Under-siege Richmond have reacted to last week’s third AFL loss of the season by dropping key forward Ty Vickery for tonight’s clash with Brisbane at the Gabba.
Richmond have recalled Ricky Petterd to shake up their forward line which coach Damien Hardwick says was cumbersome in last week’s loss to Collingwood.
The last-placed Lions have made three changes including the axing of Ryan Harwood.
Matthew Leuenberger and Pearce Hanley have joined Brisbane’s injury list.
The match starts a long weekend of football that ends with the match of thr opund late Monday afternoon – unbeaten sides Geelong and Hawthorn are expected to deliver another classic.
Brisbane v Richmond at Gabba 7.20pm
Head to Head: Lions 16 Tigers 22 drawn 1
Last clash: Round 20 2013 – Tigers 14.13 (97) bt Lions 11.8 (74) at MCG
Tab Sportsbet: Lions $3.75 Tigers $1.28
Sportingbet: Lions $4.10 Tigers $1.25
With a 1-3 start to the season and tough games to come against unbeaten Hawthorn and Geelong, Richmond desperately need to get back on track with a victory against the bottom side. Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has lost patience with Ty Vickery, dropping the key forward. Brisbane are lacking firepower without injured trio Daniel Rich, Pearce Hanley and Matthew Leuenberger.
Key: Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin can be expected to bounce back from a 13-possession game against Collingwood with a big performance at the Gabba.
Tip: Tigers by 38 points
Collingwood v North Melbourne at MCG 1.10pm
Head to Head: Magpies 103 Kangaroos 50 drawn 2
Last clash: Round 23 2013 – Kangaroos 19.11 (125) bt Magpies 17.12 (114) at MCG
Tab Sportsbet: Magpies $1.82 Kangaroos $2.00
Sportingbet: Magpies $1.83 Kangaroos $2.00
North Melbourne are shooting for a fourth win on the trot, having earned plenty of plaudits for their upset win over Sydney in the wet last Sunday. The potential return of Jack Ziebell from injury would only enhance their chances of toppling Collingwood.
Key: Travis Cloke has been down on form and could well be manned by Scott Thompson, who held superstar Lance Franklin goalless last week. Can Cloke rediscover his best?
Tip: Kangaroos by 4 points
Sydney v Fremantle at SCG 4.10pm
Head to Head: Swans 14 Dockers 12 drawn 1
Last clash: Finals Week 3 2013 – Dockers 14.15 (99) bt Swans 11.8 (74) at Patersons Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Swans $2.15 Dockers $1.70
Sportingbet: Swans $2.20 Dockers $1.68
Questions are being asked of the Swans in a way they haven’t in a very long time. Even premiership coach John Longmire hasn’t been immune from criticism. Fremantle have lost one of their past four games at the SCG and will be boosted by the return of onballer Nat Fyfe from suspension.
Key: Kurt Tippett is over the worst of a knee injury and could play his first game of the year. With or without Tippett in their forward line, the Swans need to do a lot better than the 6.12 (48) they managed against North last week.
Tip: Swans by 7 points
West Coast v Port Adelaide at Patersons Stadium 7.10pm
Head to Head: Eagles 9 Power 16
Last clash: Round 5 2013 – Power 12.12 (84) bt Eagles 10.19 (79) at AAMI Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Eagles $1.90 Power $1.90
Sportingbet: Eagles $1.82 Power $2.00
West Coast have a golden chance to show a 75-point belting in Geelong was not a fair representation of an otherwise positive start to the season. Nic Naitanui is in doubt but they’re set to regain captain Darren Glass (hip), midfielder Matt Rosa (illness) and Luke Shuey (suspension) for the clash with in-form Port Adelaide.
Key: Port kicked 24 goals against Brisbane, including seven from Jay Schulz. The Eagles were scored against far too freely by the Cats last week and can’t afford a repeat here.
