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MATCH PREVIEW AND TEAM SELECTION - Round 16



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THE JOKERS by The Oracle
 
It’s difficult to imagine that the Melbourne side which defeated the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium by almost 50 points a month ago (and is due to play them again next week - go figure?) hasn’t won a game since that day.
 
The team which so completely demolished Adelaide in the nation’s red centre and then made it 6 in a row against the Bullies seems to have fallen apart before our very eyes going from a top four contender to a side fighting for its existence in the top eight and the team most likely to bow out of the battle.
 
The loss of in-form defender Jake Lever obviously has had something to do with the fall from grace as the selectors struggle to put together the defensive unit that was so good at keeping opposing forwards at bay but, it’s clear that the cracks have really returned to the forward line, now brittle and despite their 100 points plus last week, unable to make the most of the opportunities provided by a dominant ruckman of the calibre of Max Gawn.

If the team is going to overcome its current slump then it’s opposition this week is a perfect candidate. Although Melbourne has lost 8 out of its last 9 games against Fremantle, the solitary win came at TIO Stadium. If the Demons can’t win against a  flakey and inexperienced Docket outfit without the two of its main aces Nat Fyfe (hamstring) and Aaron Sandilands (calf) leaving them no jokers in their pack, then they never will.
 
THE GAME
 
Melbourne v Fremantle at TIO Stadium Saturday 7 July 2018 at 7.40pm
 
HEAD TO HEAD
 
Overall: Melbourne 14 wins Fremantle 22 wins
 
At TIO Stadium: Melbourne 1 win Fremantle 1 win
 
Last five meetings: Melbourne 1 win Fremantle 4 wins
 
The Coaches: Goodwin 0 wins Lyon 1 win
 
MEDIA
 
TV - Fox Sports 3 Live at 7.30pm
 
Radio - SEN
 
LAST TIME THEY MET
 
Fremantle 16.10.106 defeated Melbourne 15.14.104 at the MCG, Round 4, 2017
 
In what was a major disappointment for the Demons coming off their loss to Geelong, they once again demonstrated their penchant for losing games they should win at the MCG. This time they surrendered a 21 point half time lead with a poor third quarter, then failed to close off a victory in a close finish.
 
THE TEAMS  
 
MELBOURNE 

B: Joel Smith, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB: Angus Brayshaw, Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis
😄 James Harmes, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones
HF: Bayley Fritsch, Jesse Hogan, Jake Melksham
F: Charlie Spargo, Sam Frost, Tom McDonald
Foll: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Christian Salem
I/C: Jeff Garlett, Alex Neal-Bullen,  Christian Petracca, Billy Stretch, 
Emg: Mitch Hannan, Declan Keilty, Bernie Vince, Sam Weideman

In: Sam Frost, Jeff Garlett, Charlie Spargo, Billy Stretch

Out: Mitch Hannan (omitted), Harry Petty (omitted), Dom Tyson (omitted), Sam Weideman (omitted)

FREMANTLE 

B: Adam Cerra, Joel Hamling, Nathan Wilson
HB: Stephen Hill, Alex Pearce, Ethan Hughes 
😄 Tommy Sheridan, Lachie Neale, Stefan Giro
HF: Andrew Brayshaw, Shane Kersten, Michael Walters 
F: Ed Langdon, Michael Apeness, Brandon Matera 
Foll: Sean Darcy, David Mundy, Bradley Hill 
I/C: Bailey Banfield, Brennan Cox,  Luke Ryan, Darcy Tucker
Emg: Taylin Duman, Scott Jones, Ryan Nyhuis, Cameron Sutcliffe 

In:  Sean Darcy, Bradley Hill, Ethan Hughes

Out:  Hayden Ballantyne (injured), Nat Fyfe (Injured), Ryan Nyhuis (omitted)

This week's team selection at Melbourne is instructive. It's not just that there have been changes wrung in after the teams surprise loss to lowly St Kilda, it’s a case of admitting that the strategies undertaken in the wake of Jake Lever’s injury in Round 11 have been a dismal failure. 

Among the inclusions are key defender Sam Frost and Billy Stretch who were showing solid form at Casey before the Lever injury and have continued to be among the best in recent weeks. Charlie Spargo, who was unlucky to be dropped in the first place is back, as is Jeff Garlett who, whilst not at his best, adds an element of danger in front of goal that was missing against Collingwood and Port Adelaide and also to an extent against the Saints. Together, the add a combination of some leg speed and fast movement of the football. Their presence will be invaluable up in the Top End against a young, inexperienced opposition.

