We are now almost two months into the 2015 AFL season and one thing has become abundantly clear in recent weeks – the Fremantle Dockers are the team to beat!
The Dockers have never really looked like losing a game this season, while the Hawks, Swans, Cats, Power and Kangaroos have all made patchy starts to the season.
This is a massive weekend for a number of sides in the competition and we have closely analysed every single game to come up with our 2015 AFL Round 7 Preview.
We have taken out $2 favourites special to the next level this weekend! We’re boosting the odds to $2 for the Sydney Swans up against the Geelong Cats this Saturday night and the best part is that we’ll give you’re your cash back if the Swans don’t get the job done.
Essendon Bombers vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Friday, May 15 – 7:50pm AEST – MCG
This is a very key game for both sides as they both need to come away with four points to stay in touch with the top eight. Essendon made a very positive start to the season, but they have been very poor in recent weeks and the reemergence of the WADA scandal will surely not help the morale of the club. North Melbourne got a win on the board over Richmond last weekend, but it is fair to say that they did not produce the strongest performance and their football needs to be far more polished if they are going to mix it with the best teams in the competition. The Kangaroos need to improve their tackling and general intensity right across the field, but they should still prove too strong for the Bombers in what could prove to be a scrappy encounter.
Adelaide Crows vs St Kilda Saints
Saturday, May 16 – 1:15pm AEST – Adelaide Oval
Injuries have not been kind to Adelaide in recent weeks, but they were still able to grind out a comfortable victory over the Gold Coast Suns last weekend and will rate their chances of making it two on the trot against a Saints side that they have beaten in their past four encounters. St Kilda will be coming into this game with plenty of confidence after recording their biggest comeback win in club history against the Western Bulldogs last weekend and it will be interesting to see how they back-up from that performance. The loss of Rory Sloane does leave a genuine gap in the Crows outfit, but they have been a very professional football club this season and the likes of Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts and Patrick Dangerfield should be able to get them over the line.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Melbourne Demons
Saturday, May 16 – 2:10pm AEST – MCG
Hawthorn suffered a shock defeat to the Greater Western Sydney Giants and that does not bode well for the Melbourne Demons this weekend. Alastair Clarkson would have absolutely flogged his side during the week and it has been a long time since the Hawks suffered back-to-back losses. The Demons never looked like beating the Sydney Swans last weekend, but there was some merit in the performance and Paul Roos would have been happy with the way that his side did not pack it in in the final stages of the match. The Hawks are still without Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis, but they still have far more talent across the board than the Demons and they should be able to extend their winning streak over the Demons to 12 victories.
Carlton Blues vs Greater Western Sydney Giants
Saturday, May 16 – 4:35pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
This may be one of the biggest games in the lengthy coaching career of Mick Malthouse as he will be under almost unbearable pressure if Carlton don’t come away with the four points this weekend. The Blues are playing absolutely atrocious football and their performance against the Brisbane Lions was nothing short of a disgrace. In complete contrast, the Greater Western Sydney Giants are coming off one of their biggest wins in club history following their upset victory over the Hawks last weekend and they now have an excellent opportunity to make a 5-2 start to the season. The young Giants side is playing a confident brand of football and inspirational forward Jeremy Cameron has been simply outstanding. The Giants are not use to playing as such short favourites, but based on recent performances it is impossible to tip against them and we expect the Blues woeful season to continue.
Sydney Swans vs Geelong Cats
Saturday, May 16 – 7.20pm AEST – ANZ Stadium
Geelong returned to a semblance of their best form when they beat a slightly overrated Collingwood side last weekend, but they face a much tougher test against the Sydney Swans this weekend. The Cats were very good, but we are not sure whether they still have the class to repeat that sort of performance week in, week out. Sydney got the job done against Melbourne last weekend and they will take plenty of confidence into this clash as they absolutely embarrassed Geelong when they met in round 11 last year. The Cats were unable to stop Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin in that clash and the key forward should once again prove key to their sides chances. The Swans look like a fairly safe bet in this encounter and they should be able to beat the line of 22 and a half points fairly comfortably.
West Coast Eagles vs Gold Coast Suns
Saturday, May 16 – 7:40pm AEST – Domain Stadium
The West Coast Eagles defied their reputation as flat track bullies when they beat Port Adelaide last weekend and they currently sit in second place on the AFL ladder. Many experts ruled out the Eagles heading into the 2015 AFL season after they lost the majority of their starting defenders to injury or retirement, but they have been consistent performers this season and could play finals football. The Gold Coast Suns were not disgraced against the Crows last weekend, but their young midfield has been unable to take control of contests this season and have not made the leap in development that you would expect at this stage of their AFL careers. The Suns have never beaten the West Coast Eagles and they will not change this weekend.
Western Bulldogs vs Fremantle Dockers
Sunday, May 17 – 1:10pm AEST – Etihad Stadium
The Fremantle Dockers sit well clear on top of the AFL ladder and there is no doubt that they are the team to beat in 2015. While most of the premiership rivals have made patchy starts to the season, the Dockers just continue to get the job done and the likes of Nathan Fyfe, Aaron Sandilands and David Mundy have been exceptional. The Western Bulldogs have been the big surprise packages this season, but their lack of experience took its toll last weekend when they a massive lead slip against St Kilda last weekend. The Bulldogs should dig in for the fight and we expect this game to be fairly close for a long way, but the Dockers simply play with too much class and maturity and could run away with things in the final quarter to remain their unbeaten record this season.
Richmond Tigers vs Collingwood Magpies
Sunday, May 17 – 3:20pm AEST – MCG
If it were not for Mick Malthouse and Carlton, Damien Hardwick would easily be the most under pressure coach in the AFL. The Tigers were touted as top four hopefuls heading into the season, but they are simply not getting the job done and a number of their more experienced players have been absolutely disgraceful. Collingwood produced their worst performance of the season to date against Geelong and their inability to control the football cost them dearly throughout. This is a key clash for Nathan Buckley in the Magpies and they will take confidence from the fact that they have won the past seven games against the Tigers, while Hardwick is yet to record a win over the Magpies. The Magpies should be able to extend their winning streak over the Tigers and Hardwick may finally be forced to make some serious changes to the Tigers side and their overall philosophy.
Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide Power
Sunday, May 17 – 4:40pm AEST – The Gabba
The Brisbane Lions finally broke through for their first win of the season with a fighting victory over Carlton last weekend and they will have taken plenty of confidence from the win. Tom Rockliff looks to have returned to his best after his sickening lung puncture in round one and new recruit Dayne Beams is really starting to gel with the rest of the promising Lions midfield. The Power looked as though they were ready to take the next step following their tough start to the season, but they were fairly poor against the Eagles last weekend and there is now a question mark over just how good this side is in 2015. The Lions have struggled defensively this season and that could be the big difference between these two sides as the Power has the forward line capable of exploiting a lackluster defense. The Power should be able to return to winning form and we expect Robbie Gray to kick a stack of goals!
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