This looms as a very tasty contest to start off the weekend’s footy. The Crows are one of the premier line-ups in the AFL and are coming off a dominant display against the Swans last week where they showed some of their best football. The Cats have been fantastic in their first two matches, beating Collingwood in a thriller and thrashing the Demons in Round Two, and they currently sit top of the ladder. This should be a great contest.
Last Five Meetings
R17, 2018: Adelaide Crows 16.16 (112) def Geelong Cats 14.13 (97) at Adelaide Oval
Preliminary Final, 2017: Adelaide Crows 21.10 (136) def Geelong Cats10.15 (75) at Adelaide Oval
R18, 2017: Adelaide Crows 13.13 (91) def Geelong Cats 10.10 (70) at Adelaide Oval
R11, 2017: Geelong Cats 13.18 (96) def Adelaide Crows 10.14 (74) at GMHBA Stadium
R18, 2016: Geelong Cats 12.13 (85) def Adelaide Crows 7.13 (55) at GMHBA Stadium
Five Reasons To Watch
Midfield Battle That Can’t Be Missed
Adelaide and Geelong have two of the best midfields going around and this will be a contest of quality. The likes of Patrick Dangerfield, Rory Sloane, Joel Selwood, Matt Crouch, Gary Ablett, Bryce Gibbs, Tim Kelly and Brad Crouch lighting up the Adelaide Oval will be something to behold and probably enough to drag in viewers alone. The battle between good mates Dangerfield and Sloane will be very interesting.
Reilly and the Ruck Battle
Rhys Stanley would ordinarily be up against Crows veteran tap-man Sam Jacobs, but with Jacobs likely to miss this week’s showdown with the Cats, youngster Reilly O’Brien with just two games experience is in the box seat to get the nod. As before mentioned, both sides have electric midfields and so the hit-out and clearance contest will be vital, for O’Brien this means standing up tall in the middle and contributing as much as possible. His midfield dynamos will need silver service as the competition will be stiff.
Adelaide Oval Hoodoo
Cats fans are probably well aware that their team’s record in Adelaide against the Crows is very poor. The last three times these sides have met have been at Adelaide Oval and the Crows have won all three encounters which included a 61-point demolishing in the 2017 Preliminary Final. The Cats sit top of the table after two weeks and rightly so after being easily the most impressive side across both weeks, but coming to Adelaide to face the Crows is always a tough assignment, the crowd is passionate and hostile, and with a poor record here the Cats will need to try and emulate what Hawthorn did in Round One and shut down the Crow’s run and carry.
Fresh Legs Can Win Matches
The Crows have come off a six-day break, whereas the Cats have had just five days to turn around from Saturday’s thrashing of Melbourne. Five-day breaks are never easy and so there will be concern as to whether or not the Cats can run out four quarters against quality opposition. The Crows were hungry all match last week and sustained a four-quarter effort against the Swans who threw all the had at Adelaide. But the Cats never took their foot off the throat either, kicking 13 of their 20 goals in the second half of the match, and holding the Demons goalless in the third. Two sides hungry to win and to score should light up the stage, and both sides certainly do know how to score.
Whose Game Style Wins Out?
The Crows are known for their lightning fast transition and rebound footy, and they can cut sides in half through the middle with terrific skill level and pace in their football. Hawthorn completely limited this not so long ago at this very ground and made the Crows look second rate. If the Cats can do this too, there is no way they don’t win. Right now, they are in excellent form and hungry to stay top of the table. If the cats can limit the Crows launch from half back from names such as Rory Laird, Brodie Smith and Paul Seedsman, they stand a good chance of a great win on the road. The Cats need their star players to rack up the touches in the centre and give players like Tom Hawkins the best chance at scoring possible. This should be a belter of a contest.
The ‘Patrick Dangerfield Cup’ as it’s called by many sees two sides with elite lists clash at one of the country’s premier sports venues under lights, it certainly isn’t one to miss. A lot of me wants to pick the form team to win in the Cats, especially after watching them hold their nerve against Collingwood, but the Crows are hard to tip against, and even after last season I’m backing them to go far in 2019. This will be the game of the round and maybe one of the best of the season. It’s just as big as the Grand Final rematch for me. I’m going the home team but it’s going to be a close one.
Adelaide by 5 points.