Two rounds in the books in the 2019 AFL season and already there are some very interesting storylines moving forward. Can the Demons and Bombers bounce back after two disappointing losses? Will the Tigers regroup after some injury setback?
Round 3 gets underway this Thursday night as the Adelaide Crows host the Geelong Cats from Adelaide Oval at 7.50pm. We'll be focusing on the Thursday night game in this preview, but if you want previews and tips for the rest of the Round 3 action, make sure you head to our AFL Tips Page.
Thursday 4th of April, 7.50pm AEDT, Adelaide Oval
Geelong have been one of the big movers in the Premiership markets early in the season after picking up big wins over Collingwood and Melbourne while Adelaide bounced back on the weekend with a good away win over the Swans.
The Crows were disappointing at home in Round 1, going down to an undermanned Hawthorn side by 32 points. They bounced back on the road in Round 2, downing the Swans in Sydney by 26 points as the Crows dynamic forward line fired. Josh Jenkins, David Mackay, Taylor Walker and Eddie Betts combined for six goals between them as the Crows dominated the majority of the game.
Brad Crouch continued his stellar return from injury. After racking up 28 touches and booting two goals in the Round 1 loss to the Hawks, he was arguably best on ground for the Crows in their Round 2 win as he compiled 26 touches and kicked a goal. Along with his brother Matt, Rory Sloane and Bryce Gibbs, the Crows now possess a midfield capable of going toe to toe with the best in the league.
While they did lose key defender Tom Doedee in Round 1 for the season with an ACL injury, the Crows actually have one of the best looking injury lists in the league at the moment. Only Doedee and Richard Douglas are missing from their potential best 22, which is a selection problem they haven't had since making the Grand Final in 2017.
The Cats have been the most impressive side in the competition throughout the first two rounds. Considering the Magpies are the premiership favourites after a big win over the Tigers on the weekend, the Cats win over Collingwood in Round 1 carries even more weight. Geelong backed it up in Round 2 by absolutely pulverising the Demons down at GMHBA Stadium to the tune of 80 points.
Patrick Dangerfield was dominant in the win, accumulating 37 touches and kicking two goals while Tim Kelly continued to prove why he will be one of the most saught after recruits next off-season with another strong game. The Cats are having to rely less on their proven stars in Dangerfield, Ablett and Selwood and are consistently getting more production from youngsters in the likes of Charlie Constable, Tim Kelly, Gyran Miers and Brandan Parfitt.
Amazingly, the Cats still have some real talent to bring back into this side. Hard nosed midfielder Scott Selwood and running defender Zach Tuohy will return in another few weeks while Zac Smith, Cam Guthrie, Jed Bews and Nakia Cockatoo will all pose selection problems over the next month.
2018 Round 17 - Adelaide (16.16.112) defeated Geelong (14.13.97)
2017 Prelim Final - Adelaide (21.10.136) defeated Geelong (10.15.75)
2017 Round 18 - Adelaide (13.13.91) defeated Geelong (10.10.70)
2017 Round 11 - Geelong (13.18.96) defeated Adelaide (10.14.74)
2016 Round 18 - Geelong (12.13.85) defeated Adelaide (7.13.55)
2016 Round 8 - Adelaide (11.6.72) lost to Geelong (13.20.98)
The home side has won the last five games in a row between these two teams, including the 2017 Preliminary Final. Because of that, the Crows start as the slightest of favourites here at just 1.5 points. The Crows didn't look super convincing against the Hawks at home in Round 1, which leaves a bit of a bad taste in the mouth, and we are yet to know how much weight that Swans win really carries after the Swans were beaten by the Bulldogs in Round 1.
Geelong, on the other hand, have reeled off two big wins against opponents that the majority of the AFL had finishing inside the top four this season. Hard to look past them in the form they are in at the moment, especially given they trounced Melbourne by 80 points while Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood both having below average games.
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