It's finally here! The 2021 AFL Finals kick off this week with four monster games to be played in Adelaide and Tasmania! The Sydney Swans will take on their cross town rival GWS Giants from 3.20pm on Saturday afternoon and we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Elimination Final, UTAS Stadium, Saturday 3.20pm (AEST)
How good did these two elimination finals pan out. In the first of the weekend we have the Sydney Derby to be played at UTAS Stadium. on Satruday afternoon. Following that, we look forward to what should be an absolutely thrilling clash between the Bulldogs and Bombers on Sunday afternoon.
As they always do, the Swans and Giants squared off twice this season, both winning their scheduled away game. The Giants claimed a two point win back in Round 5 to hand the Swans their first loss of the season, but it was Sydney who had the upperhand in their last meeting, winning at Carrara by 26 points in Round 18.
The Giants rounded out the regular season with a solid win over the Blues to secure 7th spot on the ladder. Their talented midfield was firing on all cylinders in the win, with Callan Ward, Tim Taranto and Josh Kelly all amongst the best players.
GWS have battled injuries throughout the season but seem to have finally come gokod at the right time of year. Jeremy Finlayson, Shane Mumford and Tom Green could all make returns to the side this week for the final, which would make the Giants pretty close to full strength.
The Swans were dominant in the final round of the season, winning by 87 points over a lacklustre Suns side to tune up their skills before finals. Lance Franklin was brilliant in the win, kicking six goals while running mates Tom Papley and Isaac Heeney added three each.
The Swans have had the healthiest list all season, and it remains that way heading into finals. Unfortunately, Callum Mills could miss the clash with an achilles injury he suffered against the Suns, but apart from him and Nick Blakey, the Swans will be at full strength.
I think if this clash was being played where it was supposed to be, at the SCG, the line would have opened around 15 poitns in favour of the Swans. However, on neutral territory down in Tasmania, that opening line is just 8.5 points..
I like the Giants at this line. They have played two finals against Sydney in their nine year history, winning both by an average margin of 43.5 points. Early forecasts suggests there could be some rain in the Launceston area on Saturday, that combined with the usual gusty winds at UTAS should result in a pretty low scoring game in which the Giants can cover the 8.5 point line or win outright.
With Toby Greene returning to the line-up on the weekend Tim Taranto went back in to the midfield and racked up 29 touches. In his two games against the Swans this season, he had 27 touches in each and averaged 26.9 throughout the season.
Jake Lloyd has been on a tear over the back half of the season. He has racked up at least 25 touches in all but two games this season, averaging 28.2 this season and in his two games against the Giants this season, he had 28 and 25.
Jacob Hopper had a standout season this year, making the 40 man All-Australian squad earlier this week. He has accumulated at least 20 touches in all but one game this season, which came against the Dockers all the way back in Round 2. Racked up 26 and 23 against the Swans.
Taranto 25+ Disp.
Lloyd 25+ Disp.
Hopper 20+ Disp.
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