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The final round of AFL is upon us. It’s a big week for many clubs, so we’ve provided our AFL Round 23 Prediction…
Sydney vs Hawthorn
Played at ANZ Stadium, the Swans have very little – if any – home ground advantage. The Swans also have a number of quality players like Goodes, Jetta, Reid and LRT unavailable due to injury. The Hawks have no real injury concerns and are starting to build before the finals. They’re peaking just in time for September. Hawthorn have been the form AFL side for the season, and should win up in Sydney. Hawthorn by 18 points.
St Kilda vs Fremantle
Fremantle have been fantastic. With a solid couple of weeks, and with Pavlich back in the side, the Dockers are looking really dangerous and are genuine contenders to win the premiership. The Saints had a good win against the Suns last week, but haven’t shown enough to suggest they will win this game. Even though it’s Stephen Milne and Justin Koschitzke’s last. And they both love Etihad! Fremantle by 24 points.
Geelong vs Brisbane
Last time these two sides met in Brisbane, the Lions won the game with a kick after the siren. With a top two position to play for, the Cats will not let that happen again. Expect the Cats to smash the Lions back in Victoria, especially leading into the finals. With Chapman back in the side, and dispatching the Swans last week, Geelong is in ominous form. Geelong by 30 points.
Port Adelaide vs Carlton
This should be one of the games of the round. Both sides will want to perform well. Carlton needs a win to ensure that the team sneaks into the top eight (after the Bombers drop out). Port Adelaide lost heavily to the Dockers last week at Patersons Stadium, and with an injury to the amazing Chad Wingard, it will make life difficult for the Power. Having said that, they have been proving pundits wrong all year. The last game at AAMI Stadium should be a genuine cracker, and hopefully the Power can get up. Port Adelaide by 2 points.
Essendon vs Richmond
Richmond had an easy win over the Giants last week. With no real injury concerns, and major excitement at making the finals for the first time in forever, the Tigers should be up and about. The Bombers surprised many last week, with a last gasp win over the Blues. With all of the action surrounding the club and its players, the Bombers are unlikely to get a win. But Richmond should be careful. Richmond by 12 points.
West Coast vs Adelaide
West Coast and Adelaide have both performed well below expectations this year. Patersons Stadium is no longer a fortress. Last week the Crows had a big win against the Demons, while West Coast were slaughtered by the Pies. On form, the Crows should get the win. But the Eagles might produce something special for what may be John Worsfold’s last game in charge. West Coast by 6 points.
Gold Coast vs Greater Western Sydney
The Giants were savaged by the Tigers last week. The Suns were beaten convincingly by the Saints. As a result, both sides are clearly out of form and desperate to finish the season. At home, the Suns should prove too strong though. Gold Coast by 12 points.
Collingwood vs North Melbourne
This should be a fantastic game, and will be played at the MCG. With a home ground advantage, the Pies should be favourites. Having said that, the Kangaroos have been in stellar form this season, and pushed the quality sides. If Port Adelaide beat Carlton, then the Kangaroos will be gagging for an upset. With everything to play for, expect a close and fantastic game – even at the MCG. North Melbourne by 2 points.
Western Bulldogs vs Melbourne
The Bulldogs have been one of the forms sides in the past month, with several good wins. The Demons have been pretty consistently bad. Expect another win for the Dogs at Etihad. Western Bulldogs by 24 points.