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AFL ROUND 18

HAWTHORN HAWKS VS GOLD COAST SUNS

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 12.35 PM, ADELAIDE OVAL

Neither of these teams will look back on 2020 with any great fondness or significance, but that is not to say the seasons have been a total disaster, at least for Gold Coast, and in a fitting way to finish the year, they meet in a match solely for pride and the future, without any bearing on 2020 whatsoever.  Hawthorn have faded after a promising result or two, and sit 4-12 good enough for just 16th in their worst season in a long time, and had an ordinary 36-point loss against Finals hopefuls the Bulldogs in their last match.  Gold Coast have been much better than they were in 2019, recording a 5-10-1 record to date, with the chance of taking 13th which Essendon currently hold:  a fine improvement from their wooden spoon efforts of 2019.  Testing conditions await these players as blowy showers and warm temperatures are the order of the day in Adelaide, with not much of a crowd likely after Adelaide played at this venue on Saturday evening.

Hawthorn are looking to finish the season with something of a high note, as they are not sparing their injured brigade that have been on the rehab journey lately, including Stratton and Frawley in their side, as the look to improve their wins column late.  Howe is rested from the side after just playing a few games this year, and will nervously await the offseason to see if he remains a Hawk, while rookie Maginness is not selected for this final game of the season.  Gold Coast welcome back a budding young star in Ainsworth, while another Sharp is also included as is debutant Jy Farrar, a medium-sized Forward from Adelaide, aged 23.  Out of the side for Gold Coast this week are, Darcy MacPherson, Holman who picked up a knock and Lemmens who is also unavailable for selection due to injury.

Last August the Hawks were playing fine Footy, and touched the Suns up to the tune of 118-48, when Forward legend Roughead booted a half a dozen goals and Worpel and Scully controlled the Midfield.  The Suns have had a torrid time of it against the Hawks since their inclusion into the AFL, having won just a pair of matches in the time, while Hawthorn have recorded 10 victories, many of which were in their golden Premiership years.  Gold Coast are favourites for this game at $1.72, with a margin of less than a goal predicted, while the Hawks stand a good chance of taking the win, as they are at $2.15.

PREDICTION: Hawthorn to edge the Suns by less than 2 goals.

BETTING TIP: $2.35 for the Hawks to take the match by 1-39 seems nice.