The Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats will face in what is arguably the most even match up for an AFL Grand Final of recent memory.
Richmond goes into this vying for the club’s third premiership in four years and cementing themselves a dynasty.
There’s no doubting that this Tigers team is a force to be reckoned with.
Having beaten every top side at some stage during the season, they were just pipped against the Lions in week one but got on the job against the Saints and saw out a heavyweight bout last Friday night against the Power.
For Geelong, the Cats have been a club with plenty of frequent flyer points when it comes to finals footy but struggled to get an upgrade for what people love to refer to as “the big dance”.
The Cats have been a consistent and mighty force for the good part of 12 years.
This is their first GF in nine years, having been eliminated in four prelims but they busted the door down with an emphatic win over the Lions last Saturday.
It also presents a chance for the likes of Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood, Harry Taylor, Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield a final chance at either one more/their first premiership.
— AFL (@AFL) October 17, 2020
After everything that 2020 has thrown up at footy and society in general, the fact we’ve even reached the point where the season will conclude with an AFL Grand Final is an achievement within itself.
It’s somewhat ironic that the first Grand Final in Queensland will be an all-Victorian affair and given the horrible year that our friends down south have had to endure, having the Tigers and Cats really go to show that the Big V still reigns supreme when it comes to football.
Despite some naysayers and doubts during the season shut down, there’s no asterisk about this premiership.
Who's ready for the battle of the felines? 🐯🐱https://t.co/dUtiyWLgFn
— AFL (@AFL) October 17, 2020
Whoever takes out the 2020 premiership cup will have won the most hard-fought, most-extreme circumstances ever placed and this flag will forever be remembered as one of the greatest – no matter the outcome.
Tipping a winner in this contest is hard, but we reckon we’ve found some great value bets for the 2020 AFL Grand Final in our tips and preview
As mentioned in our introduction, this is quite possibly the most evenly matched Grand Final matchup in recent years.
If anything it’s the fairest Grand Final we’ve seen since the last all non-Victorian GF between the Swans and Eagles back in 2006, and if it’s anything like those classic games we’re in for an absolute treat.
Two teams from Victoria, meeting in Queensland for an AFL Grand Final – the Switzerland Premiership, completely neutral.
However, it’s worth factoring that Geelong has won all five matches they’ve played at the Gabba this season by a considerable margin, whereas the Tigers are two from three – both of those wins you would consider to be below par for Richmond along with going down to the Lions in the first week of the finals.
Richmond also opted to play their “home” semi-final at Metricon Stadium, make of that what you will.
At the time of publishing, Richmond is the $1.80 favourites, Geelong $2.10 and Tom Hawkins has missed out on Cats training for the most 2020 of reasons – a sore throat.
The two sides met not so long ago, back in Round 17 at Metricon Stadium when Richmond blew Geelong out of the water, making a statement with an emphatic 26 point win, and quite possibly more had the Tigers kicked straight, however, Jack Riewoldt was back to his best with four goals.
Richmond also held Geelong to only one goal up until three-quarter time, and despite a minor scare from the Cats in the last quarter – Richmonds intense pressure in a very low scoring game was arguably the Tigers finest win in season 2020.
Throughout the week, we can offer you $1.01 that you’ll hear the phrase “chaos vs control” being uttered when it comes to the matchup between these two sides.
While it’s becoming a cliche, it’s also very true.
Richmond has been all about keeping the footy moving up forward and seeing the Tigers outnumbered on the ground has been a rare sight over the past four years.
— Richmond FC 🐯🏆 (@Richmond_FC) October 19, 2020
Geelong, on the other hand, can sometimes be a very defensive team, don’t mind a bit of that chip-chip keepings-off style of play ensuring the game is played on their terms.
Once the Cats are in control, they are a dangerous force and are prone to deliver some beltings to their opposition.
— Michael Willson (@MichaelCWillson) October 17, 2020
On Saturday night, we will witness two star-studded and well-drilled football teams go at it, both of whom will be incredibly worthy of taking out the 2020 AFL Premiership – arguably the hardest to win of all time.
Will there be the Tiger Dynasty cemented or will the Cats fairytale, especially in the case of Gary Ablett and Patrick Dangerfield.
Picking a winner is bloody hard, and on a personal note for this writer, I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
Anyone who has read my writing here on the Neds blog, social media or knows me is fully aware I am a card-carrying high-ranking member of the Richmond FC one-eyed nuffie club.
If I tip Richmond, I’m seen as biased.
If I tip Geelong, I’m either using reverse-psychology, scared or going against my own team which is sacrilege.
First and foremost, I’m for the punters and I want to ensure the punters back a winner in the Grand Final this Saturday.
I am of a firm belief that if both sides bring their A-game (which they will), it will go down to the wire.
That is why I’m going with the tri-bet 1-15 point market for either team to win by 15.5 or less at a good value price of $2.15
I know it’s an each-way bet and perhaps a coward’s way out, however, you all won’t be complaining when the final siren sounds and either Richmond or Geelong are crowned premiers winning one of the great Grand Finals by under 15.5 points.
This highly sought after betting market has become somewhat of a poisoned-chalice – so punter beware!
The past seven first goal kickers in the AFL Grand Final have been from the team that goes on to lose.
All I can recommend in this market is to back the story not the stats.
So for what it’s worth, I’m backing the fairytale start – Gary Ablett Junior in his last game to kick the first goal of the Grand Final.
2️⃣ crucial goals
7️⃣ score involvements
— AFL (@AFL) October 17, 2020
The Little Master was sensational last week against the Lions giving those little bursts of football brilliance that only Gazza can.
Cats fans can hope it’s the start of a fairytale premiership and the Tiger Army can look to the statistical data.
Yet again, I’m going with a sentimental bet for the Norm Smith.
There are many who would argue that Bachar Houli has been robbed of winning the Norm Smith Medal in both 2017 and 2019.
However, being runner up to Dustin Martin is nothing to be sneezed (into your elbow) at.
Houli, who is not only a superstar footballer but a truly outstanding human, has had to go through a lot this season.
The Tiger veteran didn’t play his first game until June 11 when the season resumed due to a calf injury and was late into the Tigers Queensland hub when he stayed back for the birth of his third child along revealing that his mother was in the intensive care unit with the coronavirus.
Houli returned to the Richmond lineup in Round 13, played every game since and has been a star performer for the Tigers week after week.
On Brownlow Medal night, he was awarded the Jim Stynes community leadership award and already has a reputation for bringing his absolute best on Grand Final day.
If the Norm Smith is to be awarded to a Richmond player, perhaps it’s time for Bachar to take the stage.
Bachar Houli wins Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award
What a great man 🙏 pic.twitter.com/HtfSW9H2wc
— 7AFL (@7AFL) October 18, 2020