First Preliminary Final
MATCH UP STATS
First Preliminary Final
Line bettingAdelaide: -17.5 at $1.92 with LadbrokesGeelong: +18.5 at $1.91 with William Hill
IF a change is as good as a rest, how much better are the two combined?
There will be a few notable ins and outs for Adelaide as they return from a week of relative leisure.
The big absentee is Brodie Smith, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the win over Greater Western Sydney in the opening week of the 2017 AFL Finals Series.
That puts more playmaking responsibility on the shoulders of David Mackay and Paul Seedsman, while Kyle Cheney could come in to make up the numbers in defence.
In more positive news, Rory Sloane has recovered from appendix surgery and should take his place in the starting 22 on Friday night.
The Crows were excellent without their star midfielder last time out, but coach Don Pyke expected nothing less.
“We don’t rely on one individual,” he told reporters.
“We’ve had a number of games where we’ve had key personnel missing and out.
“We want to be a side that is strong around the contest, a side that is strong at defending the ball, and when we get the ball, our method of moving it can cause some problems for the opposition.”
Geelong must decide where to send their go-to stopper, Scott Selwood, as they tackle both the top team and a packed house at Adelaide Oval.
— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) September 18, 2017
Sloane was excellent when the two teams met in round 18, while Matt Crouch and Brad Crouch have emerged as essential elements in the competition’s most underrated midfield.
The Cats must also decided whether or not to start Patrick Dangerfield in the goal square.
The Sydney Swans had no answers last week as the 2016 Brownlow Medal winner broke the game wide open with three first-quarter goals.
A similar ploy is expected for Dangerfield’s return to Adelaide, where he has started nervously on past visits.
According to Geelong coach Chris Scott, the midfield head-to-head stakes could determine where his top gun lines up.
“Do we win the centre bounce? If we do, we’ll start him forward, but the hard part is winning the first centre bounce,” he said.
“Firstly, we’ll acknowledge how difficult the opposition will be to beat, then hopefully come up with some things that make it hard for them.”
Patrick Dangerfield betting specials
- Three or more goals – $3.75 at Sportsbet
- 30+ disposals/Geelong win – $6.50 at Ladbrokes
- First goalscorer – $13 at Sportsbet
Geelong had several standout performers last week.
Steven Motlop put on his best display in years, Lachie Henderson was imperious in defence and Tom Stewart bounced back from a nervy night against the Tigers with some outstanding plays in key moments.
The ever-improving Jed Bews was good again, while those who continue to ignore Mitch Duncan’s A-grade credentials should take a good look at his performances over the past fortnight.
When all is said and done, however, it could be that the Cats live and die by Dangerfield.
If he fires on Friday night, Geelong are every chance to beat the premiership favourites.
The question for punters is how much time Paddy spends forward.
We might have to focus more on the goal markets and less on disposals, although he did finish with 26 touches last week.
Same Game Multi tips for Crows vs. Cats
- Mitch Duncan for 30 or more disposals – $1.67
- Taylor Walker for three or more goals – $1.83
- Adelaide to win by 1-39 points – $2.10
Sportsbet now offers the Same Game Multi feature for all AFL fixtures, including every game of the finals.
Sign up at Sportsbet.com.au to get the mobile betting app and find out more.
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