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POINT OF NO RETURN by the Oracle

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Conventional wisdom says that a club reaches the point of no return in the AFL competition if it has won less than four matches at the mid point of the season. 

What this means for Melbourne is that in order for it to remain in the race for a top-eight position, it must start winning games now. Moreover, It's not enough to win the next game but it must also start stringing wins together to make up for its deficit in both wins and percentage. 

With so much at stake there will be no excuses for another lacklustre performance of the sort displayed by the Demons in the first three quarters of their game at the MCG last Sunday against the GWS Giants. Injuries, you say? All clubs suffer injuries throughout a season but the strong can overcome that diversity and fight back against the tide. Collingwood suffered a suitcase load of them in 2018 and still came to within a sniff of taking off a premiership.

Melbourne’s immediate opponents are the Adelaide Crows at TIO Stadium in Darwin where the club has had mixed results in the past. It destroyed the Dockers there last year but succumbed to the Crows at that venue two years ago. 

We are likely to see a restructured lineup for this week’s game but Simon Goodwin needs to get far more out of his midfield than he had been getting over the past month or so. Adelaide itself has displayed some flakey form of its own but will be tough to beat at close to full strength. 

I’m reminded however, of that game at Adelaide Oval in 2017 when the Demons came from a fair way back and essentially reinvented themselves to win big against the then flag favourites. This is Goodwin’s old club and it will be his mission this week to overturn the conventional wisdom about his new club being totally cooked for the season and to come up with some magic and another reinvention into to kickstart its 2019 campaign and to avoid it reaching the point of no return.

Melbourne by 1 point

DISCUSSION

THE GAME  

Melbourne v Adelaide at TIO Stadium Darwin Saturday 1 June, 2019 at 7.40pm  

HEAD TO HEAD  

Overall - Melbourne 15 wins Adelaide 24 wins   

At TIO Stadium - Melbourne 0 wins Adelaide 1 win  

Past five me etings - Melbourne 3 wins Adelaide 2 wins   

The Coaches - Simon Goodwin 3 wins Don Pyke 1 win   

MEDIA  

TV - Channel 7 Fox Sports 3 Live at 7.30pm    

RADIO - Triple M SEN   

THE LAST TIME THEY MET  

Melbourne 13.12.90 defeated Adelaide 10.17.77 Round 19, 2018 at Adelaide Oval  

Melbourne started slowly in Jordan Lewis' 300th game before putting on the afterburners to take a comfortable 32 point lead at the final break. In the last quarter, the Crows were dominant in the wet conditions but they were unable to peg back the lead and failed by a margin of 13 points in the end. Clayton Oliver was the Demons’ best.

THE TEAMS  

Screenshot_2019-05-30 AFL Team Line Ups - AFL com au.png

MELBOURNE 

B Michael Hibberd Sam Frost Josh Wagner
HB Marty Hore Oscar McDonald Jayden Hunt
C Angus Brayshaw Jack Viney Oskar Baker
HF Nathan Jones Tom McDonald Christian Petracca
F Jeff Garlett Tim Smith James Harmes
FOLL Max Gawn Mitch Hannan Clayton Oliver
I/C Bayley Fritsch Christian Salem Charlie Spargo Billy Stretch 
EMG James Jordon Jay Kennedy Harris  Corey Wagner Sam Weideman

IN Mitch Hannan Michael Hibberd  Christian Salem

OUT Harrison Petty (knee)  Jay Lockhart (knee) Corey Wagner (omitted)

ADELAIDE CROWS

B Luke Brown Daniel Talia Kyle Hartigan
HB Brodie Smith Alex Keath Rory Laird
C Wayne Milera Brad Crouch Rory Atkins
HF Paul Seedsman Taylor Walker Tom Lynch
F Lachlan Murphy Josh Jenkins Eddie Betts
FOLL Reilly O'Brien Bryce Gibbs Rory Sloane
I/C Cameron Ellis-Yolmen Jordan Gallucci Hugh Greenwood  Jake Kelly 
EMG Elliott Himmelberg Chayce Jones Riley Knight David Mackay 

IN Bryce Gibbs Josh Jenkins Tom Lynch

OUT Elliott Himmelberg (omitted) Chayce Jones (omitted) Riley Knight (omitted) 

Injury/Suspension List: Round 11  

Nathan Jones (head) – available 
Christian Salem (concussion – available  Michael Hibberd (collarbone) – test 
Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) – test 
Jake Lever (ankle ) – test 
Steven May (groin) – test 
Alex Neal-Bullen (concussion) – test 
Harry Petty (knee) – test 
Jordan Lewis (suspension) – 1 week  
Corey Maynard (concussion) – 1 week 
Joel Smith (groin) – 4-6 weeks 
Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – 4-6 weeks 
Jake Melksham (foot) – 5-6 weeks 
Neville Jetta (knee) – 6-8 weeks 
Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite 
Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season   

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