Friday Forecast Part 1

Posted: August 29, 2014 in AFL, Friday Forecast
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The Friday Forecast is taking a slightly different form this week. As I have been laid low by a rather brutal virus the final round AFL preview never came. So, in this, Part 1 of the Friday Forecast, I’ll have a look at where each team sits, who they are playing and what they are playing for. Later today I’ll put up Part 2 which we be more general, including a look at how the Vuelta is going and the upcoming stages.

Firstly, a quick recap of how the AFL season works. There are 23 rounds, with each team playing 22 matches. With an 18 team competition this creates some difficulties with the draw. All teams play each other at least once, while beyond that it is a mix of what the AFL and the clubs want regarding the most popular games, local derby’s etc. The difficulty in creating a fair and equal draw is an issue that has long plagued the AFL but that is a topic for another time. The AFL operates a final eight system, which is broken up into two groups of four for the first week of the finals. A top four position is highly coveted because it comes with a “second chance” as sides can lose in the first week of the finals but that doesn’t knock them out.

Below are the teams in current ladder order.

1. Sydney – play Richmond in Sydney – Already assured of a top two finish, the minor premiership awaits if they can beat Richmond. It’s hard to tip against the ladder leader at home but its harder not to be on the Richmond wagon!

2. Hawthorn – play Collingwood – A win will secure second position on the ladder. Need Richmond to beat Sydney and a big win themselves to climb to first. Will win and probably by a long way.

3. Geelong Cats – play Brisbane in Geelong – Will win (they don’t lose down there) to secure third position on the ladder.

4. Fremantle – play Port Adelaide in Perth – A classic winner takes all battle. Whoever wins will finish fourth and secures the double chance. The loser will finish fifth. Home ground advantage should be enough for Freo to get the win they crave.

5. Port Adelaide – play Fremantle in Perth – As above.

6. North Melbourne – play Melbourne – Nothing is routine with North but it just might be this week. Should score a comfortable victory, thus securing sixth position on the ladder.

7. Essendon – play Carlton – Mathematically could miss the eight but that won’t happen. Should win but the focus will be on fine tuning for what, almost certainly, will be a finals match up with North Melbourne.

8. Richmond – play Sydney in Sydney – Richmond has won eight in a row since losing to the Swans by 11 points. Looked to have no chance of making the finals but now have their fate in their own hands. Every neutral will be hoping they can win.

9. Collingwood – play Hawthorn – Terrible second half of the season and hard to imagine they wont get thumped on Friday night.

10. West Coast Eagles – play Gold Coast Suns in Gold Coast – Currently two spots outside the eight but still a decent chance. Need to win, which they should do, and hope Collingwood and Richmond don’t.

11. Adelaide Crows – play St Kilda in Adelaide – At this stage they can still make the finals but that could change by the time they kick-off. Why the AFL doesn’t follow the lead of almost every other sport and play all games in the final round at the same time is a mystery. To make the eight need Richmond and Collingwood to lose and to win by about 10 goals more than West Coast Eagles. All could happen but probably won’t. They’ll win though.

12. Gold Coast Suns – play West Coast Eagles in Gold Coast – Mathematically they can still make the eight but that is about it. Would need not only other results to go their way but also an enormous win, something itself which is unlikely.

13. Carlton – play Essendon – Pretty much nothing to play for other than to beat one of their main rivals. But that is unlikely to be enough, especially if the previous 22 rounds are anything to go by.

14. Western Bulldogs – play GWS in Melbourne – There have been some good signs for the Bulldogs and in a match that doesn’t mean much they should win to finish the season on a good note.

15. Brisbane Lions – play Geelong in Geelong – Very little left to play for and are likely to provide Geelong with nothing more than match practice in their final game of the season.

16. GWS Giants – play Western Bulldogs in Melbourne – have progress from last season but still a long way to go. Will find the going tough in their final game against the Bulldogs.

17. Melbourne – play North Melbourne – With St Kilda unlikely to beat Adelaide Melbourne have very little left to play for. Will avoid the wooden spoon on percentage.

18. St Kilda –  Play Adelaide in Adelaide – The end can’t come soon enough.

 

Sports Utility Quotient – 7 (trending upwards towards the finals)

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