Palmerbet Sports Team breaks down a bumper line-up of AFL Round 9 clashes, kicking off with the Crows and Dogs on Friday night, and closing with a potential Grand Final preview between the Eagles and Tigers!

Adelaide Crows V Western Bulldogs @ Adelaide Oval

Friday 18th May, 19:20 (AEST)

Adelaide  Western Bulldogs
Pos Player Pos Player
 Luke Brown, Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly B  Matthew Suckling, Aaron Naughton, Zaine Cordy
HB  Rory Laird, Tom Doedee, Paul Seedsman HB  Bailey Williams, Lewis Young, Hayden Crozier
C  Rory Atkins, Matt Crouch, David Mackay C  Jason Johannisen, Lachie Hunter, Josh Dunkley
HF  Myles Poholke, Mitch McGovern, Tom Lynch HF  Patrick Lipinski, Marcus Bontempelli, Mitch Wallis
F  Josh Jenkins, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts F  Luke Dahlhaus, Billy Gowers, Bailey Dale
FOL  Sam Jacobs, Bryce Gibbs, Richard Douglas FOL  Tom Boyd, Toby McLean, Jack Macrae
I/C  Hugh Greenwood, Jordan Gallucci, Andy Otten, Cameron Ellis-Yolmen I/C  Lukas Webb, Ed Richards, Mitch Honeychurch, Caleb Daniel

Played 43: Western Bulldogs 23 V Adelaide 20.

Last Meeting: Adelaide 16.8 (104) d Western Bulldogs 5.15 (45) at Adelaide Oval.

Final Thoughts: It’s hardly a Friday night cracker, but there’s something about this 4-4 Bulldogs team that just won’t quit. Last week’s gritty win over the Lions put them in the hunt for a top eight spot, but this week is a big ask against a Crows team looking to rebound from Showdown heartbreak.

There’s certainly no reason to expect a blowout here, but the Dogs have to find some form in front of goal. They finished with a lousy 48% efficiency rating last week, managing just 31 shots from 64 Inside 50s. That alone doesn’t bode well for the heavy $5.30 underdogs on the road.

Tip: Super Margin – Adelaide 30-39 @ $6.50

North Melbourne V GWS Giants @ Blundstone Arena

Saturday 19th May, 13:45 (AEST)

North Melbourne GWS
Pos Player Pos Player
 Sam Wright, Robbie Tarrant, Marley Williams B Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Heath Shaw
HB  Jamie Macmillan, Scott D. Thompson, Ryan Clarke HB Aidan Corr, Jeremy Finlayson, Lachie Whitfield
C  Billy Hartung, Jack Ziebell, Trent Durmont C Sam J. Reid, Stephen Coniglio, Tim Taranto
HF  Shaun Atley, Mason Wood, Jed Anderson HF Daniel Lloyd, Harry Himmelberg, Dylan Shiel
F  Jarrad Waite, Ben Brown, Shaun Higgins F Lachlan Keeffe, Jeremy Cameron, Matt de Boer
FOL  Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Ben Jacobs FOL Rory Lobb, Jacob Hopper, Callan Ward
I/C  Majaw Daw, Nathan Hrovat, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Jy Simpkin, Paul Ahern, Luke McDonald, Kayne Turner, Cmeron Zurhaar (three to be omitted) I/C Ryan Griffen, Zac Langdon, Isaac Cumming, Adam Tomlinson

Played 7: North Melbourne 5 V GWS 2.

Last Meeting: GWS 15.19 (109) d North Melbourne 10.7 (67) at Blundstone Arena.

Final Thoughts: The Roos had their chance last week, but like so many others, they too came up short against the reigning premiers. There was a big morale victory from Sunday’s loss, though, as not only did North show they can hang with the big dogs of the comp, they also limited Richmond to just 10 contested marks and forced 74 turnovers.

The Giants are reeling right now, and the long list of injuries isn’t getting any shorter. Ben Brown had a shocker in front of the sticks last week, booting just 2.2 against the Tigers. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen two weeks in a row, so expect North’s forward line to put on a clinic.

Tip: North Melbourne to Win @ $1.65

Gold Coast Suns V Port Adelaide @ Jiangwan Stadium

Saturday 19th May, 15:15 (AWST)

Gold Coast Port Adelaide
Pos Player Pos Player
 Jarrod Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Steven May B  Riley Bonner, Tom Jonas, Dan Houston
HB  Aron Hall, Jack Leslie, Callum Ah Chee HB  Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jack Hombsch, Tom Clurey
C  Jack Bowes, Jarryd Lyons, Lachie Weller C  Steven Motlop, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec
HF  Nick Holman, Brayden Crossley, Charlie Ballard HF  Travis Boak, Jack Watts, Chad Wingard
F  Jack Martin, Sam Day, Aaron Young F  Justin Westhoff, Charlie Dixon, Robbie Gray
FOL  Jarrod Witts, Touk Miller, David Swallow FOL  Paddy Ryder, Tom Rockliff, Brad Ebert
I/C  Alex Sexton, Ben Ainsworth, Brad Scheer, Michael Rischitelli I/C  Jake Neade, Dougal Howard, Sam Powell-Pepper, Sam Gray

Played 9: Port Adelaide 8 V Gold Coast 1.

