Updated: Aug 2, 2020
With the first half of round nine wrapping up, let's delve into what the weekend holds for us.
Excitingly for their fans, these two teams will enter Sunday with plenty of hope. With neither team having won in July, they'll be hoping August brings more luck. Adelaide has improved in each of its last four weeks. Smashed around the ball by Essendon last week, they flew home, only losing thanks to their goal kicking inaccuracies. Buoyed by their return home and improved performance, they fly to the Coast sniffing their first win of 2020.
North Melbourne pushed the improving Carlton all the way last week. Having lost six in a row, the Kangaroos will be delighted to see a game against the league's bottom team on the schedule. Do they have enough about them to see off Adelaide? Undoubtedly a strong contested footy team, currently they lack any other strings to their bow.
Adelaide by 3 points
Beginning the month heavily criticised, the Saints answered the doubts over them in the latter part of the month with two impressive road wins. Can the Saints handle the media love more professionally this time around? If they can, their top-four position will feel a lot stronger.
Sydney - finally back on the winner's list - have had one of those weeks only 2020 can provide. Rushed out of Sydney with the worsening situation there, it'll be interesting to see how the Swan's manage this week. Expecting a similar display to their Richmond game, a low scoring evening awaits.
St Kilda by 9 points.
Rocking, Optus Stadium will provide the Eagles with the biggest home ground advantage seen in 2020. Riding the back of this, West Coast start as the shortest-priced favourites of the week, despite playing third place Geelong.
West Coast's transformation upon their return home has stunned the public. A mature list, with plenty of young families, is it really that surprising that a happy team is a better team? Often forgetting players are not robots emotionally, the footballing public often misses the mark with this.
Undermanned against Fremantle, Geelong was handed four points as their opposition declined to try and win the game. Additionally, the game was played in a constant downpour, making it hard to get a read on the quality of Geelong's performance.
West Coast by 17 points.
The two latest expansion teams do battle in what might be the most interesting match up in their history. One is a beaten Grand Finalist, whilst the other looks on the right path for the first time in years. Sitting a game outside eight at 4-4, there is plenty of the line for both teams.
Despite losing three of their past five, Gold Coast has continued to perform well. Wasteful in their forward half against the Bulldogs, the Coasters will be desperate to make up for four points given away.
GWS will be desperate to build some consistency in what has been a start-stop season thus far. Breaking a two-game losing skid with a win over Richmond, the Giants simply can't lose here if they want to be taken seriously.
Gold Coast by 17 points.
Thrashed by the Eagles last week, a more settled Collingwood should see off Fremantle, especially considering Fremantle will be without their two best players in Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters. After last weeks disastrous showing, Collingwood could not have asked for a better follow up.
Fremantle - a week removed from their horrendously negative display against Geelong - will look to quell the fast-starting Pies. If the Dockers can remain close, they may just discover some mental demons that exist amongst the Collingwood list.
Collingwood by 39 points.
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