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AFL ROUND 18

NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS VS WEST COAST EAGLES

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 7.10 PM, METRICON STADIUM, GOLD COAST

The Eagles are well on track for a full-fledged tilt at this years Finals series after confirming they have shaken off any doubts that they may have caused by their earlier season mediocrity on the eastern seaboard.  Last week they were comfortable winners against St Kilda, defeating the fellow top 8 contenders by 15, which put them 5th, which is likely where they will stay, if results go the way predicted.  North Melbourne continued their season of poor AFL as Fremantle caned them by 64 points, leaving them 2nd last, with a slight chance of Adelaide even handing them the spoon, if West Coast go rogue, and or the Tigers slip up against the Crows.  Picture perfect conditions will be on hand for this game at the Gold Coast, with game time temperatures around 20 degrees with little chance of any rain and only a slight breeze, leaving all without excuse for excellence.

North Melbourne have seen the inconsistency of many players ability to stay healthy all season long and it is no different this week, with Bonar injuring himself, which is going to limit him to 7 AFL matches all year.  Wood is again omitted also, after a very in one week out the next type season for him, leaving the selectors to go with Sam Durdin and Tom Murphy for the final fixture of their forgettable 2020 campaign.  West Coast will continue the late season flurry of blooding youngsters by giving Luke Foley a run, a large hard Midfielder, aged 20, locally produced and drafted 31st in 2018, with plenty of potential.  Out of the side this week is, Brayshaw and Brander, as well as O’Neill, while the major concern is McGovern who is injured again, leaving Ah Chee and Sheed as well as Rookie, Williams to come back into the side, before they enjoy a week off, to prepare for the Finals.  The McGovern injury looks like it will linger well into the Finals series which is a major problem for the Eagles.

It was a 49-point belting for the Roos in 2019, highlighted by a 6-goals-to-1 blitz in the 3rd term, thanks to a huge bag of 7 goals from ever-reliable Forward, Josh Kennedy.  West Coast have a strong 28 wins from 50 matches against North Melbourne which is a fair enough score given the fortunes of either side in the past few generations since the Perth teams entered the competition.  West Coast are handicapped at -33.5, with a strong $1.10 quote for the win, while the Kangaroos are $8, and next to no chance of upsetting the premiership heavyweights; the Eagles are now $10 chances of winning the flag.  It would be an upset for the ages if North Melbourne come away with the 4 competition points in this clash, as they have frankly been awful all year long.

PREDICITON: Eagles by at least 24.

BETTING TIP: $2.05 for Kennedy to kick more than 3 goals, or $2.90 for Ryan to kick 3 or more, seems very plausible.