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AFL Preliminary Finals preview

It's all going nuts in Perth as both teams advancing into the 2015 AFL Grand Final will be decided in WA. If you're not familiar with life in the isolated state, take a look at this slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to Perth from the master of satire, Titus O'Reily.

As always, it's over to the smart blokes at @AFLRatings for their previews of the world's finest code of football.

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AFL Prelim Finals preview from AFLRatings.com.au, @AFLRatings

Not since 2006 has a team advanced to an AFL Grand Final without having a week off going in to a Preliminary Final, Hawthorn & Nth Melbourne are looking to break that streak this weekend. Additionally, no team has made a Preliminary Final from 8th position on the AFL Ladder let alone made a Grand Final under the current Finals system introduced back in 2000. Finally, no Preliminary Final winner in the last two years had defeated their opponent during the H&A Season. All that said; get ready for an intense week of AFL as the two winners will progress through to the 2015 Grand Final.

Fremantle 1st v Hawthorn 3rd
Venue: Domain Stadium, Perth
2015 Head to Head record: Fremantle 0-1 Hawthorn 1-0
Weather Forecast: Mostly Sunny, Min 13 Max 24


Hawthorn are strong favourites to defeat Fremantle on Friday Night and advance to their fourth consecutive Grand Final, the Hawks were outstanding last week disposing of the Crows at the MCG keeping alive their chances of a third straight Premiership. Fremantle are well rested with the majority of their talented playing group hitting the field only once in the last three weeks, against popular opinion the Dockers are well placed to make their second Grand Final in three years. Hawthorn finished the H&A season Ranked No.1 in both Points scored & conceded, but the Dockers will be tough to defeat in front of an adoring crowd in Perth. This game appears to be set for a defensive struggle for the most part, Hawthorn only has a 10-15 (40%) record when scoring fewer than 100pts since the start of the 2013 Season and that plays right in to the hands of the Dockers. This is going to be a cracking game, it is not a bad option to be the contrarian punter in this game.

West Coast 2nd v Nth Melbourne 8th
Venue: Domain Stadium, Perth
2015 Head to Head record: West Coast 0-1 Nth Melbourne 1-0
Weather Forecast: Mostly Sunny, Min 10 Max 26


West Coast were not even considered a Premiership threat heading in to the start of the 2015 H&A Season, yet here they sit as an overwhelming favourite just one game away from making the Grand Final with a home Preliminary Final in Perth. Despite the heavy underdog tag this week, Nth Melbourne has been in the process of building this team for several years with several different game styles but in 2015 they seem to be quite well balanced in attacking & defending. West Coast were ranked second in scoring & fourth in points conceded for the 2015 H&A Season, the Eagles scored 100pts or more in 12 of 22 games this year which was 2nd only to Hawthorn. Nth Melbourne are going to have to be at their defensive best this week, the Kangaroos have conceded just 76.4pts from their last 11 games conceding 100pts only once during the same period. Only one travelling team to Perth has got within five goals of West Coast this year (R19 Loss to Hawthorn), all the big money will be for the Eagles which is likely to be proven correct.

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