Needless to say, it would be dangerous for the Demons to take any opposition lightly as they did last week after they took an early 19 point lead and promptly fell asleep for most of the remainder of the opening term. If they do that on Saturday night, their season will virtually be over.

However, given the circumstances and the importance of the game, I’m tipping them to fight back and win and win well.

Melbourne by 48 points.

 
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I got the Dees down to Toorak Primary for a footy clinic the day after the Queens Birthday game against Collingwood, there was fritch, hibberd, Vince, Clayton O and Garlett who attended. one of t

Looking forward to Harmes in the ruck.

On Jeff. I only saw the first quarter last week but saw him lay 3 tackles, including one in the defensive 50, and a a 50+ metre sprint to lay a bump resulting in our first goal. Perhaps this is more w

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I'm hoping for a win. 

But I see this as an ideal opportunity for all to bed down a game plan, for the personnel available that gives us a fair chance to make finals. 

As well as 18 player effort we need 'smarts' in key spots, players in their best position and we need experience - there is no time left for more experimenting!  Do that in the next off-season.

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4 minutes ago, dl4e said:

I will be interested to see the selections. For both this and next week. Playing in Darwin is nonsense.

_ playing in Darwin isn't nonsense, but not having a bye the week after is... These two have to work in hand, or it is troublesome.

.

I'm pushing for us to Bookend Naidoc Week in July,,, in the Alice.

A Friday or Saturday night game in Alice, to welcome Naidoc Week.

And a closing Twilight Sunday match.

... Both games Free2Air .

A fortnight away in JULY in the Territory. 

 

Hopefully its school holidays at the time?  This would be excellent for the players at this time of year, as a freshen,,, up in the warmth.

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Sad,   but if we make it 4 losses in a row this week vs Freo it will be clear most of the list doesn't care about finals or success and have no respect for the club or supporters.

 

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We have been playing our best footy, and getting our best results, when our "bottom 6" play well.  So with that in mind, and other than the obvious improvement from the likes of Jones, Lewis and Hogan, we desperately need the likes of ANB, Hannan, Tyson and Fritta to keep raising their game.

It's a team thing.  Our top players can't wait for the bottom players to lift before they can improve, but equally, the bottom players can't wait for the top players to improve before they can.  They all need to be on the same page, and take forward steps at the same time.

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1 hour ago, Petraccattack said:

Sad,   but if we make it 4 losses in a row this week vs Freo it will be clear most of the list doesn't care about finals or success and have no respect for the club or supporters.

 

Doesn’t it mean they are just not good enough?

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1 hour ago, dl4e said:

I will be interested to see the selections. For both this and next week. Playing in Darwin is nonsense.

Playing in Darwin is nonsense! This is one fixture from which we should be removed in the future. 

However, it must be said, it would be a perfect venue for the Filth, Whoreform, Essendrug, Carlscum and the melodious Adelaide Farrr-kkksss to play if the AFL considered that a game up there was important. Why deny the good people of Darwin an opportunity to see the strong relationship between AFL umpires and these 'random' Clubs blossom, yet again? 

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1 hour ago, Neil Crompton said:

Doesn’t it mean they are just not good enough?

much more likely.  Throwing around suggestions of lack of respect for supporters is like assuming what we say on DL affects what happens in the club beyond 0.001% level.  I expect the players of all teams care first and foremost about their own game and that of the team mates, not whether I've thrown a brick at my TV.

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26 minutes ago, Brownie said:

Freo paying $5.80

I'm on

Me too. I should have not put the deck on and saved the eye watering amount for this game. We would have had enough for you and me to a) buy an excavator and b) fashion an August 12th hole.

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2 minutes ago, sue said:

much more likely.  Throwing around suggestions of lack of respect for supporters is like assuming what we say on DL affects what happens in the club beyond 0.001% level.  I expect the players of all teams care first and foremost about their own game and that of the team mates, not whether I've thrown a brick at my TV.

Doesn't stop you invoicing the club for a new QLED though.

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Firstly, I can’t believe Freo have a us 22-14 head-to-head... that’s a terrible record against a new(ish) team.

Secondly, I’m glad Harley Balic won’t be playing for them this time- he was excellent for them last time we played.

