The final round of the home & away season has been full of drama, and it continues with a Sunday afternoon clash between the Swans and the Cats at Metricon Stadium. As always, we bring you our preview and best bets for the clash below!
Metricon Stadium, Sunday 3:35pm (AEST)
Geelong will be desperate for a win in order to guarantee a top four finish, as they come up against a Sydney side that has vastly improved in the second half of the season.
The Swans are coming off a galant performance against Brisbane in round 17 where they matched it with the Lions for three quarters, before fading in the final quarter. The Swans have lost four of their last five, but have been in the majority of those games. The round 16 loss to Carlton after leading by 39 points showed what the Swans are capable of at their best, and their worst.
The Swans will be strengthened by the return of young gun Jordan Dawson who missed last week with a concussion. The Swans will also be boosted by the news that Tom Papley will be staying at the club after requesting a trade at the end of last season. The Swans will be eager to end their season on a high after showing plenty of promise throughout the year, with plenty to like about the Swans future.
Jake Lloyd has had another superb season down back, averaging 25.8 disposals per game. Lloyd has recorded over 20 disposals in his last fifteen games, with his round one return of 17 disposals, the only time he has failed to record over 20 disposals in a game this season. Given the likely dominance Geelong’s midfield will possess in this matchup, Lloyd will have plenty of opportunities to mop up possessions across half-back. Short odds to secure 25+ but a great anchor leg in your same game multi.
Round 18 is a must win for the Cats as a win will secure a top four finish and a double chance in the first week of finals. A loss would likely see them drop to fifth, making their premiership charge a lot tougher. No doubt the Cats will come out firing against the Swans.
Geelong was handed a reality check by Richmond last week after coming into the game on a six game winning streak. The Cats were held to just one goal in the first three quarters as Richmond completely stifled the Cats ball movement, and denied Tom Hawkins any one-on-one contests inside forward 50. The Cats will be eager to redeem themselves this week and return to the form that saw them dominate the competition during the middle part of the season.
Sam Menegola has flown under the radar at Geelong for many years and once again he has put together an excellent season in the midfield, averaging 21.7 disposals per game. In the fifteen games since the season restart in June, Menegola has recorded 20 disposals in ten of those games. Outside of his 9 disposal shocker in round 3, Menegola hasn’t had less than 18 disposals in a game. He has been an ultra consistent performer in 2020, as he comes up against an inexperienced Swans midfield, he shouldn’t have any troubles getting his hands on the footy.
The two sides come into the game with two very different purposes. The Cats are playing for a spot in the top four, whilst the Swans are simply playing for pride. The formlines for the two sides are also at polar opposites; Geelong has won 4 out of its last 5, whilst Sydney has lost 4 out of its last 5 games.
Geelong have had the wood over Sydney, the Cats have won four of their last five games against the Swans. The Cats also boast an average victory margin of 44 points in their last five games this season, with wins by margins of 59, 60 and 66 featuring in that span.
The Cats have been ruthless for the majority of the season and will be desperate to lock up a top four spot, with Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood returning to the side it’s hard to see the Swans challenging the Cats given the talent difference between the two sides. The Cats will be too strong as the look set for a big finals campaign.
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