The Adelaide Crows have learnt one lesson already from the AFL finals – there’s no such thing as favourites.
Adelaide enter Saturday night’s elimination final against North Melbourne as raging favourites – as were West Coast, who got trounced by the Western Bulldogs in Thursday night’s knockout game in Perth.
“History says in finals anyone is a chance,” Adelaide assistant coach Scott Camporeale told reporters on Friday.
“It’s a 50-50 ball game and if you allow the opposition to play how they want to play, it’s going to be very difficult.”
Bookies have listed the Crows at $1.17 while rating the Kangaroos as $5.25 long shots to prevail in the Adelaide Oval eliminator.
North have limped into the finals, losing nine of their past 11 games, but Camporeale said past form was irrelevant.
“Finals is contested. It’s tough. It’s never a pretty game, it’s an arm wrestle – there’s no secrets to it,” he said.
“It will be hot early, no doubt about that.
“Across the board obviously they (North) have got finals experience, they have played in the last couple of preliminary finals.
“They have got a hard and tough midfield which generally helps you in finals.
“And they have got some power forwards so we have got to be able to restrict their supply obviously through the middle of the ground and hopefully put their defenders under a bit of duress”
Camporeale said the Crows made some harsh selection calls in axing Ricky Henderson and Cam Ellis-Yoelmen in favour of Rory Sloane, who has served a one-game suspension, and defender Brodie Smith, who returns from concussion.
“It’s always difficult this time of year. There is always some unlucky guys that miss out,” he said.
The Kangaroos named an unchanged side with defender Scott Thompson (groin) and Jarrad Waite (hip) unable to overcome their respective injuries.