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Now that we’re at the pointy end of the 2013 AFL Season games are more important than ever to win for teams that hope to play some serious finals football. Here is our AFL Round 21 Prediction.
Hawthorn vs Collingwood
Match of the round, with two of the best performing teams playing each other on a Friday night. Hawthorn had a solid win against the terrible Saints and a recent shock loss to the Tigers, while the Pies have destroyed the Bombers and the Swans (at the SCG) in recent weeks. This should be a great game with tough, uncompromising football. As the Hawks have played more consistently this year, they should get the win. But expect a tight contest. Hawthorn by 6 points.
Richmond vs Carlton
This should be another good match between bitter rivals. The Tigers have claimed some decent scalps in the last few weeks, with Hawthorn and a good Brisbane outfit. Carlton dropped games against Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs in successive weeks and need this game to have any chance of playing some decent football and finals. With a number of key injuries, and perhaps a focus on the off-season already, Carlton should not be tipped against the good sides. Richmond by 24 points.
Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast
Port Adelaide have been a very good AFL side this year, surprising many people. With a number of excellent wins, and performing particularly strongly at home, it will prove a difficult task for the Suns. Gold Coast have also performed well this season, but are not yet a good travelling side. In addition, they are getting weary at the end of the season with plenty of young players. Port Adelaide by 18 points.
Essendon vs North Melbourne
Do not tip the Bombers to win another game this season. They are done. North lost against Adelaide last week, but they are still playing some decent football. Essendon is not. They have been smashed by Hawthorn, Collingwood and West Coast in successive weeks and face a terrible week off the field as well. It seems likely that they are done for this season (and they may also get their premiership points taken as well). North Melbourne by 30 points.
Brisbane vs Greater Western Sydney
Brisbane have been playing well lately, and almost snuck a win against the Tigers last week. Meanwhile the Giants are still the worst (or second worst) team in the competition with only one win. While Jeremy Cameron is a champion already, they are still only good for three quarters. Which isn’t enough against the Lions. Brisbane by 24 points.
West Coast vs Geelong
West Coast are bubbling along quite nicely despite their issues throughout the season. With a big win against the Bombers in Melbourne last week, they will have plenty of confidence. The Eagles are also starting to get a couple of decent players back on the field and into form. The Cats are playing very well and despite a hiccup in Round 19 they beat a good Port Adelaide side last week. These two sides will push each other, and with the game over in the west it should be quite close. As Geelong has a top two position to play for, they should have the drive to get the job done. Geelong by 6 points.
Melbourne vs Fremantle
Melbourne is probably the worst team in the AFL competition at the moment, while Fremantle is probably the best. Even though this game is played at the MCG, Fremantle will win. Many people are tipping the Dockers could get the flag this season, which shows the improvement that they’ve had under Ross Lyon. Fremantle by 48 points.
Sydney vs St Kilda
Sydney are still one of the best sides, despite a big loss to the Pies in Sydney last week. With a top four side to play for, they will want the win. St Kilda are still pretty average and won’t trouble any of the good sides. Sydney by 30 points.
Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide
The Bulldogs have played well recently, notching wins against the Blues and the Eagles. Not such a basket case after all! Adelaide had a good win over the Kangaroos last week and have begun to play some excellent football. Both sides are young, and this should be a good solid game full of tough players. Adelaide by 12 points.