Geelong v Sydney
Last Friday night Sydney, defeated by Collingwood on their home turf, slumped to a 3-7 record and 15th on the ladder. The following day, a rampant Geelong outfit continued their winning form, keeping themselves a game clear on the top of the AFL ladder.
For one team, tomorrow offers a step towards redemption. For the other, consolidation.
When & Where?
Round 11, 1:45 PM SATURDAY, JUNE 01, 2019 at GMHBA Stadium.
Perennial finalists, this Saturday's game between Geelong and Sydney looms as a surprisingly lop-sided affair. With only two of the past ten games decided by less than five goals, the Cats will be looking to cement their position at the top of the ladder and reinforce their dominant percentage.
One thing the Swans can take with them however, is an unusual superiority at Geelong's fortress. With their past three trips all resulting in the four points headed back north, Sydney will look to extend that to four, and keep their slim hopes of a finals birth alive.
How will it happen?Two of the most successful sides of the modern era, Geelong and Sydney have long fielded dominant teams on paper. Strong one-on-one players, their play styles share many similarities, the primary difference this year being efficiency.
(and the big 3)
(and the big 3)
Both teams share a near identical amount of possession, alongside their kick to handball ratio. But a younger (over 1 year and 3 months) Sydney side has lacked the composure that has been a key to Geelong's success. With the fewest turnovers and intercepts of any team this year, when the Cats turn the heat up, they capitalise on opposition mistakes. And for a young Sydney team prone to mistakes, this could prove costly.
Conceding the most inside 50's of any team, none may be as important as Jake Lloyd. Leading disposals for the Swans, his ability to lead the defense will be sorely tested. At the other end of the ground, the Swans will need their power forwards to fire. The key will be taking every opportunity offered. Lance Franklin and Sam Reid could kick a winning score between themselves, and simply must stand up to give their team a chance.
For Geelong, much of their pressure originates from the clearances, with Tim Kelly leading the way. With Josh Kennedy an unfortunate casualty from last weeks game against Collingwood, the return of Dangerfield leaves the door open for Kelly to further himself as a Brownlow contender. In the absence of the little maestro Gary Ablett, his namesake Gary Rohan will be wanting to prove his worth in his first game against his old side. Lastly, look to Tom Hawkins to keep the Swans faithful quiet and capitalise on the silver service on offer from a classy midfield.
What will happen?
As of writing, the odds are:
With a four point loss to in-form GWS the only blemish on their record this year, it seems fitting the Cats are such short priced favourites. With Gary Ablett Jr. taking a mandatory break and Buddy back in the team, perhaps the Swans could be a little shorter.
Last time they met:
This time they meet:
The only team in the competition to kick more than 1,000 points for the year, Geelong possess a punishing brand of football. If the Swans fail to pressure them early, things could get ugly.
Of their last 31 games down at Kardinia Park, Geelong have remarkably triumphed 27 times. Of their 4 losses, 3 have been at the hands of the Swans. Unfortunately for Swans supporters, the red and white will need more than history on their side to provide an upset; this time around the Cats should claim their own sort of redemption.
Geelong by 34 points.
I was writing a few of these a long while back, but due to a long hiatus have just started again. Sorry for the prediction boys; good luck tomorrow!