AFL Round 6 Preview

The Western Bulldogs have the opportunity to keep Carlton on the bottom of the AFL ladder when they clash at Etihad Stadium.

The Cats will be looking to continue their winning ways when they take on the Swans and the Kangaroos can take a giant leap into cementing their position in the top half of the eight when they clash with Port Adelaide.

The Giants will look to flex their premiership credentials when they host the winless Lions in Sydney.

Collingwood takes on the premiers in a blockbuster at the MCG and the Dockers will look to top the Eagles in the Western Derby in Perth. 

 

Western Bulldogs v Carlton
Western Bulldogs to cover the line (-16.5 points)

While both of these sides are languishing at the foot of the AFL ladder, we should see some competitive football on a dry track at Etihad Stadium.

The Blues promised so much in the opening round of the season with an attacking brand of football against the premiers.

The Bulldogs have shown signs over the last two rounds that they are returning to the form that saw them claim the premiership in 2016.

Carlton has struggled to get on the board this season and pushed the Eagles last round at the MCG, while the Dogs were overwhelmed by the Dockers in Perth.

The Western Bulldogs have won their last three clashes with Carlton and Blues coach Brendon Bolton is yet to taste victory over the Dogs.

This is one of the more difficult games to tip this week from a betting perspective but the Bulldogs record over the Blues is enough to give them the edge in what should be an entertaining contest. The Dogs should be able to run out two goal winners against an improving Carlton side.

Geelong v Sydney
Geelong to win ($1.40)

The Swans have defeated Geelong in their last two visits to GMHBA stadium and will be wanting to rebound from the disappointment of the round five loss to the Crows at home. The Swans will be without Lance Franklin and Dan Hanneberry who are both sidelined with injury.

The Swans were poor last week against the Crows, with Sydney’s much-vaunted midfield guilty of some poor disposals.

The Cats were outstanding in a gritty performance against the Power at the Adelaide Oval. Sydney will need to keep a tight leash on the Cats star duo of Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield.

Dangerfield spent a large time of the game up forward against Port Adelaide and was instrumental in the Cats pulling away for the win. The Swans have the advantage around the centre of the park but giving Sydney’s terrible form at home last week, the Cats will start warm favourites.

The absence of Franklin is a major blow to the Swans and the Cats will be too good on their home track.

North Melbourne v Port Adelaide
North Melbourne to win ($2.60)

The Power were unbeaten over the opening three weeks of the competition and are now are staring at the possibility of three consecutive defeats against a resurgent Kangaroos side.

North Melbourne were tipped by many league pundits to end up with the wooden spoon, given the state of their ageing list but surprisingly find themselves in fourth position on the ladder, six weeks into the competition.

The Power have continued to struggle across the midfield without All Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder. Port Adelaide face another tough assignment with Todd Goldstein enjoying a renaissance this season.

The Roos hardness across the midfield and their ability to make the most of contested possession will make it a tough day at the office for the Power. Port Adelaide haven’t dropped three consecutive games since Round 20 in 2016 and they’ll need to rediscover their attacking mojo to get the edge over the Kangaroos. Goldstein’s service to his midfield looms as a major factor and North Melbourne should be able to continue their good run at Etihad Stadium.

Greater Western Sydney v Brisbane
GWS to beat the line (-38.5 points)

After scrapping to the first draw of the season against the Saints, the Giants return home for the first time this season and expect them to put on a performance against the winless Brisbane Lions.

While the Lions remain winless for the season, they’ve managed to make a good account of themselves with their worst performance coming against Richmond in Melbourne.

The Giants welcome back Jonathan Patton, Toby Greene and Jeremy Cameron and there should be plenty of opportunities on offer for the trio if the Giants can execute the basics.

The Giants have an imposing record at Spotless Stadium, winning 13 of their last 18 games since 2016. GWS have won their last four games against Brisbane and should have no issues taming the Queensland side. Brisbane for all of their improvement this season haven’t beaten the Giants since round 21 2013 at the Gabba.

Expect the Lions to stick with the GWS for the first quarter before the Giants kick away for a massive win.