Last Meeting: Round 23, 2017: Port Adelaide 20.15 (135) d Gold Coast 3.2 (20) at Adelaide Oval.

Final Thoughts: Three week’s ago you would’ve fancied the Suns for the eight, but now at 3-5, Gold Coast find themselves at a whopping $101.00 to play finals. On the same token, three weeks ago the Power looked suspect, but after a gutsy showdown win that will go down in Port Adelaide folklore, suddenly Ken Hinkey’s team is back with a vengeance.

The AFL return to China for this one, with the Suns having lost three games on the road this season. Round 6’s thumping against the Crows in Adelaide will still be fresh in their minds, but even though both sides are a long way from home, it’s hard to build a case for a Gold Coast side that has suddenly fallen back into obscurity.

Tip: Port Adelaide Lead at Every Quarter @ $1.40

Geelong V Essendon @ MCG

Saturday 19th May, 16:35 (AEST)

Geelong  Essendon
Pos Player Pos Player
 Jed Bews, Harry Taylor, Jack Henry B  Mark Baguley, Adam Saad
HB  Zach Tuohy, Jake Kolodjashnij, Tom Stewart HB  Conor McKenna, Patrick Ambrose, Brendon Goddard
C  Scott Selwood, Joel Selwood, Mark Blicavs C  Orazio Fantasia, Zach Merrett, Kobe Mutch
HF  Mitch Duncan, Stewart Crameri, Tim Kelly HF  Jayden Laverde, James Stewart, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
F  Tom Hawkins, Jordan Murdcoch, Esava Ratugolea F  David Myers, Cale Hooker, David Zaharakis
FOL  Zac Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett FOL  Tom Bellchambers, Devon Smith, Dyson Heppell
I/C  Wylie Buzza, Jordan Cunico, Zach Guthrie, George Horlin-Smith, Sam Menegola, James Parsons, Rhys Stanley, Jackson Thurlow (three to be omitted) I/C Shaun McKernan, Darcy Parish, Ben McNiece

History: Played 58: Geelong 34 V Essendon 24.

Last Meeting: Round 8, 2017: Essendon 17.8 (110) d Geelong 13.15 (93) at MCG.

Final Thoughts: Where to begin. Michael Hurley is out, so is Andrew McGrath, and now Jake Stringer joins the casualty ward. Meanwhile at the cattery, Geelong have won two straight, with the returning Gary Ablett up to his usual tricks last Sunday against the Pies.

There’s plenty of distractions on the field, and plenty of distractions off for the Bombers. Assistant coach Mark Neeld was sacked midweek, but is there enough motivation here for the Dons to pull off the unthinkable? With the basic principles of teamwork missing, the answer is straight up, no. Essendon have lacked discipline for much of the season, and against a Cats outfit that limited Collingwood to just five goals last week, there’s some real value to be had in the Total Points Market on Saturday.

Tip: Essendon 0-9 Goals @ $2.00

Sydney Swans V Fremantle @ SCG

Saturday 19th May, 19:25 (AEST)

Sydney Fremantle
Pos Player Pos Player
 Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Jake Lloyd B  Michael Johnson, Joel Hamling, Alex Pearce
HB  Callum Mills, Dane Rampe, Jarrad McVeigh HB  Luke Ryan, Taylin Duman, Ed Langdon
C  Harry Cunningham, Josh Kennedy, Isaac Heeney C  Lachie Neale, David Mundy, Stephen Hill
HF  George Hewett, Dean Towers, Oliver Florent HF  Bailey Banfield, Hayden Ballantyne, Brandon Matera
F  Will Hayward, Gary Rohan, Tom Papley F  Darcy Tucker, Cam McCarthy, Connor Blakely
FOL  Callum Sinclair, Luke Parker, Kieren Jack FOL Aaron Sandilands, Nat Fyfe, Andrew Brayshaw
I/C  Tom McCartin, Daniel Robinson, Zak Jones, Ben Ronke I/C  Mitchell Crowden, Brennan Cox, Danyle Pearce, Adam Cerra

Played 32: Sydney 18 V Fremantle 14.

Last Meeting: Round 21, 2017: Sydney 22.11 (143) d Fremantle 5.9 (39) at SCG.

