Ahead of their key AFL Round 10 clash against Melbourne this weekend, can GWS turn around their fortunes at the home of footy?

It’s been said in recent times that if the star-studded Giants are to ever contend on footy’s biggest stage, they need to start winning at the MCG. It is, after all (despite moans from clubs around the country) the locked-in host of the AFL grand final for decades to come. In their 16 games at the ground in the club’s short history, Leon Cameron’s side has won just two games. The recent loss to Hawthorn in round eight at the ‘G – a game they started as $1.55 favourite with Palmerbet – further underlined the hoodoo. So ahead of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Dees (which the Giants similarly start as $1.53 favourites), we cast an eye over their record, and look closer at this weekend’s clash.

The yips

The Giants’ poor record at the MCG doesn’t just stem from the early years as the competition’s new kids on the block. In fact, they’ve won just one of their last nine games at the venue, predominantly in years they’ve been a finals side. And it’s not travelling to Melbourne that does them in. In fact, their record across town at Docklands (8 wins, 10 losses, 1 draw) is far better. So why is their record so poor? Bombers legend Matthew Lloyd said last week on Footy Classified it is all in the head: “I think psychologically some of their players struggle,” he said. “Some West Coast players turned up to the MCG on Grand Final day for the first time, and were able to win a Grand Final. So it’s a psychological thing for the Giants.”

It goes without saying that the Giants should be better at the MCG, and their ladder position (3rd) reflects that. In fact, Cameron’s side remain strong $1.40 chances to make the top four this season. Further, after Sunday’s thumping win over the Blues, the Giants have moved into third-favourites for the flag at $7. It’s time to break the curse.

Dees test

So, what about this weekend? “They have to win that one,” Lloyd said. “I think until they win a game there (at the MCG) you can’t take them seriously in the finals.” As mentioned, the Giants start as $1.53 favourites with Palmerbet, and have been given an 11.5 point head-start. While the Dees have had a poor start to the season, recent weeks has seen them return to more consistent football. Despite the loss last week, they pushed premiers West Coast all the way. The Giants, also, have some injury worries. Cameron and co will be sweating on the fitness of both Zac Williams and Stephen Coniglio, who they’ll be desperate to make the trip.

Onto the game itself, and will GWS yet again give their opposition the jump? While their seven-goal opening term against Carlton last week was dominant, they’ve actually lost five of nine first quarters this year. Melbourne are $2.23 to claim first-term honours with Palmerbet, something punters might look into.

Worth a Brownlow nibble?

And finally, Giants star Lachie Whitfield has been lauded for his ball use this year. And rightly so. The former number one pick has moved into another gear in 2019, and his effort against the Blues last was the stand-out effort of the 2019 AFL season thus far.

With that, he has moved into a still-juicy $34 Brownlow chance with Palmerbet. Worth a bite?

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