St Kilda will look to get their season back on track this Saturday afternoon as they host Hawthorn from Marvel Stadium at 4.35pm! As usual, PuntingInDanger is back on deck to give you his full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Marvel Stadium, Saturday 1st May 4.35pm (AEST)
The Saints are in disarray after another really disappointing result in Adelaide over the weekend. They are 2-6 and desperately need to bounce back against the Hawks at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon to keep their season alive.
The Saints were a little more spirited in their trip to Adelaide to take on the Power but ultimately they were still nowhere near where they needed to be to be competitive. They kicked just five goals for the game and went down by 54 points to the Power and now have a 2-4 record and sit in 16th place on the table.
It was always going to be a tough start to the season for the Saints, who have easily the hardest strength of schedule in the league this year. They kicked off the season with games against Melbourne, West Coast, Richmond and Port Adelaide in their first four games and they’ll desperately need to take advantage of back to back games against the Hawks and Suns before another tough stretch begins.
On paper, the Hawks and Crows matchup in Tasmania last weekend didn’t look to have a lot of watch-ability; however, it turned out to be one of the games of the round. The Hawks captured a thrilling three point win in a high scoring game, their second win of the season which keeps their hopes of playing finals alive.
The big injury news heading into this game comes out of the Saints camp. Paddy Ryder will finally play his first game of the season, combining with Rowan Marshall in the ruck to make up the dynamic ruck duo that Saints fans have been praying for all year. Brad Hill was subbed out of the game against the Power last week but is still a chance to play along with defender Jimmy Webster.
For the Hawks, Shaun Burgoyne was subbed out in the win over the Crows but could recover from his ankle injury in time while Jack Gunston could make his season debut if he passes a fitness test. Apart from those two players and James Sicily, who is no chance to play, the Hawks have a pretty strong squad of available players to choose from this week.
It’s absolute do or die for the Saints here. They have to go 2-0 through the next two weeks against the Hawks and Suns if they want to play finals in 2021. Their schedule is absolutely brutal, playing three of the top four teams from last year twice this season, seven interstate trips and six of their last nine games against 2020 finalists.
I think the inclusion of Paddy Ryder makes a massive difference for the Saints. So often in their losses to Richmond, Essendon and Port Adelaide they had no tall presence to create a contest on the wing and bring the ball to ground for their elite small forwards. The addition of Ryder will create a much better connection between defence and forward and should eliminate some of those intercepts. Giving the Saints one more chance here.
Dougall Howard has been taking the majority of the kick outs for the Saints this year and his disposal numbers have been pretty healthy because of it. He had a monster game of 29 touches in the loss to the Demons earlier in the season but has since had numbers of 13, 11, 16 and 17 in his next four games. The Hawks are the third best team in the league in terms accuracy kicking for goal, so I actually like the unders on Howards disposals this week depending on the line that the bookies come out with on game day. Check back later.
Bet Coming Soon
Safe to say that the Saints have not put a lot of work into Tom Mitchell over the past few years. The ball magnet has been given a long leash by the Saints, racking up numbers of 27 (shortened quarters), 33, 45, 35, 19 and 34 in his last six games against them. He averages 32.1 against the Saints including an off game where he had just 19 and a game with shortened quarters. Take out those two and he averages 36.75.
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