To say 2018 did not go to plan for the Adelaide would be an understatement. The Crows entered the 2018 campaign with the hope going one step better than they did the year prior when they fell to Richmond by 48 points in the Grand Final.
Despite losing Charlie Cameron and Jake Lever to rival clubs, the Crows bolstered their team ny acquiring Bryce Gibbs from Carlton.
The Crows lost to Essendon in their first game of the season and from there they struggled to get their season up and running. Four successive defeats from rounds 10 to 13, including a 91 point humiliation to Melbourne made it inevitable that the Crows would miss the finals.
Added to their on-field woes were the reports of player disharmony after a much publicised pre-season that was suppose to “unlock the next frontier of high performance”.
But with the turbulence of 2018 behind them, the Crows could be on track to return to the top eight in 2019.
The Crows will benefit from a favourable fixture, which according to Champion Data is the second easiest in the competition.
They will also be bolstered by the returns of Brodie Smith and Brad Crouch, who missed all but two games in 2018.
Taylor Walker was a player weighed down by expectations last season and only managed to kick 26 goals in 14 games. With Rory Sloane appointed co-captain for 2019, Walker could be unleashed and return to his best form.
Not many teams enter a season with as much anticipation as Essendon despite the Bombers failing to make the finals in 2018.
Last season the Bombers struggled to find a winning formula that included big-name recruits Jake Stringer Devon Smith and Adam Saad.
The Bombers also had to deal with a hefty injury toll, which included star forward Joe Daniher whose season was cut short by a groin injury.
A strong end to the campaign has given Bombers fans a taste for what could happen in 2019. Aaron Francis cemented his place in the Bombers lineup, playing the final five games of the season as a defender and averaging 13.2 disposals and 6.4 marks.
The Bombers will also be buoyed by the recruitment for Dylan Shiel from GWS. Shiel is one of the games elite inside midfielders and will help reduce the burden on Dyson Heppell and Zac Merrett.
In 2017, the Bombers ranked best for scoring once inside 50, doing so from 50.4 per cent of their entries. Last year this figure dropped to seventh with a percentage of 45.3 per cent. An increase in efficiency with the return of Daniher will prove key in the Bombers hopes of making the finals.
As these numbers go to show, many AFL fans are turning to betting to gain the best odds for the best return. And while not all betting sites offer wagering on AFL markets, some of the biggest online bookies, such as Ladbrokes, William Hill or 888Sport do – offering great prices, bonuses. Live streaming is also available, however, many bookies only offer match live streaming on their desktop sites, while mobile sites and apps lack this feature – you can check a list of betting apps that support live streaming on www.topbettingapps.co.uk. Note that you will usually be required to place a minimum bet of $1 on the game you want to see.
Like their cross-town rivals, Port Adelaide suffered a disappointing 2018 campaign. Big things was expected of the Power after they went on a massive recruitment spree during the 2017 off-season.
The Power began the year with three wins in a row before their performances began to flutter.
Four defeats in a row to end the season saw the Power finish 10th, a game and percentage outside the top eight.
At the end of the season, Port signalled the need to revitalise their squad by acquiring draft picks in return for players such as Chad Wingard.
The recruitment of Ryan Burton is seen as a positive step to revitalizing the ageing list, while Travis Boak relinquishing the captaincy further outlines the need for change at the club,
Ken Hinkley has shown previously he is a coach that performs best when he is coaching a developing side.
The Power could surprise a few this season and make the finals.
Could the Western Bulldogs make the Grand Final, let alone the finals in 2019?
The Bulldogs finished 13th in 2018, the same position Richmond finished in 2016 and Collingwood in 2017. Richmond went on to win the Grand Final the following season, while the Magpies were a goal away from following suit.
After winning the 2016 Grand Final, the Bulldogs have been in the wilderness, failing to the make the top eight in the two years after their premiership triumph.
A lack of motivation in the playing group in the wake of the premiership triumph has seen Luke Beveridge cull the deadwood and revitalise the list with up and coming youngsters.
In their heartbreaking three-point defeat to Richmond in the final game of the season, youngsters such as Billy Gowers, Patrick Lipinski and Ed Richards showed they have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the competition.
Developing the youngsters has given the Bulldogs the best possible chance of clinching the holy grail again.
The additions of Sam Lloyd and Taylor Duryea will give the young Bulldogs the leadership they need to push for a spot in the top eight.