AFL Tips & Preview – Round 11

Round 11 of the 2022 AFL season features a hugely anticipated clash between two traditional rivals, while two Top 4 clubs battle it out.

Friday 27th May, 19:50 (AEST)

Sydney Richmond
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 198: Sydney 88 v Richmond 109 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R3 2021: Richmond 10.12 (72) lost to Sydney 17.15 (117)

Final Thoughts: Three losses in their last four games has the Swans — at one stage considered a Top 4 lock by some — in a slump. And, with games against red-hot Richmond and Melbourne to come, it’s not outside the realms of possibility they could slump to 6-6. Which makes this clash, under the Friday night lights of the SCG no less, a huge one.

The Tigers come in buoyant after a strong Dreamtime victory over Essendon which solidified their 2022 credential, but will rue the absence of key position guns in Noah Balta and Tom Lynch. Without an obvious replacement for Lynch (the Coleman Medal favourite prior to Round 10), Damien Hardwick’s men will have to go in smaller in their forward 50. Sydney, by contrast, are bolstered by the return of James Rowbottom from suspension, who will come straight in for Josh Kennedy. Strangely, these two clubs haven’t faced off at the SCG since 2016.

Tip: Line, Sydney -12.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 28th May, 13:45 (AEST)

Brisbane GWS
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 12: Brisbane 5 v GWS 7

Last Meeting: AFL R11 2021: Brisbane Lions 19.15 (129) dftd GWS Giants 10.5 (65)

Final Thoughts: Brisbane let slip four points that they should have sealed against an impressive Hawks outfit in Round 10, but the ramifications from the result — thankfully for coach Chris Fagan — isn’t huge. In fact, Fremantle’s loss has meant they even shortened (ever so slightly) into $1.21 in Palmerbet’s Top 4 market. But Fagan wouldn’t have like what he saw. Expect them to come back hard.

It’s difficult to take much from the Giants’ impressive win in Mark McVeigh’s first game in charge given West Coast’s travails, but their hunt around the footy was strong. Whether it withstands against a far stronger opposition looms as a huge test.

Tip: Line, GWS Giants +33.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 28th May, 13:45 (AEST)

Geelong Adelaide
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 47: Geelong 26 v Adelaide 21

Last Meeting: AFL R1 2021: Adelaide 15.13 (103) dftd Geelong 13.13 (91)

Final Thoughts: For a second straight week Geelong hosts a South Australian club at home. And while the Power’s drought at Kardinia Park (or GMHBA Stadium) dates back to 2007, you have to go back almost two decades, to 2003, for the last time the Crows prevailed down at the Cattery. It’s a dominant period, and one that is set to continue with Geelong starting strong favourites. After four straight defeats, Adelaide dwindling hopes are compounded by key forward Taylor Walker’s absence (COVID protocols). Pundits and fans have had plenty to say about an ‘ageing’ Geelong outfit in 2022 but the reality is, victory here at home could see them back in the Top 4.

Tip: Total Goals, Geelong 18+ @ $3.40

Saturday 28th May, 16:35 (AEST)

Melbourne Fremantle
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C

 

History: Played 40: Melbourne 17 v Fremantle 23

Last Meeting: AFL R1 2021: Melbourne 11.14 (80) dftd Fremantle 8.10 (58)

Final Thoughts: It’s perhaps a mark of Melbourne’s utter dominance in 2022 that their past two victories — by 47 and 74 points, no less — hardly registered on the radar. While you could nitpick some negative aspects over those victories against the AFL’s two cellar dweller clubs, the reality is that it’s hard to motivate players who walk onto the field knowing they’ll walk away with four points.

This week, however, is different, coming up against a fellow Top 4 side. But while Fremantle have been one of the surprise packets of 2022, they enter this one in poor form, coming off back-to-back defeats. The latest, a heavy one to Collingwood at home no less, would be cause for concern for Justin Longmuir. A minor blip on his team’s upward trajectory? Or have the competition figured out the Dockers in 2022? We’ll find out on Saturday afternoon.

Tip: Total points, Over 150.5 @ $1.88

Saturday 28th May, 19:30 (AEST)

West Coast Western Bulldogs
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 58: West Coast 36 v Western Bulldogs 21 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R15 2021: West Coast 6.7 (43) lost to Western Bulldogs 13.20 (98)

Final Thoughts: The Dogs have steadied their season in recent weeks and could well leapfrog the loser of Sydney v Richmond to slip back into the Top 8 with victory here. In fact, with the Top 8 likely to be decided to percentage in 2022 — and given they’re currently evens to finish there come season’s end — Luke Beveridge could well see this as an opportunity for a big win. Unlike recent years, Optus Stadium has posed littler threat to visiting sides this season.

