Geelong v Hawthorn | Friday, September 9m 7.50pm (AEDT), MCG
The Cats haven’t played a decent side since they overcame a depleted Western Bulldogs outfit back in round 19 while Hawthorn’s form has been patchy during the same period, losing to Melbourne and West Coast and narrowly defeating West Coast.
The Cats would appear to have a slight edge in defence to combat the undersized Hawks forwards who are relying more and more on small forwards Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo for goals.
At the other end, Geelong can call upon tall marking forwards Tom Hawkins and Rhys Stanley to make life difficult for the Hawk back six who have the added difficulty of containing ruckman Zac Smith who will drift forward at times during the game.
The midfield battle is evenly matched, but the Cats do have an edge in speed with Brownlow Medal favouritePatrick Dangerfield in imperious form.
Geelong beat Hawthorn by 5 goals in round 1 when Dangerfield racked up a massive 43 disposals and 137 ranking points.
It’s been a dangerous game in recent years tipping against the mighty Hawks, but that is what we will do here.
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Last time they played: Rd 1, 2016 – Geelong 116 def Hawthorn 86
Line tip: Geelong -8.5
B: C.Enright, T.Lonergan, T.Ruggles
HB: J.Kolodjashnij, H.Taylor, A.Mackie
C: C.Guthrie, J.Selwood, J.Bartel
HF: S.Menegola, R.Stanley, D.Menzel
F: S.Motlop, T.Hawkins, L.McCarthy
R: Z.Smith, P.Dangerfield, M.Duncan
I/C: M.Blicavs, J.Caddy, J.Cowan, S.Selwood
EMG: J.Bews, N.Cockatoo, S.Kersten
B: T.Duryea, J.Frawley, S.Burgoyne
HB: L.Hodge, J.Gibson, G.Birchall
C: I.Smith, S.Mitchell, B.Hill
HF: L.Breust, J.Gunston, C.Rioli
F: P.Puopolo, J.Fitzpatrick, R.Schoenmakers
R: B.McEvoy, J.Lewis, L.Shiels
I/C: B.Stratton, B.Whitecross, J.Sicily, R.Burton
EMG: B.Hartung, D.Howe, M.Spangher
IN: B.McEvoy, B.Stratton
OUT: M.Pittonet, B.Hartung.