If you think you’ve got the finals hierarchy nailed, give it 10 minutes. Weeks ago the Swans were flag favourites, having won by 10 or more goals in four of the last five rounds of the season. But a week later they’re out to $6.00 after being ruthlessly exposed in the second half of their qualifying final against cross-town rivals GWS. And if they’re to rebound against Adelaide on Saturday, they’ll have to do it without Kurt Tippett, who’s broken his jaw and just can’t take a trick this season, as well as Rising Star winner Callum Mills, who’s done his hammy.
No one scores more heavily than Adelaide, and when they put the foot down in the second half against North Melbourne last week it was a thing of beauty watching them turn the Roos into witch’s hats. Eddie Betts quite literally kicked a goal every second time he touched the ball, bagging six for the game and throwing kerosene on the argument that says he’s not just the best small forward in the game, but possibly the best forward, too. He’ll certainly be giving Sydney cold sweats, considering the Swans had no answer for him when he kicked four goals in Adelaide’s 10-point win back in Round 4.
Even playing field
The Swans ($1.54) should be loving being back at the SCG, but it’s not the happy hunting ground that you might expect. The Swans have won four of their last five against Adelaide at all venues, but at the SCG against the Crows they’ve lost six of their last eight.
So much will depend on whether Buddy Franklin fires for Sydney and helps them form some sort of functioning forward line. The Swans didn’t get a goal out of their main man last week and relied too heavily on their midfield to score against GWS. You’d think Franklin needs to kick at least four to give them a chance against the Crows, who won’t have it as easy as they did against North last week, but still have an abundance of riches when it comes to goalscoring threats. I can’t believe we’re saying this, but Sydney to bow out in straight sets.
Last time they met: Rd 4 – Adelaide 16.17 (113) def Sydney 15.13 (103)
Best bet: Adelaide win ($2.55)