For Adam Simpson, a second win of the season seems further away each week. But their team, while ageing, is still stacked with premiership players from 2018. They caused an upset over Collingwood earlier this season, and if they’re to get up here it would be an even bigger underdog effort.

Tip: Line, West Coast +42.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 28th May, 19:40 (AEST)

Gold Coast Hawthorn
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C  I/C

 

History: Played 14: Gold Coast 3 v Hawthorn 11

Last Meeting: AFL R11 2021: Gold Coast 17.11 (113) dftd Hawthorn 11.10 (76)

Final Thoughts: An intriguing clash, perhaps made more unpredictable given it’s in the unfamiliar surrounds of Darwin. Both clubs, who are tough to split (equal on points and separated by a mere percentage point) come in having claimed big underdog wins in recent weeks. And while both are two games outside the Top 8, the victor will believe they have a sniff in 2022.

While their record this season suggests things could be close, the reality is that it’s rarely close when these two play, with each of the last four encounters decided by six goals or more. The Hawks have kicked 90+ points in each of the last two games and should prove a tough test for the Suns.

Tip: To score 2+ goals, Chad Wingard (Haw) @ $2.30

Sunday 29th May, 13:10 (AEST)

St Kilda North Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 162: St Kilda 79 v North Melbourne 81 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL R11 2021: St Kilda 12.16 (88) dftd North Melbourne 10.8 (68)

Final Thoughts: More off-field drama has eventuated at North Melbourne this week, which could easily spill out onto the on-field output on Sunday. While North put in a valiant effort against Melbourne last week, the reality is that they’ve been beaten by 45+ points for six straight weeks. Perhaps one piece of heartening news for David Noble is that his club match up well against the Saints, having won four of their last five encounters.

St Kilda have steadied in recent weeks and look every bit the Top 4 contender. In fact, victory here would see them back inside the Top 4 provided Melbourne knocks off Fremantle. Despite their promising form in 2022, the Saints don’t have a great percentage (currently 118.1). Brett Ratten might be targeting this one as a percentage booster.

Tip: Total Goals, Over 24.5 @ $1.91

Sunday 29th May, 15:20 (AEST)

Collingwood Carlton
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 260: Collingwood 128 v Carlton 128 (4 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL R18 2021: Collingwood 9.8 (62) lost to Carlton 13.13 (91)

Final Thoughts: Rarely, in recent years, has a clash between these two AFL powerhouses been this highly anticipated. Both coming off huge wins in the context of their respective seasons, a huge crowd awaits at the home of footy. Going in as favourites, the Blues have a big chance to all but seal a Top 4 spot in coming weeks before their draw gets decidedly tougher.

The Pies meanwhile, coming off a big upset win over Fremantle in the west, will fancy themselves as underdogs for another week. While Carlton (in particular Jacob Weitering) were strong in the air against Sydney last week, they weren’t as assured with the ground ball, which again poses an opportunity for the divisive Jack Ginnivan (11 goals in his last three games at the MCG), who will relish this big stage. And while the Blues got one over the Pies last season, Collingwood have dominated recent encounter, winning the previous five before that.

Tip: Margin, Carlton 1-39 @ $2.30

Sunday 29th May, 16:40 (AEST)

Port Adelaide Essendon
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 33: Port Adelaide 19 v Essendon 14

Last Meeting: AFL R2 2021: Port Adelaide 18.11 (119) dftd Essendon 9.11 (65)

Final Thoughts: Port Adeaide’s four-game winning streak came to an end last week, but they start strong favourites to return to winning ways this week and — should they snare four points — on the precipice of the Top 8. Ken Hinkley’s men have belted Essendon on the last three occasions, by an average of 54 points. It’ll be a big night at the selection table this week, too, with Charlie Dixon, Orazio Fantasia and Xavier Duursma all chances to return.

For the Bombers, big defeat here would entrench them in the bottom 4 in what has been a horror season to date. And things aren’t about to get easier, with games against Carlton and St Kilda to come. Forecast heavy rain in Adelaide could make this one a slog.

Tip: Total Points, Under 147.5 @ $1.88