AFL Round 19 Preview
AFL round 19 should be a scintillating one. The main focus is on the Tigers and Magpies clash this Saturday. The pressure is on the Power and Swans, who have been disappointing of late despite both being a chance of finishing in the top four, so the two respective teams have a point to prove. The Blues, Saints and Bulldogs all need to be competitive to give their fans something to cheer about. It should be intriguing to see which teams will be written about at the completion of the round as the weekend of footy being played should be interesting.
My choice of a definite winner for this Round: Tigers
Bombers v Swans
The Bombers have been in good form of recent times, while the Swans have lost three of their last four games.
Key matchup: Michael Hurley v Lance Franklin
Bombers Game Changer: Zach Merrett
Swans Game Changer: Luke Parker
My Prediction: Bombers
Tigers v Magpies
This should be the game of the round. ‘Should’ being the operative word.
Key matchup: Toby Nankervis v Brodie Grundy
Tigers Game Changer: Kane Lambert
Magpies Game Changer: Josh Thomas
My Prediction: Tigers
Cats v Lions
The Cats probably didn’t deserve to win against the Demons last weekend, while the Lions narrowly lost to a much improved Crows outfit. The Cats should be too good in this one.
Key matchup: Rhys Stanley v Stefan Martin
Cats Game Changer: Sam Menegola
Lions Game Changer: Alex Witherden
My Prediction: Cats
Giants v Saints
The Giants have been much improved of late, funnily enough since they have lost their two key forwards in Jeremy Cameron through suspension and Jonathon Patton due to injury, they are definitely a better side with Josh Kelly returning to it from injury though. That may be the case, but I’m expecting the Saints to replicate the form that they showed in the second half in round 18 against the Tigers, the standout team in the competition.
Key matchup: Josh Kelly v Jack Steven
Giants Game Changer: Josh Kelly
Saints Game Changer: Jack Steven
My Prediction: Saints
Suns v Blues
On paper this is a boring game as both teams are languishing at the bottom, but life and sport isn’t played on paper!
Key matchup: Lachie Weller v Marc Murphy
Suns Game Changer: Jarrod Witts
Blues Game Changer: Patrick Cripps
My Prediction: Suns
Crows v Demons
The Crows are a better side since their better players have returned from injury, while the Demons were outstanding in round 18, in spite of losing the game; they may have lost some morale due to the lack of reward for effort.
Key matchup: Sam Jacobs v Max Gawn
Crows Game Changer: Rory Sloane
Demons Game Changer: Angus Brayshaw
My Prediction: Crows
Kangaroos v Eagles
The Kangaroos may have been poor last weekend, but I expect them to bounce back against the Eagles.
Key matchup: Shaun Higgins v Andrew Gaff
Kangaroos Game Changer: Todd Goldstein
Eagles Game Changer: Andrew Gaff
My Prediction: Kangaroos
Bulldogs v Power
Both of these teams have been poor of late, so this is a difficult game to pick a winner in. The Bulldogs will be boosted by the return of Marcus Bontempelli
Key matchup: Mitch Wallis v Brad Ebert
Bulldogs Game Changer: Josh Dunkley
Power Game Changer: Tom Rockliff
My Prediction: Bulldogs
Dockers v Hawks
The Hawks need to win this to be a chance of playing finals, while the Dockers have little to play for with a top eight spot out of their reach.
Key matchup: Michael Walters v Tom Mitchell
Dockers Game Changer: Lachie Neale
Hawks Game Changer: Ricky Henderson
My Prediction: Hawks