Friday night in Round 8 of the AFL sees an absolute blockbuster as the Greater Western Sydney Giants host the Richmond Tigers in the Grand Final rematch. The game kicks off at 7.50pm from GIANTS Stadium and we have a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Remember, you can check out our betting tips for every game in Round 8 of the AFL season by heading to our AFL Tips page.
The Tigers came out victorious in the Grand Final last season and the Giants will be seeking revenge this time around when the two teams meet at GIANTS Stadium on Friday night. It was a dominant performance by the Tigers in the Grand Final as they secured their second premiership in three years with an 89 point win.
The two teams have developed an intense rivalry over the last few seasons and there is no doubt that this will be another classic instalment.
The Giants have been extremely disappointing over the last two weeks, losing to the Power by 17 points in Round 6 before going down to the being dominated by the Lions in Round 7 on Saturday afternoon. While the margin against the Lions only ended up being 20 points, the Giants were never really in the game and will need to get much more from their midfield if they want to compete this Friday night.
The Giants had the top four disposal winners on the ground but were absolutely smashed in the inside 50s department, losing 56-34 as the Lions controlled the ball rebounding out of 50 and through the middle of the ground.
Lachie Whitfield racked up 24 touches in the loss, making it four straight games since his concussion that he has had at least 24 disposals. He has been the No.1 ranked player in the last five games between Richmond and GWS, averaging a whopping 31 touches per game and 119.8 fantasy points. With the amount that Richmond bomb into their forward line, there is plenty of opportunity for Whitfield to rack up rebound 50s.
The Tigers have won their last three on the trot and look like they are getting back to the form that has seen them win two of the last three premierships. They started the run with a dominant win over Melbourne before going on to beat the Swans and Roos in the last two weeks. Their three wins have come by an average margin of 29 points, which is pretty astonishing given the affect the shortened quarters have had on margins this season.
The exclusion of some more settled players in the Richmond line-up from their trip to the QLD hub seems to have paid dividends as they have brought in players with much more hunger who look mire willing to play the Tigers brand of football that has made them so successful. They are running and chasing at an elite level again and their forward line pressure is back to being the best in the league.
Kane Lambert has booted four goals in seven games this season and although he hasn’t troubled the scorer in the last two weeks, he does have a brilliant goal kicking record against the Giants. He has kicked five goals in his last four games against GWS, including one in the Grand Final last season and is good value to hit the scoreboard this Friday night.
Hard to believe that the Tigers have started the week as underdogs given the form of both teams at the moment. Granted, GWS have played arguably the strongest two sides in the competition over the last two weeks in the Power and Lions, but they looked pretty lacklustre in both games.
Regardless, we are going to stay away from the result here, as we think it should be a pretty close game that could go either way. We like the look of the under here. The Tigers have been back to their defensive best over the last two weeks, allowing just 26 points against the Swans and 23 against the Kangaroos. There could potentially be some rain around Sydney on Friday night, but even in perfect conditions, we expect this one to be a pretty defensive game filled with forward pressure from the Tigers and slow ball movement from the Giants.
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