2015 AFL Finals Week 3 Preview
We have reached the penultimate week of the 2015 AFL season and we are set for two ripping preliminary finals this weekend.
Hawthorn returned to their brilliant best with a strong win over Adelaide last Friday night and North Melbourne qualified for their second straight preliminary final with their tough win over Sydney.
Can Hawthorn and North Melbourne win again this weekend and head to the Grand Final or will the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers have benefitted from their weeks off?
We have closely analysed both games to answer this question and find you the best bets for each fixture.
Fremantle Dockers vs Hawthorn Hawks
Friday, September 25 – 8:20pm AEST – Domain Stadium
This is a rematch of the 2013 AFL Grand Final and is set to be an intriguing game of football between two very good teams. The Hawks sleepwalked through their qualifying final loss to the West Coast Eagles, but their returned to form with a big win over Adelaide last weekend. Luke Breust, Luke Hodge Sam Mitchell, Josh Gibson and Grant Birchall were all outstanding and that is a worry for Ross Lyon and the Fremantle Dockers. The Dockers did just enough to get the job done against the Sydney Swans in the opening weekend of the finals, but a similar performance would not be enough to beat the Hawks at their best. The Dockers will attempt to suffocate the Hawks – a strategy that has worked for Richmond and Port Adelaide – and this game could be decided on how effectively the Dockers are able to take advantage of their goal-scoring opportunities. There is plenty of pressure on likes of Nathan Fyfe and David Mundy and you would think that these two players in particular need to play at their best for the Dockers to be any chance. The Hawks are deserving favourites at their current quote of $1.62 and they are a good bet to beat the current line on offer of 9.5 points.
West Coast Eagles vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Saturday, September 19 – 7:45pm AEST – ANZ Stadium
The North Melbourne Kangaroos have come from nowhere to play in a preliminary final for the second year in a row, but they face a very difficult assignment to qualify for their first Grand Final since 1999. The Kangaroos played some ugly football at times against the Swans and it was enough to get the job done, but a similar performance will not be enough to beat the West Coast Eagles. The Eagles have finally silenced all the haters following their big win over Hawthorn a fortnight ago and they should be even better with the return of Matt Priddis and Chris Masten from injury. There is no question that the Eagles midfield has the edge over their rivals as they do in the forwards and if Nic Naitanui is able to match it with Todd Goldstein there is no question that the Eagles will prove very tough to beat. However, the price on offer for West Coast is extremely short and the Kangaroos are definite overs at their current quote of $4.75, while they should be able to beat the line of 30.5 points.