Note: All win probabilities brought to you by Stats Insider.
Geelong (29%) vs Richmond (71%)
MCG, 7:50pm (AEST), Friday September 20
Cats Team News: Geelong have the biggest selection headaches of any team this week, with Tom Hawkins’ one-week ban set to shake up the Cats’ forward line. Murmurs around Lachie Henderson’s inclusion despite going goalless for two years. Wylie Buzza is the other key position player to consider, but it’s seemingly looking like a smaller type who will get the chance and Patrick Dangerfield spending more time up forward.
If this is the case, we could see one of Scott Selwood, James Parsons or Charlie Constable welcomed back. Geelong fans are hoping Gary Rohan can be fit, but hasn’t entered full training at the Cattery this week.
Tigers Team News: The Tigers look to be settling into September okay, with not many injuries to speak of. Sydney Stack’s an outside chance to play in the VFL Grand Final this weekend, while both Connor Menadue and Marlon Pickett have done everything possible to receive a surprise call up. No change expected.
Last Time They Met: Round 12, 2019: Geelong defeated Richmond by 67 points at the MCG.
Key Player for Geelong: Patrick Dangerfield – This game has a P.Dangerfield master class written all over it. Is this the week Dangerfield cements his spot as one of the greatest of the modern era? He’ll have to do it all to advance – a 30-disposal, three-goal special is what’s required.
Key Player for Richmond: Dylan Grimes – The player that will likely get Dangerfield when he wanders inside fwd50, Grimes has had a sublime year and he’ll look to finish in style. The All-Australian defender is a key cornerstone to the way Richmond both attack and defend. Has the ability to shut down any small, including Dahlhaus, Ablett or Miers.
Prediction: Will the week off sting the Tigers? They’re too good a team to let that happen, safe bet. Tigers by 9.
Collingwood (73%) vs Greater Western Sydney (27%)
MCG, 4.35pm (AEST), Saturday September 21
Magpies Team News: With club icons Levi Greenwood and Jordan De Goey sidelined, there’s an opportunity for two players to come in and help deliver their side a second consecutive Grand Final appearance. South-Aussie James Aish seems likely to replace Greenwood, while both Matt Scharenberg and Ben Reid might make some magnets move during the week. Bringing in September specialist Travis Varcoe for De Goey could prove a match-winner, but Reid makes more sense from a structural perspective.
Giants Team News: This week has transitioned from bad to worse for GWS, but rule them out at your own peril. Both Lachie Whitfield (appendicitis) and Toby Greene (suspension) are near-impossible to replace, but Ian “Bobby” Hill has finals fever in his bloodlines, and could set the ‘G alight. If they planned on having Whitfield down back, then Isaac Cumming seems the like for like but don’t be surprised if there’s a left field selection.
Last Time They Met: Round 18, 2019 – Giants beat Magpies by 47 points at Giants Stadium.
Key Player for Collingwood: Taylor Adams – Thrives in big games. Will enjoy facing his old club and his first term will no doubt set the tone of the game. Adams is a tackling beast who’s worked hard on his offensive skill set during his time with Collingwood.
Key Player for GWS: Jeremy Finlayson – With heavy attention expected to be put on Coleman medalist Jeremy Cameron, there’s his same-name counterpart who has kicked at least one goal a week since round 13. A season/finals tally of 42 goals makes Finlayson a threat, and could stretch the Magpies defence if both him and Cameron are at their best.
Prediction: Expecting the Grand Final all Victorians are ready for, while Giants will hope to catch the opposition off guard after a drama-filled week in West Sydney. Magpies by 10.