Hawthorn v St Kilda
Hawthorn to beat the line (-18.5 points)

The Hawks have taken a few hits to their line-up this week with James Sicily set for an extended spell on the sidelines after being hit for a suspension for an incident in the clash with the Kangaroos.

Hawks midfielder Tom Mitchell keeps his Brownlow hopes intact after being fined for a dust-up against the Kangaroos.

The Saints coach Alan Richardson will take some heart from his side’s performance against the Giants. St Kilda have struggled in front of goal this season, kicking only 45 goals in the opening five rounds, putting them in the bottom half of the ladder.

The Hawks have an imposing record in Tasmania and will be difficult to beat in the Apple Isle. North Melbourne showed that once Jaeger O’Meara and Mitchell are shut out of the contest, the Hawks struggle to fire. Hawthorn will be out to improve on the slow starts that have plagued them this season and should run out comfortable winners by three goals.

Adelaide Crows v Gold Coast Suns
Adelaide to cover the line (-47.5 points)

The Crows absolutely dominated a Sydney side last round that had no appetite for a physical contest.

On paper, this should be an easy win for Adelaide, but the Suns have shown some real desire and self-belief, after spending the majority of the competition on the road due to the Commonwealth Games.

The Suns have lost their last ten games against the Crows and this clash represents a real opportunity for the Gold Coast to show that they can be competitive in the competition and in the process keep their hands-on star, Tom Lynch. The Suns have lost their last three games at Adelaide Oval and six of these have been by more than 50-points.

The Crows have all the answers across the midfield and the assignment at the Adelaide Oval may be too much for the Suns.

The Crows should run out comfortable winners in what looms as an entertaining contest.

Essendon v Melbourne
Melbourne to win ($1.75)

This looms as a clash that could define the season for the winner, with both of these sides coming off big Anzac Day losses.

These two sides have shown plenty of promise in the offseason but have failed to deliver across the opening rounds of the competition and a loss for either side will make it difficult for them to claw their way into finals contention.

Essendon were ordinary against an average Collingwood side and with the talent, at their disposal, they should, in reality, be a top-eight side.

The Bombers have failed to make significant dents on the scoreboard that would be a marquee side under pressure, while the Demons have simply lacked maturity across the opening rounds of the competition.

If the Bombers are to be a chance, then Joe Daniher needs to start producing the type of form that had him earmarked as the next superstar at Windy Hill. The Demons got the win in the corresponding fixture last season and will bounce back from their Anzac Day loss by grinding down Essendon for a respectable two-goal victory.

Collingwood v Richmond
Richmond to win ($1.50)

This match-up at the MCG looms as a fascinating clash between two sides coming off major wins last round.

Collingwood have been able to turn a corner and claimed victories against the Crows and Essendon in the last two weeks.

The premiers have their claws into top spot on the AFL ladder and are looking to claim twelve successive wins at the spiritual home of football and create a record that hasn’t been broken since the 1974/75 season.

This clash will be won across the midfield with some exciting match-ups on offer. Mason Cox returned to form last week against the Bombers and the ruckman’s contribution will be vital if the Pies are to cause a major upset.

Collingwood haven’t won four consecutive games since 2015 and will be looking to reverse a losing trend to the Tigers, who have won their last four games against the Pies. Richmond have become the masters of the pressure game and they’ll simply have too much class for a Collingwood side moving in an upward trajectory.

Fremantle Dockers v West Coast Eagles
Eagles to win ($1.65)

The first Western Derby of the season at Optus Oval promises to be a spiteful affair, with both clubs trading barbs this week over the after-match presentation.

The Dockers are pencilled in as the host club and the first match at Optus Oval should break the attendance record between these two sides.

No one expected the Eagles to be sitting in second place on the ladder at this stage of the season and they’ll be wanting to cement their place in the top half of the competition with a commanding performance.

The Eagles possess one of the best attacks in the competition, and spearhead Josh Kennedy is within sight of Peter Sumich’s goal-kicking record for the club.

The Dockers are a different beast at home at Optus Oval and with Fremantle skipper Nate Fyfe returning to form, the Dockers are every chance of reversing their five-match streak to their cross-town rivals. The Eagles have more options across the forward line and they’ll be able to run out winners in a tightly fought contest.