First of all, any danger of some else getting a gig in the opening game of the round? Richmond will have now played in three of the four weekend openers, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if they could finally produce a watchable performance.
The Tigers were unconvincing against Carlton in their first fixture of the 2016 season, and since then they have slumped to a couple of losses. They should have beaten the Pies, but last week their loss to the Crows showed how far away this team is from mounting a Grand Final challenge. Richmond look like they’ll be missing Deledio, Grimes, and Maric; three players who would make a huge difference to this lacklustre outfit.
West Coast meanwhile have no injury concerns, and come into the contest with two wins from three, their only loss coming in the 2015 Grand Final re-match. I’m not going to get too worked up by the defeat to Hawthorn, as they’ve won the other two games by 64 and 33 points. Their key men are getting the job done, Nic Nat has 119 hitouts to his name, Josh Kennedy 10 goals, and both Gaff and Priddis have over 90 disposals already this season.
The Eagles’ midfield and forwards will be the difference. The players mentioned above are some of the best in the division, and they’ll be far too much for Richmond. The Tigers themselves will get plenty of chances but have I no faith in them in front of goal. If they put in another piss-weak performance tonight, they’ll get embarrassed. West Coast will win, but I’m after a little more value than the $1.2 on offer so get on them to salute by 25+ at $1.62.
After my $13 tip got up in last week’s Friday night clash, I’m going to back another 30 disposals and three goals double. It’s not as tasty, but the $4.6 on offer for Kennedy to kick three and Martin to have 30+ disposals has caught my eye. We all know what the big man is capable of doing, and Martin is my pre-season pick for the Brownlow, plus he’s averaging a shade over 30 disposals a game this season.
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