Friday May 15
Etihad Stadium, 7.50pm (All times local time)
This is an important game for both sides, with the winner moving to 4-3 and a chance of finishing the round inside the top eight. Essendon has struggled to score this season, currently ranked 16th for average points per game, compared to the Kangaroos, who are ranked fourth. North Melbourne has won nine of 13 games between the two sides at Etihad Stadium. Expect the Roos to be too strong, especially with the dominance of Todd Goldstein in the ruck.
North Melbourne by 18
Saturday May 16
Adelaide V St. Kilda
Adelaide Oval, 12.45pm
St. Kilda showed an incredible amount of tenacity last week to come from 55 points down to beat the Bulldogs. Despite the confidence boosting win, the Crows will be far too strong at home. Adelaide’s attacking start to the year has seen them ranked second for inside 50s per game, averaging 59.5 a game. The likes of Walker and Betts will prove to be far too much for the Saints’ defence to handle. S. Kilda has lost the past four against Adelaide and lost both matches against the Crows last year by a combined 165 points.
Adelaide by 30
Hawthorn V Melbourne
Watch out Melbourne! Hawthorn has been ruthless so far this season the week after losing a game. The Dees would not be expected to beat Hawthorn regardless, but considering the Hawks’ shock loss to GWS last week, expect the Demons to cop an absolute hiding. After their loss to the Bombers in round two, Hawthorn beat the Bulldogs the following week by 70 points. The Hawks then lost to the Power by nine points in round four, before thumping the Kangaroos by 60 points in round five. Melbourne has not beaten Hawthorn since 2006.
Hawthorn by 46
Carlton V GWS
Etihad Stadium, 4.35pm
GWS will be brimming with confidence after last week’s stunning upset win over Hawthorn. The young Giants were simply outstanding, with forward Jeremy Cameron kicking seven goals. Carlton will be no match for the young and exiting men from north of the border. Carlton has made a whopping seven changes, with Mick Malthouse finally losing patience with key forward Liam Jones, along with Dylan Buckley, Nick Graham, Clem Smith, Blaine Boekhorst and Mark Whiley, who have all been dropped. Andrew Walker will miss with a knee injury, while the Giants are unchanged.
GWS by 22
ANZ Stadium, 7.20pm
Geelong is coming off a great win over the Magpies, in what can only be described as vintage Geelong. Their run and carry was outstanding and they completely blew the Pies away in the first half. The Swans have just been getting the job done without setting the world on fire. They sit fourth on the ladder with a 4-2 record. The Swans beat the Cats by 110 points in the same fixture last year, with Franklin and Tippet kicking nine goals between them. It will no doubt be closer this around, but the Swans should once again be too strong.
Sydney by 20
Domain stadium, 5.40pm
The Eagles recorded a hugely impressive win over the Power last week at Adelaide oval, while the Suns continue to struggle. West Coast has never lost to the Suns and that dominance should continue at Domain Stadium on Saturday night. Danny Stanley, Trent McKenzie, Brandon Matera and Harley Bennell all return for the Suns after club imposed suspensions from drinking alcohol.
West Coast by 30
Sunday May 17
Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm
The Bulldogs will want to try to stay focused for all four quarters this week, after letting a 55 point lead slip against the Saints. However, Fremantle will be far too strong, as the purple haze juggernaut rolls on. Fyfe and Hill have been outstanding for Freo so far this season and they will remain undefeated after round seven.
Fremantle by 28
The Pies should get the points in this one, with the Tigers far too inconsistent this season. The Tigers have lost three on the trot and their fans are fed up with the all talk no action. But they may not be as far away as their ladder position suggests. Expect this one to be close, but Collingwood will be narrow victors. Collingwood has won the past five against Richmond.
Collingwood by 10
Brisbane is mess at the moment, yet somehow they beat the Blues last week, who are possibly just as bad. So don’t let that be an indication of their talent. The Power will be all over the Lions like a bad rash. Their narrow loss last week to West Coast will make them even hungrier.
Port Adelaide by 38