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
 Luke Brown, Daniel Talia, Jake KellyB Matthew Suckling, Aaron Naughton, Zaine Cordy
HB Rory Laird, Tom Doedee, Paul SeedsmanHB Bailey Williams, Lewis Young, Hayden Crozier
C Rory Atkins, Matt Crouch, David MackayC Jason Johannisen, Lachie Hunter, Josh Dunkley
HF Myles Poholke, Mitch McGovern, Tom LynchHF Patrick Lipinski, Marcus Bontempelli, Mitch Wallis
F Josh Jenkins, Taylor Walker, Eddie BettsF Luke Dahlhaus, Billy Gowers, Bailey Dale
FOL Sam Jacobs, Bryce Gibbs, Richard DouglasFOL Tom Boyd, Toby McLean, Jack Macrae
I/C Hugh Greenwood, Jordan Gallucci, Andy Otten, Cameron Ellis-YolmenI/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 MelbourneGWS
 Sam Wright, Robbie Tarrant, Marley WilliamsBNick Haynes, Phil Davis, Heath Shaw
HB Jamie Macmillan, Scott D. Thompson, Ryan ClarkeHBAidan Corr, Jeremy Finlayson, Lachie Whitfield
C Billy Hartung, Jack Ziebell, Trent DurmontCSam J. Reid, Stephen Coniglio, Tim Taranto
HF Shaun Atley, Mason Wood, Jed AndersonHFDaniel Lloyd, Harry Himmelberg, Dylan Shiel
F Jarrad Waite, Ben Brown, Shaun HigginsFLachlan Keeffe, Jeremy Cameron, Matt de Boer
FOL Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Ben JacobsFOLRory 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/CRyan 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 CoastPort Adelaide
 Jarrod Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Steven MayB Riley Bonner, Tom Jonas, Dan Houston
HB Aron Hall, Jack Leslie, Callum Ah CheeHB Darcy Byrne-Jones, Jack Hombsch, Tom Clurey
C Jack Bowes, Jarryd Lyons, Lachie WellerC Steven Motlop, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec
HF Nick Holman, Brayden Crossley, Charlie BallardHF Travis Boak, Jack Watts, Chad Wingard
F Jack Martin, Sam Day, Aaron YoungF Justin Westhoff, Charlie Dixon, Robbie Gray
FOL Jarrod Witts, Touk Miller, David SwallowFOL Paddy Ryder, Tom Rockliff, Brad Ebert
I/C Alex Sexton, Ben Ainsworth, Brad Scheer, Michael RischitelliI/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
 Jed Bews, Harry Taylor, Jack HenryB Mark Baguley, Adam Saad
HB Zach Tuohy, Jake Kolodjashnij, Tom StewartHB Conor McKenna, Patrick Ambrose, Brendon Goddard
C Scott Selwood, Joel Selwood, Mark BlicavsC Orazio Fantasia, Zach Merrett, Kobe Mutch
HF Mitch Duncan, Stewart Crameri, Tim KellyHF Jayden Laverde, James Stewart, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
F Tom Hawkins, Jordan Murdcoch, Esava RatugoleaF David Myers, Cale Hooker, David Zaharakis
FOL Zac Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Gary AblettFOL 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/CShaun 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)

 Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Jake LloydB Michael Johnson, Joel Hamling, Alex Pearce
HB Callum Mills, Dane Rampe, Jarrad McVeighHB Luke Ryan, Taylin Duman, Ed Langdon
C Harry Cunningham, Josh Kennedy, Isaac HeeneyC Lachie Neale, David Mundy, Stephen Hill
HF George Hewett, Dean Towers, Oliver FlorentHF Bailey Banfield, Hayden Ballantyne, Brandon Matera
F Will Hayward, Gary Rohan, Tom PapleyF Darcy Tucker, Cam McCarthy, Connor Blakely
FOL Callum Sinclair, Luke Parker, Kieren JackFOLAaron Sandilands, Nat Fyfe, Andrew Brayshaw
I/C Tom McCartin, Daniel Robinson, Zak Jones, Ben RonkeI/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. KildaCollingwood
 Jarryn Geary, Nathan Brown, Shane SavageB Flynn Appleby, Lynden Dunn, Jack Crisp
HB Sam Gilbert, Jake Carlisle, Jimmy WebsterHB Travis Varcoe, Matthew Scharenberg, Jeremy Howe
C Jack Newnes, Luke Dunstan, Jack BillingsC Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips
HF Hunter Clark, Tim Mebrey, Blake AcresHF Jordan de Goey, Darcy Moore, Will Hoskin-Elliott
F Jade Gresham, Rowan Marshall, Maverick WellerF Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson
FOL Tom Hickey, Sebastian Ross, Jack StevenFOL Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Adam Treloar
I/C Jack Lonie, Josh Battle, Brandon White, Jack SinclairI/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
 Lachie Plowman, Sam Rowe, Dale ThomasB Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB Aaron Mullett, Liam Jones, Kade SimpsonHB 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 GrahamHF James Harmes, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham
F Sam Petrevski-Seton, Charlie Curnow (Q), Jarrod GarlettF Sam Weideman, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca
FOL Matthew Kreuzer, Paddy Dow, Sam KerridgeFOL Max Gawn, Dom Tyson, Clayton Oliver
I/C Cameron O’Shea, Jed Lamb, Matthew Wright, Lochie O’BrienI/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)

 Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Darcy GardinerB Jarman Impey, Ryan Burton, James Frawley
HB Daniel Rich, Tom Cutler, Alex WitherdenHB Taylor Duryea, James Sicily, Blake Hardwick
C Lewis Taylor, Mitch Robinson, Dayne ZorkoC Isaac Smith, Liam Shiels, Will Langford
HF Cameron Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Hugh McCluggageHF Tom Mitchell, Tim O’Brien, Jack Gunston
F Allen Christensen, Daniel McStay, Charlie CameronF Ricky Henderson, Jarryd Roughead, Jaeger O’Meara
FOL Stefan Martin, Jarrod Berry, Dayne BeamsFOL Ben McEvoy, Luke Breust, Shaun Burgoyne
I/C Nick Robertson, Zac Bailey, Matt Eagles, Oscar McInerneyI/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 
 Shannon Hurn, Tom Barrass, Brad SheppardB Alex Rance, David Astbury, Dylan Grimes
HB Thomas Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Jackson NelsonHB Bachar Houli, Nathan Broad, Nick Vlastuin
C Liam Duggan, Jack Redden, Chris MastenC Sam Lloyd, Trent Cotchin, Kamdyn McIntosh
HF Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling, Willie RioliHF Jason Castagna, Josh Caddy, Jacob Townsend
F Jake Waterman, Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCrasF Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Dan Butler
FOL Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo, Andrew GaffFOL Toby Nankervis, Kane Lambert, Dustin Martin
I/C Brendon Ah Chee, Fraser McInnes, Mark Hutchings, Brayden AinsworthI/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