The 2020 AFL Finals series continues on Friday night and what a monster matchup we have in store! The second placed Lions will host the third placed Tigers in the 2nd Qualifying Final from the Gabba and as usual, our AFL expert PuntingInDanger has you covered with a full preview and betting tips for the clash below!
Remember, we will be providing a dedicated preview and betting tips for every single game in the AFL Finals, so make sure you check out our dedicated AFL Betting Tips page for more content regularly.
Gabba, Friday 7.50pm (AEST)
Friday night will be a rematch of last season’s qualifying final, which saw the Tigers travel to Brisbane and defeat a higher seeded Lions outfit. The Lions will have home field advantage but will start as underdogs once again this week.
Since the AFL season returned from the COVID-19 hiatus, the Lions have lost just two games. They were defeated by the Cats in Round 6, but the more telling of their two losses was the 40 point thrashing that the Tigers dealt them in Round 10. Since that loss, the Lions have won their last seven on the trot and stormed home to finish second on the AFL ladder.
The Lions enter this series with some injury concerns, but not as many as their counterparts on Friday night. Star defender Harris Andrews looks set to return three weeks ahead of schedule, but could that call end up being a detriment to his health down the line in this finals campaign? Stefan Martin, Lincoln McCarthy and Jarrod Berry are also battling injuries but should all play Friday night.
Lachie Neale has had a season to remember and will likely be celebrating it with a Brownlow Medal in a few weeks’ time. He has an absolutely dominant record against the Tigers in recent history. In his three games against Richmond since moving to Brisbane, the midfielder averages a ridiculous 38 touches per game, where he racked up 26 touches in shortened quarters. The midfielder has had six games of 30+ disposals this season and it’s likely that the Tigers won’t put much work into him defensively, instead opting to back their own game-plan.
The Tigers will begin their finals series the same way they did last season, with a trip to Gabba where they will start as favourites. It’s a big opportunity for the Tigers this season to really solidify their standing as a true dynasty with three premierships in the last four years. The Tigers won their last six games of the season to storm into the top four and secure the double chance.
The Tigers enter the finals with host of injury concerns, the most glaring of which is star forward Tom Lynch, who has been ruled out with of Friday night’s clash with a hamstring injury. Amongst the other players on the injury list who will have to prove fitness to play this week are Jake Aarts, Shai Bolton, Josh Caddy and Dion Prestia.
There is a lot more uncertainty surrounding the Tigers line-up, and with no Lynch in the line-up it’s likely that star defender Harris Andrews will line-up on Jack Riewoldt. The Tigers will be limited for options up forward, so expect Dustin Martin to spend plenty of time in the front half. Love the value for him to kick a couple of snags.
Could we possibly bet on the Tigers amidst their injury troubles and with Lynch out of the line-up. It seems like the Lions are a no brainer here with a near full strength team and the home field advantage, however, we just keep finding ourselves drawn to the Tigers.
The Gabba conditions have been a big talking point over the past few weeks, with the late night dew and moisture in the air resulting in some pretty sloppy skills and low scoring games. We think the wet ball and scrappy conditions definitely favour the Tigers here, as they love to play that dump and chase style of footy. We think they get the job done here.
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