There is not much in common between the Kangaroos in Demons in 2022, the sides occupying opposite ends of the ladder up to Round 10.
This clash is sure to be a massive test for North Melbourne, who need to keep the media wolves at bay, while it is expected that Melbourne will continue on their merry way with a 10th consecutive victory.
Before the match, be sure to check out these Round 10 AFL betting tips!
Remember, Before You Bet will be previewing every game of the 2022 AFL season, so be sure to check out our AFL Tips page for regular updates.
Marvel Stadium, Saturday 21st May, 4.35pm (AEST)
Injuries: Jack Mahony (out), Miller Bergman, Aiden Bonar, Charlie Comben, Ben Cunington, Eddie Ford, Aaron Hall, Ben McKay, Will Phillips, Jared Polec, Phoenix Spicer
North still have a lengthy injury list, however the inclusions of Simpkin, Horne-Francis, Greenwood and Xerri this week is great news.
It’s been a grim season for North so far, who sit only above West Coast with a 1-8 record. Injuries, a lack of cohesion and a lack of resilience has seen the Kangaroos get blown away several times. Indeed, each of their last five losses has been by over 50 points. Down back, the lack of a key defender in McKay’s absence is obvious. At the other end of the field, Nick Larkey has been a lone hand, lacking the support required to generate a winning score. The hope is that a steady stream of returning players will boost North’s form, however it is still likely to be a season to forget.
Injuries: James Harmes (out), Christian Salem, Michael Hibberd, Blake Howes, Joel Smith
Harmes goes out of the side this week with a hamstring injury, giving Melbourne’s depth players a chance to claim a position temporarily. Meanwhile, defenders Salem and Hibberd are closing in on returns.
Melbourne have picked up from where they left off last year and played with the aura of a reigning premier on the way to 9-0. Most of those victories have been comfortable, if none of them destructive, the biggest a 74-point thrashing of West Coast last week. The Dees’ premiership defence has been aided by a healthy list, with only a few key players troubled by injury so far this year. The chemistry across the ground is clear to see, Steven May leading a stingy backline while Gawn, Oliver and Petracca get the move moving forward from midfield. Up forward it has been a team effort, Bailey Fritsch, Ben Brown, Kozzy Pickett and co. all chipping in for goals across the year.
Melbourne should undoubtedly win this clash. So, the question becomes, by how much?
Despite being the best team in the competition, the Dees have rarely looked to humiliate opposition sides, content with putting the game beyond reach and conserving energy.
Sure, the Kangaroos have been belted off the park in all of their last five matches but I think the quality of their inclusions and the benefit of playing at Marvel will see them cover the line in this one.
A Melbourne win in the vicinity of 40-50 points seems most likely.
Viney has had 27 disposals twice in his last four matches and is enjoying an injury free run in 2022. He will shoulder plenty of the midfield load, capitalising on the crisp tapwork of Gawn and Jackson.
Scott has hit 20 disposals twice in his last three matches playing a new half back role and should see plenty of the football again this week in North’s defence.
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