Last week: 9
Collingwood V Richmond
MCG, Friday, April 1, 7.50pm AEDT
Both these sides will have something to prove this week, with the Pies copping it left, right and center after a horrid first round performance against Sydney. Meanwhile, Richmond got the four points against Carlton, but it was hardly convincing.
The Tigers have won the past two against the Pies, including a 91-point thumping in Round 21 last season.
Collingwood will no doubt put in a better display than last week, but the Tigers should be too strong once again
Collingwood will be missing Jarrod Witts (Hand), Steele Sidebottom (Suspension) and Dane Swan (Foot), while Brayden Maynard has been omitted. Richmond has recalled Taylor Hunt, while Shaun Grigg returns from injury and Jayden Short comes in for his debut. Steven Morris (Omitted), Daniel Rioli (Leg) and Shane Edwards (Hand) are all out.
Prediction: Richmond by 24
Adelaide V Port Adelaide
Adelaide Oval, Saturday, April 2, 1.15pm ACDT
The traditional Showdown promises to be another classic. Port grabbed the four points over the Saints last week, but were pushed all the way in the opening three quarters, while the Crows suffered a narrow loss to last season’s preliminary finalists, North Melbourne.
The Power have some huge outs to contend with, in Jay Schulz, Hamish Hartlett and Matthew White, who are all out injured.
Adelaide may have lost in Round 1, but coughed up a 24-point lead to hand the Kangaroos victory and enjoyed some impressive patches of play before being overrun.
The Crows will be keen to make amends and could do so this week against an injury hit Power.
Port Adelaide lead the head to head between the two sides 21-18.
Prediction: Adelaide by 12
Essendon V Melbourne
MCG, Saturday, April 2, 2.10pm AEDT
Essendon was belted by the Suns last week in what is sure to be a sign of things to come this season. Melbourne on the other hand produced an impressive final term surge to defeat the Giants by just two points.
The Demons are playing with new found confidence and flair and should comfortably get the job done against the Dons.
Heriter Lumumba and Angus Brayshaw return for the Dees.
Prediction: Melbourne by 54
Brisbane V North Melbourne
The Gabba, Saturday, April 2, 3.35pm AEST
The Lions were gallant last week against the Eagles and even manged to help themselves to 15 goals. However, they still lost by 64 points to a very well drilled West Coast side.
North Melbourne has won seven of the past 10 matches against the Lions, including four wins by over 60 points.
The Roos are aiming to win their first two games to start a season for the first time since 2005.
Prediction: North Melbourne by 30
St Kilda V Western Bulldogs
Etihad Stadium, Saturday, April 2, 7.25pm AEDT
The Saints were impressive for three quarters against Port, before falling away in the last.
If the Saints were impressive, then the Western Bulldogs were out of this world. Many had predicted the Dogs to be one hit wonders and fall away after a stunning rise up the ladder last season. However, they young pups show no signs of slowing down, recording a thumping 65-point win over last season’s minor premiers, Fremantle.
They will prove too strong for St Kilda, but the Saints will be sure to put in a spirited performance for skipper Nick Riewoldt’s 300th match.
Prediction: Western Bulldogs by 28
Fremantle V Gold Coast
Domain Stadium, Saturday, April 2, 4.40pm AWST
Fremantle will be seething after a horror defeat last week and Ross Lyon will have his charges chomping at the bit to make amends.
The Sun have never won at Domain Stadium, losing seven from seven, including two matches by over 70 points.
Ross Lyon has never lost the opening two games of a season as an AFL coach and the Dockers have not lost their first two games to start a season since 2009.
It is a huge game for both sides. The Suns need to win or at least go very very close to winning against a clearly out of sorts Dockers’ side if they want to prove to the rest of the competition that they have what it takes to push for a maiden finals birth.
For the Dockers, it is simply a must win game if they want to stay atop of the chasing pack and prove they are not on the slide, after three years in the top four.
Prediction: Fremantle by 18
GWS V Geelong
Manuka Oval, Sunday, 1.10pm AEST
Geelong showed on Easter Monday the heavy off-season recruiting spree may well pay off, with superb debuts from Patrick Dangerfield and Zac Smith, while defender Lachie Henderson slotted into the Cats’ back six and played his role with aplomb.
Will Hoskin-Elliot, Jon Patton and Stephen Coniglio have all been added to the extended 25-man squad for the Giants, who will be keen to ensure they put in a four quarter effort this week against the Cats.
However, it will matter little against a red hot Geelong side, led by a fiercely determined Patrick Dangerfield in the midfield.
After 253 games, three premierships and a Norm Smith Medal, Steve Johnson plays his first game against his former club and will be keen to prove his doubters wrong, who said his time was up when he was moved on from the Cattery.
The Cats have never lost to the Giants.
Prediction: Geelong by 22
Hawthorn V West Coast
MCG, Sunday, April 3, 3.20pm AEST
Another match that promises to be an absolute thriller in Round 2. Hawthorn will field a very different side to the one that defeated the Eagles in the grand final last season due to several key injuries and retirements. West Coast have injury problems of their own as well, but showed last week that their depth and game plan is good enough to cover the gaps.
But this week they will face a far stiffer opposition that the Lions.
The Hawks were clearly not at their best last week and will have to be if they want to avoid a 0-2 start to 2016. They did show a glimpse of what they can do in the third quarter against the Cats however, coming back from five goals down to lead at the final change.
West Coast do have to travel though, which may just swing the match in Hawthorn’s favour and we’re tipping the reigning champs to bounce back.
Hawthorn has won four of the past five matches against the Eagles.
Prediction: Hawthorn by 6
Carlton V Sydney
Etihad Stadium, Sunday, April 3, 4.40pm AEST
Carlton was gallant in defeat last week and won many admirers and also gave fans cause for optimism in the years to come.
But come Sunday afternoon, Sydney will do a number on the visitors and give Brendon Bolton the blues for two hours at Etihad Stadium.
Lance Franklin kicked seven goals last time the two sides met and he could be in for another big night after a solid return in his first game back last week after taking time away from the game last season to deal with mental health issues.
The Swans have won their past six matches against the Blues by an average of 32 points.