Final Thoughts: The Swans have had their setbacks this year, but last week’s win over Hawthorn put the whole league on notice. Suddenly this is a serious premiership contender, and small-forward Ben Ronke’s breakout last week spells good news for the Swans who are set to miss Buddy Franklin for the fourth straight game.

Fremantle are averaging 82.8 points against through eight rounds, and after winning just one game on the road all season, it’s hard to see the Dockers backline holding up for a full four quarters at the SCG. Nat Fyfe has emerged as the $3.50 Brownlow favourite following Round 8, but despite his presence in the midfield, Ronke’s form makes the Swans an easy pick in margin markets.

Tip: Winning Margin – Sydney 1-24 @ $3.40

St. Kilda V Collingwood @ Etihad Stadium

Saturday 19th May, 19:25 (AEST)

St. Kilda Collingwood
Pos Player Pos Player
 Jarryn Geary, Nathan Brown, Shane Savage B  Flynn Appleby, Lynden Dunn, Jack Crisp
HB  Sam Gilbert, Jake Carlisle, Jimmy Webster HB  Travis Varcoe, Matthew Scharenberg, Jeremy Howe
C  Jack Newnes, Luke Dunstan, Jack Billings C  Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips
HF  Hunter Clark, Tim Mebrey, Blake Acres HF  Jordan de Goey, Darcy Moore, Will Hoskin-Elliott
F  Jade Gresham, Rowan Marshall, Maverick Weller F  Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson
FOL  Tom Hickey, Sebastian Ross, Jack Steven FOL  Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar
I/C  Jack Lonie, Josh Battle, Brandon White, Jack Sinclair I/C  Jarryd Blair, Callum Brown, Ben Crocker, Josh Daicos, Alex Fasolo, Chris Mayne, Sam Murray, Daniel Wells (three to be omitted)

History: Played 61: Collingwood 40 V St. Kilda 21.

Last Meeting: Round 4, 2017: St. Kilda 9.15 (69) d Collingwood 7.13 (55) at Etihad Stadium.

Final Thoughts: It’s only Round 9 and already 2018 is a complete write-off for St. Kilda. The Saints haven’t won since Round 1 against Brisbane, and after a dismal display last week against the Dockers in W.A, suddenly Alan Richardson’s men are looking good value at $4.40 in the ‘Least Season Wins’ market.

The trouble for the Sainters has come in front of goal – they’ve kicked just 69, the lowest of any club this season. St. Kilda are also dead last in points per game, and against a Magpies outfit that was silenced last week at home against Geelong, you just know full-forward Jordan de Goey is hungry to jot crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

With all of St. Kilda’s troubles in mind, though, this one could turn out to be close. The Saints’ third quarter against Freo last week was the one positive in an otherwise lost afternoon, and since St. Kilda has won the last two of these encounters, history is on their side, too.

Tip: Handicap – St. Kilda +20.5 @ $1.90

Carlton V Melbourne Demons @ MCG

Saturday 20th May, 13:10 (AEST)

Carlton  Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player
 Lachie Plowman, Sam Rowe, Dale Thomas B  Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB  Aaron Mullett, Liam Jones, Kade Simpson HB  Angus Brayshaw, Jake Lever, Bernie Vince
C  Darcy Lang, Patrick Cripps, Ed Curnow (Q) C  Jordan Lewis, Nathan Jones, Christian Salem
HF  Zac Fisher, Harry McKay, Nick Graham HF  James Harmes, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham
F  Sam Petrevski-Seton, Charlie Curnow (Q), Jarrod Garlett F  Sam Weideman, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca
FOL  Matthew Kreuzer, Paddy Dow, Sam Kerridge FOL  Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver
I/C  Cameron O’Shea, Jed Lamb, Matthew Wright, Lochie O’Brien I/C  Charlie Spargo, Mitch Hannan, Alex Neal-Bullen, Bayley Fritsch

Played 58: Carlton 33 V Melbourne 25.

Last Meeting: Round 16, 2017: Melbourne 14.6 (90) d Cartlon 12.10 (82) at MCG.

Final Thoughts: The Blues fought their way into the winners circle last week against Essendon, while Melbourne jumped up to sixth on the ladder with a commanding win over the Suns. It might not look it, but this could be a sneaky contender for match of the round, although a lot depends on the fate of the Curnow brothers. Both are set to face the tribunal again on Thursday for their roles in last week’s incident with an umpire, but if cleared, this game has the potential to hold plenty of fireworks.

Rewind to Round 16 last year, the Blues lost narrowly to the Dees by six points. It was an an afternoon that featured plenty of off-the-ball drama, leaving Patrick Cripps battered and bruised by the end of it. Carlton’s memory should serve them well ahead of this clash, and they’ll certainly come out ready for a scrap. Last time out the Blues led the game in disposals, marks, clearances, scoring shots and inside 50s against the Dees, so if they can find that kind of form once again, Carlton could be looking at two-zip.

