Round 4 of the AFL season continues on Friday night as the Giants host the Magpies from 7.50pm. GIANTS Stadium will be completely empty for the clash, but there will still be plenty on the line as two potential contenders for the Premiership go head to head. As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Remember, we have previews and betting tips for all nine games in Round 4 of the AFL season! Just head to our dedicated AFL tips page where you can view all of the content.
GIANTS Stadium, Friday 26th June, 7.50pm (AEST)
The Giants and Magpies have played in some epic encounters over the last few years, none bigger than the preliminary final last season, where Greater Western Sydney came out on top by four points. The Magpies will be looking to square the ledger on Friday night.
Although the Giants went on to get absolutely trounced by Richmond in the Grand Final a week later, there will no doubt be some lingering feelings of confidence after their impressive win over Collingwood in the prelim. They were absolutely dominated by Brodie Grundy that day as the Pies ruckman racked up 73 hitouts and 25 touhches, however, they were still able to capture a solid four point win. The Giants should be more competitive in the ruck department this season, with Sam Jacobs filling the starting role. Jacobs has been one of the better tap ruckmen in the league for the past five years, and averages over 28 per game this season, just a few less than his counterpart.
The Giants lost Lachie Whitfield early in their game against the Bulldogs last Friday night, with the half-backman going down with a concussion. He'll need to pass a fitness test to play this week, as will both Josh Kelly and Toby Greene. If all three of those players get up for GWS, it will be a massive boost for their confidence.
Nick Haynes was monstorous in the preliminary final win last season, racking up 30 touches on the back of nine marks, most of them intercepted. The way Collingwood like to set up, with a bunch of small forward, the mobility and size of Haynes becomes a real issue when floating across the packs. He averages 17.3 posessions per game this season and we could easily see him bumping that up to over 20 here.
After what was a really sluggish game against the Tigers in Round 2, the Magpies bounced back in a big way against the Saints on Saturday. They dominated the game from start to finish, kicking out to a six goal lead by half time and never looking back. The veteran duo in the midfield of Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury were fantastic in the win, racking up 57 touches and a goal between them. Brodie Grundy had another great game, and continues to mount his early case for the Brownlow Medal.
The Pies midfield could be strengthened even further this week with the potential return of Adam Treloar, who has missed both games since the return with a calf injury. Apart from Treloar, the Pies look pretty good on the injury front, with the majority of their best 22 available for selection this week.
Young gun forward Jaidyn Stephenson botted two goals in the Prelim last season and made a brilliant return to the Magpies side last week against the Saints, slotting another two goals with limited opportunity. His goal/possession ratio is one of the best in the league and we expect him to be dangerous again on Friday night.
Depending on what happens with the Giants key injuries, we really think this one could go either way. Green, Kelly and Whitfield are all super influential players and until we know for sure what is happening with them, its just too close of a match to call. We are going to stay away from the H2H market and look towards the wire to wire market instead.
We expect this to be a pretty choppy match from start to finish with plenty of momentum swings. Back the 'any other result' selection at $2.00.
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