Thirdly, does anyone know when we fly out for this match?  Would have thought we need some time to acclimatise...

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1 hour ago, timbo said:

Me too. I should have not put the deck on and saved the eye watering amount for this game. We would have had enough for you and me to a) buy an excavator and b) fashion an August 12th hole.

Yes. I reckon it's about a 30 percent chance that a good Melbourne team will turn up. Am I being too optimistic?

Should all of Demonland....

form a syndicate.

Bet big on Freo

Buy the MFC as a busted arse franchise

Coach the team via the forum

The assistant coaches could hold up a big tablet with the match day thread at the quarter breaks for the players to read and adjust their game accordingly.

This is the future!

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1 hour ago, Brownie said:

Freo paying $5.80

I'm on

I was unsure about last week but I think we should beat the dockers. We lost on selection last week so that is why I am interested to see the side.

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Uncertain about this week even with Fyfe and Sandilands out, just can't trust the Dees. 

I'm predicting an 18 point victory with my heart in my mouth. Must win game.

My Preferred side

B: J.Lewis, O.McDonald, Jetta

HB: Hibberd, Kielty, Salem

C : Baker, Oliver, Jones

HF: Neal-Bullen, Hogan, Petracca

F: Fritsch, T.McDonald, Melksham

FOLL: Gawn, Brayshaw, Viney

IC: Harmes, Spargo, Stretch, Vince

EMERG: J.Smith

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11 minutes ago, WERRIDEE said:

Uncertain about this week even with Fyfe and Sandilands out, just can't trust the Dees. 

I'm predicting an 18 point victory with my heart in my mouth. Must win game.

My Preferred side

B: J.Lewis, O.McDonald, Jetta

HB: Hibberd, Kielty, Salem

C : Baker, Oliver, Jones

HF: Neal-Bullen, Hogan, Petracca

F: Fritsch, T.McDonald, Melksham

FOLL: Gawn, Brayshaw, Viney

IC: Harmes, Spargo, Stretch, Vince

EMERG: J.Smith

Almost mine too Werridee but I’d swap Garlett for Trac (time he learnt to play 4 quarters at Casey) and I’d leave Weed at full forward to ruck 40% and that means TMac goes back to CHB.... we need his spoiling and marking down there and to give OMac a boost.. sorry just gunshy on Keilty after the Petty pity.

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24 minutes ago, WERRIDEE said:

Uncertain about this week even with Fyfe and Sandilands out, just can't trust the Dees. 

I'm predicting an 18 point victory with my heart in my mouth. Must win game.

My Preferred side

B: J.Lewis, O.McDonald, Jetta

HB: Hibberd, Kielty, Salem

C : Baker, Oliver, Jones

HF: Neal-Bullen, Hogan, Petracca

F: Fritsch, T.McDonald, Melksham

FOLL: Gawn, Brayshaw, Viney

IC: Harmes, Spargo, Stretch, Vince

EMERG: J.Smith

I reckon we’ve created a problem for ourselves with the selection of Petty last match.

It hardly seems fair to drop him after one game. Few players star in their first game, especially big blokes.

BUT........winning this game is crucial. We MUST pick our best possible side(as we should have last week). Worry about the future when our finals chances are over.

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30 minutes ago, WERRIDEE said:

Uncertain about this week even with Fyfe and Sandilands out, just can't trust the Dees. 

I'm predicting an 18 point victory with my heart in my mouth. Must win game.

My Preferred side

B: J.Lewis, O.McDonald, Jetta

HB: Hibberd, Kielty, Salem

C : Baker, Oliver, Jones

HF: Neal-Bullen, Hogan, Petracca

F: Fritsch, T.McDonald, Melksham

FOLL: Gawn, Brayshaw, Viney

IC: Harmes, Spargo, Stretch, Vince

EMERG: J.Smith

Not the week for two first games in Kielty & Baker, particularly after Petty last week.

Outs: Petty Tyson Hannan

Ins: Frost Stretch & Garlett or Spargo

All faster than who they are replacing, and am tempted Spargo for Weideman or ANB.

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5 hours ago, Petraccattack said:

Sad,   but if we make it 4 losses in a row this week vs Freo it will be clear most of the list doesn't care about finals or success and have no respect for the club or supporters.

 

We'll respond, don't be that dramatic. 

At this point I'm thinking team selection this week will be the ultimate factor, cause we've royally stuffed that up since Lever went down. 

 

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