Adelaide v North Melbourne | Saturday, September 10, 7.10pm (AEDT), Adelaide Oval
The Kangaroos limped into the finals series having won only 3 of their last 13 matches.
North did defeat the Crows in round 1 in a shootout that was the beginning of the Kangaroos’ early season unbeaten run that had them on top of the ladder and looking good for a top 4 spot.
Since then, injuries have taken their toll and poor form from key players has shown them up as pretenders to the crown.
This was confirmed by the club itself when it was announced club legend Brent Harvey would not be offered a new contract as well as club stalwarts Michael Firrito and Drew Petrie and the prized recruit from St Kilda Nick Dal Santo.
This is 1340 games of experience that will be lost. How this will affect them for this Saturday’s trip to Adelaide is uncertain.
The Crows were looking as good as anyone for the flag until they slipped up in the last round at home to the Eagles to miss the top 4.
They still might do it if things fall their way in a year where there is no obvious standout for the flag.
They certainly should have no problems accounting for the malfunctioning Kangaroos.
All-Australian midfielder Rory Sloane returns from suspension to join the Crouch boys who will surely be too slick for North at the centre bounce.
The big, mobile Adelaide forward line should have a field day if the Crows can play a high-tempo style to expose the slow North midfield.
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Last time they played: Rd 14, 2016 – Adelaide 100 def North Melbourne 67
Line tip: Adelaide -32.5
B: J.Lever, K.Hartigan, L.Brown
HB: B.Smith, D.Talia, R.Laird
C: R.Atkins, R.Sloane, D.Mackay
HF: T.Lynch, T.Walker, R.Douglas
F: E.Betts, J.Jenkins, C.Cameron
R: S.Jacobs, S.Thompson, M.Crouch
I/C: B.Crouch, K.Cheney, J.Lyons, M.McGovern
EMG: R.Knight, R.O’Brien, R.Henderson
IN: R.Sloane, B.Smith
OUT: R.Henderson, C.Ellis-Yolmen
B: L.McDonald, M.Firrito, S.Atley
HB: J.Macmillan, R.Tarrant, N.Dal Santo
C: S.Gibson, B.Cunnington, S.Higgins
HF: J.Ziebell, B.Brown, L.Hansen
F: B.Harvey, D.Petrie, L.Thomas
R: T.Goldstein, D.Wells, A.Swallow
I/C: J.Anderson, T.Dumont, A.Mullett, M.Daw
EMG: B.McKenzie, R.Clarke, C.Wagner