-16 v Melbourne 6-13

Carlton are almost ensuring little on-field success with team selection this week, they are now in last position on the AFL Ladder and if they don’t win another game they will receive the No.1 Overall Draft pick this off-season. Melbourne were embarrassed last week by the Bulldogs, fully expecting a solid response from the Demons in an attempt to record their seventh win of the season. The Blues have been largely uncompetitive conceding 131.8pts from their last four games, if that form plays true again then the Demons could be in for a big day at the MCG. Can’t see the Blues winning this game.

West Coast 14-1-4 v Western Bulldogs 13-6

Very interesting team selection for the Bulldogs this week resting two of their slower type quality players for a game in Perth against West Coast coming off consecutive fierce contests including a Derby win last week, the Eagles do have their injury/suspension concerns again which does provide an opportunity for the Bulldogs to shock the footy world in to believing they are the real deal. Domain Stadium is a fast track in dry conditions and the Bulldogs have the running game to match it with the Eagles, but will they be good enough to deliver the upset? No way would be touching West Coast at the -22.5pt Betting Line, the Bulldogs are every chance in the final game on Sunday for a small value investment.

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