After five straight days of AFL already, the action continues on Monday night as Round 10 opens up with Port Adelaide taking on the Western Bulldogs from 7.10pm! As usual, we have a full preview and betting tips for the clash, courtesy of PuntingInDanger, below.
We will be posting a new article EVERY DAY during footy mania, so make sure you regularly check our AFL Betting Tips page for tips on the games of the day.
Adelaide Oval, Monday, 7.10pm (AEST)
Both the Power and the Bulldogs sit inside the top eight at the moment, and the Dogs in particular will be desperate for a win to consolidate their position. The Power have won three of their last four against the Dogs and will come into this game as favourites, currently sitting atop the AFL ladder.
The Power sit in 1st place on the AFL ladder and had a dominant win over Melbourne in Round 9. There were some signs of vulnerability in Port Adelaide after the Saints beat them at home in Round 8, however, they bounced back to smash the Demons by 51 points at the Gabba on Thursday night. They sit tied with Brisbane on points and one game ahead of the trailing St Kilda and West Coast, so a win here will be crucial in locking down a top four place.
The Power injury list looks pretty solid at the moment. Young key forward Todd Marshall remains on the sidelines with a thumb injury while Steven Motlop will miss more time through an ankle. However, starting ruckman Scott Lycett looks set to return against the Bulldogs as Trent McKenzie.
Tom Rockliff returned to the Port Adelaide side against the Demons last week and had an immediate impact in the middle of the ground, racking up 21 touches, nine of them contested. He is a proven ball winner and represented good value for 20+ touches in his first game back. He is great value to take the next step this week and win even more ball in what should be a pretty free flowing game against the Dogs.
The Dogs have been arguably the most inconsistent team of the season so far. In their first game back after the AFL restart, they were hammered by the Saints by 39 pints. They then went on to win their next three games over the Giants, Swans and Roos and looked like a genuine top eight side. Following that, they have lost to the Blues by 52 points, beat Essendon by 42 points, defeated Gold Coast by 5 points and lost to the Tigers by 41 points.
The Dogs play a very polarizing style of footy that can look absolutely unbeatable on their best day and absolutely horrendous on their worst. Their game-style relies heavily on precise and fast ball movement through the middle of the ground and can come unstuck against teams that apply a lot of forward pressure. We saw that last week when they were bulldozed by the Tigers and they’ll have another tough matchup against a high pressure side this week.
The Dogs will get a massive inclusion in Josh Dunkley this week as the star midfielder returns from an ankle injury. With Dunkley spending the majority of the time in the midfield, this should bring some of the stat numbers of the other midfielders down just a touch. With Josh Dunkley in the line-up this season, Jack Macrae averages just 21.6 touches per game and in his absence, those numbers shot up to 27.8, back Macrae to come back to earth a little bit here.
So much of the Bulldogs fortunes rely on the weather conditions, more than any other team in the league. They need good conditions to move the ball freely and luckily for them, they’ll get a near perfect night in Adelaide on Monday. They start as 12.5 points underdogs and will be coming off one extra days rest over the Power.
However, we can’t see Port Adelaide losing this game at home in front of fans, especially after they gave Melbourne a hiding in Round 9. They looked to have regained the confidence they lost in the Saints game and more and are on the top of the AFL ladder for a reason. Not too sure about the 12.5 point line but like the Dogs to keep this one relatively close, back the Power to win by 1-39.
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