Tip: Carlton to Win @ $5.20

Brisbane Lions V Hawthorn @ The Gabba

Sunday 20th May, 15:20 (AEST)

Brisbane Hawthorn
Pos Player Pos Player
 Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Darcy Gardiner B  Jarman Impey, Ryan Burton, James Frawley
HB  Daniel Rich, Tom Cutler, Alex Witherden HB  Taylor Duryea, James Sicily, Blake Hardwick
C  Lewis Taylor, Mitch Robinson, Dayne Zorko C  Isaac Smith, Liam Shiels, Will Langford
HF  Cameron Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Hugh McCluggage HF  Tom Mitchell, Tim O’Brien, Jack Gunston
F  Allen Christensen, Daniel McStay, Charlie Cameron F  Ricky Henderson, Jarryd Roughead, Jaeger O’Meara
FOL  Stefan Martin, Jarrod Berry, Dayne Beams FOL  Ben McEvoy, Luke Breust, Shaun Burgoyne
I/C  Nick Robertson, Zac Bailey, Matt Eagles, Oscar McInerney I/C  Harry Morrison, Brendan Whitecross, Daniel Howe, Ben Stratton

Played 30: Hawthorn 17 V Brisbane 13.

Last Meeting: Round 8, 2017: Hawthorn 17.11 (113) d Brisbane 11.9 (75) at University of Tasmania Stadium.

Final Thoughts: Both of these sides should have won last week. Errors and turnovers killed Brisbane when it counted, while the Hawks fell victim to a serious momentum swing and some guy named Ben Ronke. Hawthorn haven’t played at The Gabba since 2016, a game they won comfortably by 48-points. There’s nothing to say we won’t see a similar blowout this time around, but Chris Fagan’s side have shown they will win a game sometime soon, and this fixture potentially has upset written all over it.

Despite their unfamiliarity with the ground itself, this game also marks Luke Hodge’s first clash against his former club. It’s an occasion the entire Lions lineup will get up for, but if Brisbane can do what Sydney did last week and completely silence Tom Mitchell, anything can happen. When these two met last season Mitchell racked up 36 disposals and nine tackles, but the former Brownlow favourite has shown some weaknesses when faced with a heavy tag. Another big Dayne Zorko performance could certainly make this one interesting.

Tip: Handicap – Brisbane +16.5 @ $1.90

West Coast Eagles V Richmond @ Optus Stadium

Sunday 20th May, 16:40 (AEST)

West Coast  Richmond 
Pos Player Pos Player
 Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard B  Alex Rance, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes
HB  Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Jackson Nelson HB  Bachar Houli, Nathan Broad, Nick Vlastuin
C  Liam Duggan, Jack Redden, Chris Masten C  Sam Lloyd, Trent Cotchin, Kamdyn McIntosh
HF  Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling, Willie Rioli HF  Jason Castagna, Josh Caddy, Jacob Townsend
F  Jake Waterman, Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras F  Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Dan Butler
FOL  Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo, Andrew Gaff FOL  Toby Nankervis, Kane Lambert, Dustin Martin
I/C  Brendon Ah Chee, Fraser McInnes, Mark Hutchings, Brayden Ainsworth I/C  Jack Higgins, Jack Graham, Jayden Short, Reece Conca, Brandon Ellis, Anthony Miles, Ivan Soldo, Ryan Garthwaite (three to be omitted)

Played 42: West Coast 25 V Richmond 17.

Last Meeting: Round 3, 2017: Richmond 11.10 (76) d West Coast 8.17 (65) at MCG.

Final Thoughts: The AFL sure is good at saving the best till’ last. This one shapes up to be a potential Grand Final preview between the two best teams in the competition. Richmond have earned the right to go in as $1.81 favourites, but the market has swung all week, with West Coast now sitting just twenty centrs out at $2.00. The great thing about this game is it’s in Perth, which obviously plays into the Eagles’ hands, but it should give punters a clear indication as to just how serious a Richmond repeat is this season.

Last week against North Melbourne the Tigers were put to the sword, pulling out the stops in the final few minutes of play. It’s been a rough few weeks for Dustin Martin, though, who has kicked just two goals in the last three rounds. He racked up 40 disposals when these two met last year, so all eyes will be on the skipper to see if he can repeat.

West Coast, meanwhile, have history on their side. Richmond haven’t travelled to face the Eagles in Perth since 2016, a game they lost comfortably by 68-points, which happens to be the exact same number of goals Mark LeCras, Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Jake Waterman have combined for this season. Throw in the return of Nick Naitanui from suspension, and suddenly the Tigers are faced with quite literally, their tallest and toughest test since the Grand Final.

Tip: Winning Margin – West Coast 1 -24 @ $3.40