Tip: Power by 11 points
Essendon v St Kilda at Etihad Stadium 7.10pm
Head to Head: Bombers 139 Saints 64 drawn 4
Last clash: Round 4 2013 – Bombers 19.14 (128) bt Saints 13.13 (91) at Etihad Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Bombers $1.09 Saints $7.50
Sportingbet: Bombers $1.09 Saints $8.00
David Myers, ruckman Patrick Ryder and veterans Dustin Fletcher and Paul Chapman are likely to return in a match Essendon are expected to win comfortably.
Key: A six-day break after playing in the heat of Perth will hamper the Bombers. How will they handle the short turnaround and virus that made its way through the club earlier this week?
Tip: Bombers by 21 points
Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval 12.40pm
Head to Head: Crows 3 Giants 0
Last clash: Round 7 2013 – Crows 29.13 (187) bt Giants 7.10 (52) at Spotless Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Crows $1.14 Giants $5.75
Sportingbet: Crows $1.18 Giants $4.75
Adelaide rediscovered their mojo in an 86-point mauling of the Saints and should account for the Giants. Tom Lynch, who could return from a shoulder injury this weekend, kicked 10 goals in his most recent outing against GWS.
Key: GWS faded late in last week’s loss to the Western Bulldogs and lost the battle in the middle, with ruckman Shane Mumford sorely missed. How are they going to cut off the supply to the Crows’ forward line?
Tip: Crows by 25 points
Melbourne v Gold Coast at MCG 3.20pm
Head to Head: Demons 3 Suns 2
Last clash: Round 20 2013 – Suns 13.12 (90) bt Demons 10.17 (77) at Metricon Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Demons $3.75 Suns $1.28
Sportingbet: Demons $3.40 Suns $1.32
Just how woeful was Carlton’s loss to Melbourne? This might be answered when Gold Coast travel to the MCG. The Suns were brought back to earth by reigning premiers Hawthorn last weekend, but are still favourites to down the Demons.
Key: The last time Gary Ablett played against Melbourne at the MCG, he was typically magnificent – tallying 38 disposals, six tackles and three Brownlow votes. How do the Dees stop another masterclass from the Suns’ skipper?
Tip: Suns by 14 points
Western Bulldogs v Carlton at Etihad Stadium 4.10pm
Head to Head: Bulldogs 50 Blues 86 drawn 4
Last clash: Round 20 2013 – Bulldogs 16.21 (117) bt Blues 13.11 (89) at Etihad Stadium
Tab Sportsbet: Bulldogs $1.55 Blues $2.45
Sportingbet: Bulldogs $1.54 Blues $2.50
The downward spiral of coach Mick Malthouse’s Carlton has been big news, as last year’s semi-finalists try to sound positive after a winless four rounds. Losing to Melbourne has sparked headlines about everything from skipper Marc Murphy’s leadership style to the future of chief executive Greg Swann. Despite losing key defender Dale Morris because of suspension, the Bulldogs are favoured with the bookies to extend their winning run to three matches.
Key: Carlton kicked only seven goals last week, but the possible inclusions of key forward Jarrad Waite and dual Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd would instantly give the Blues a marking target up forward and another classy midfielder to take some of the pressure off Murphy.
Tip: Blues by 9 points
Geelong v Hawthorn at MCG 2.40pm
Head to Head: Cats 84 Hawks 68 drawn 1
Last clash: Finals Week 3 2013 – Hawks 14.18 (102) bt Cats 15.7 (97) at MCG
Tab Sportsbet: Cats $2.45 Hawks $1.55
Sportingbet: Cats $2.45 Hawks $1.56
Geelong coach Chris Scott says the rivalry between these two sides is one of the great times in AFL history. The Hawks have won two of their past 13 clashes with Geelong: the 2008 grand final and last year’s preliminary final. Scott says his men love the big occasion and, with both sides unbeaten after four rounds, this should be another memorable encounter. Ben Stratton is a possible inclusion to bolster Hawthorn’s backline against the threat posed by big forward Tom Hawkins.
Key: Hawthorn boast a strong midfield but they’ll need to shut down the creative genius of Geelong’s Steve Johnson who is averaging 31.25 possessions per game. Will Langford is a tagging option to play on Johnson, who also has the ability to self-destruct by trying to pull off risky manoeuvres with the ball in hand.
Tip: Hawks by 8 points
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