Thu, Aug 25, 5:04pm by Jake Equid
Adelaide v West Coast
Date and Time: Friday August 26, 8.10pm AEST
Venue: Adelaide Oval
TV: Live on Channel Seven, Fox Footy
A huge Friday night clash kicks off Round 23 with the home side needing a win to secure a top two finish while a loss could see them out of the top four. The visiting Eagles have just as much on the line, needing to win to gain the all-important double chance while a loss will likely see them travel interstate for an elimination final.
While both clubs know that they must focus on the job at hand we can delve a little deeper into the finals scenarios. Adelaide will finish on top if they win by 40 points more than Sydney beat Richmond by. While a good fortnight for the Eagles means that the location of their first final is in their own hands with a win ensuring them of a home elimination final. Things can get even better for them in the extremely unlikely event that both Hawthorn and GWS lose which would result in a top four finish.
Both sides will go into the contest under full strength without two of their most crucial players. Nic Natanui went down very late in the win over the Hawks last week with scans revealing the worst, a rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament that will see him sidelined for at least 12 months. One of the main talking points to come out of the Adelaide camp this week was the report and suspension of one of the Brownlow medal favourites, Rory Sloane. He will miss this week for what looked like a pretty soft hit on Port’s Brad Ebert.
This game promises to be a high-scoring affair with the Crows the highest scoring team in the league averaging 115 while the Eagles are no slouches themselves, sitting in third place in that category, averaging 99 points per game. A cool, clear night is expected in Adelaide which is conducive to scoring.
The tale of the tape leans towards the Crows, the last time they met they held the Eagles goalless in the final quarter, the first time in history this had happened at Domain Stadium. The Crows are the number one centre clearance team in 2016, averaging 14.4 per game, while the Eagles are ranked seventh, averaging 12.9. I’m backing the Crows to win what should be an entertaining and brutal affair to start the round of football.
BEST BET: Adelaide to win by 1-39: $2.10
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