Adelaide will look to continue their unbeaten start to 2012 against a Western Bulldogs side that was underwhelming last week.
The Crows looked rejuvenated under new head coach Brenton Sanderson as they romped past Gold Coast by 69 points. Adelaide moved the ball fast and cleanly to their two big forwards Tippett and Walker, who combined for 9 goals.
Scott Thompson played a significant role racking up 39 possessions, his drive out of the midfield will be crucial again if Adelaide’s forward-line is to get the same opportunities .
The Western Bulldogs were dismal last week as they were torn up by Josh Kennedy which certainly does not bode well as they come up against Adelaide’s in-form forward duo.
There were however some bright lights, Clay Smith was impressive on debut, kicking 4 goals before being subbed off.
Matthew Boyd – as ever – was another positive for the Dogs, collecting 38 possessions and he will have to play well again if the Dogs are to be a chance.
He should receive more support this week though with the return of Ryan Griffen who, when in-form, is the Bulldogs’ best player.
Taylor Walker vs Brian Lake
Walker was unstoppable last week, kicking 5 goals. He looks to have stepped up his game even further this year and is working well in tandem with Tippett. If he receives good delivery, he will be almost impossible to stop.
Lake on the other hand was poor last week, with only 8 disposals he is a shell of his former All-Australian self. His efforts against Kennedy last week do not bode well and if he fails to pick up his game, this could get ugly.
Matthew Boyd vs Scott Thompson
Both of these players are known for their ability to gather huge amounts of football, there is a high possibility that these two will duke it out on the weekend.
Neither will probably receive a hard tag, so both should be able to obtain their usually high numbers. It will therefore come down to the support they receive that will determine which midfield comes out on top.
Clay Smith vs Graham Johncock
Johncock is just one option that the Crows have to put on the Bulldogs’ newest star. Smith was impressive last week but it will be interesting to see if he can perform again now that the excitement of playing his first game has worn off.
If Johncock does get Smith, the youngster will be tested defensively. It is alright to work one way and kick goals, but will he be able to contain an attacking defender such as Johncock?
The Western Bulldogs were awful last week and although they had some good players, they could not carry the whole team.
This may end up being the case this week as Adelaide are a team on a mission to prove that they are capable of not only making finals, but being a genuine threat once getting there.
Adelaide will make a statement this week at their first home game for the season and most of the talking will be done by their two key forwards who are set to have a field day on an undermanned Bulldog’s defence.
Adelaide by 44pts
B: Ben Rutten, Daniel Talia, Michael Doughty
HB: Graham Johncock, Andy Otten, Brodie Smith
C: Nathan van Berlo, Patrick Dangerfield, Bernie Vince
HF: Jared Petrenko, Richard Douglas, Rory Sloane
F: Kurt Tippett, Jason Porplyzia, Taylor Walker
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Scott Thompson, Brent Reilly
I/C: David Mackay, Ricky Henderson, Ian Callinan, Tom Lynch
Emg: Brad Symes, Matthew Wright, Matthew Jaensch
B: Robert Murphy, Brian Lake, Dylan Addison
HB: Ryan Hargrave, Lukas Markovic, Easton Wood
C: Daniel Cross, Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen
HF: Luke Dahlhaus, Liam Jones, Adam Cooney
F: Daniel Giansiracusa, William Minson, Shaun Higgins
Foll: Jordan Roughead, Thomas Liberatore, Liam Picken
I/C: Jarrad Grant, Nathan Djerrkura, Clay Smith, Tory Dickson
Emg: Ayce Cordy, Patrick Veszpremi, Mitchell Wallis
In: Ryan Griffen, Nathan Djerrkura
Out: Christian Howard (Knee), Mitchell Wallis
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