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My Round 8 Preview and Prediction



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7-0

7 Rounds played….. 7 wins….. 28 points in the premiership bank. (took me a bit to work out the points total as it is approaching higher maths for me)

What a turn up….. Top of the ladder a game clear of second. A strange situation that I am sure not many of us have experienced for a lot of years. Nice feeling though….

I predicted a 10 goal win against the Roos and I was half right… we won by 5.

To my mind it was a very disruptive game for us. The game was disrupted in the lead up over conjecture as to where it would be played. There was disruption when Viney was pulled from the side prior to the game with a hot spot (whatever that is). There was disruption in the first quarter when Tomlinson went down with a serious knee injury. There was disruption with Tmac moving back. There was disruption when North out pressured us in the first half and played a hell of a lot better than expected.

A lot of disruption.

Good coaching and half-time adjustments saw us kick 10 goals to the Roo’s 2 in the second half. In all, while I was annoyed at how we played the first half I liked the way we responded after the break and settled into our structures and upped the pressure.

And so, to the Round 8 encounter with the Swannies at the MCG on Saturday evening. I have to admit a soft spot for South Melbourne as a mate of mine played for them for a few seasons back in the dim, dark past. Always gave them some support as long as they were below us on the ladder and were not playing us. However, now they are Sydney based, I do not really give a flying fig about them…… More points….more points… I am greedy for the points….. Gimme gimme gimme.

Oops, sorry I got carries away there.

The facts:

We are coming off a win over the Roos in Tassie, - nothing to rave about

We responded to the game situation well and played the second half well – Advantage us

They are coming off a tight win in Sydney against the team from down the road. – Advantage them? (not convincing – more like lucky)

They are travelling down from Sydney – Advantage us

They have one day extra rest – Advantage them

Problem areas of the game for us. We have a few this week given the injury to Tomlinson and the suspension of Fritsch

I am not sure I like this whole business of being undefeated as I find the lead up to each game just that much more fraught with thoughts about …”What if we lose?” Call it historical conditioning. Being a long term Melbourne supporter has conditioned me over the year to expect the team to find a way to screw up a good thing. Another win will be a step towards a strong belief in the team and coaches.

Defence Will need to be as good as can be against the Swans. They were very accurate against the Cats kicking 14-6, 8 less scoring shots and 26 less inside 50’s than the Cats and running out winners by just 2 points. Looks like Buddy will be back in the forward 50 but I do not think he will be much of a factor in the game. We have the structure to close down the Sydney forwards. With Tomlinson as a long term out I would go with Petty to replace him. He was reasonable in the one game he had a couple of weeks ago and with May, Lever, Hibberd and Salem around him, he will learn a lot and get some good experience. Got them covered in defence.

It seems that on every line we have the chance to show our depth. In the midfield we have lost Viney for a few weeks by the look of it. Tough to cover someone like him. Sydney have some potentially excellent mids that looked to have low possession games against the Cats. Then again, our mids had a half of gliding against the Roos. If we bring the pressure to the contest that we know is required, I believe we will come out on top in this area. With Viney missing I would like to see Sparrow back.

Max played a very ordinary game last week. Not just ordinary by his lofty standards, ordinary by any of the game’s parameters. We need max back to his best for this match where he and Luke will be up against Hickey and Sinclair, not the most dynamic of rucking duos. Jackson to step up another rung and our mids to work out how to clear the ball in the center.  

Now for the forwards……. (again)

The good; we kicked a winning score last week. Fritsch 6 and a week’s holiday

The bad; The forward entries

The ugly; Now Brown is in the team we can give Fritsch’s hair a rest.

With better service in the second half the forwards settled and did their job. With Brown there and Tmac moved back it made for an interesting dynamic. Brown drew 2 and sometimes 3 defenders every time he lead. This opened up the rest of the space for the crumbers and for Fritsch to operate in. It worked well but I don’t think it will be enough this week against the Swans. We have a few questions to answer at selection and who is included will depend on what sort of tactics are adopted and what backup plans we put in place.

Dare I say it???? Melksham to the Fritsch role with TMac and Brown as talls. Jackson and Gawn rotating there as alternative talls and Petracca and Oliver in the rotating forward mix as well.

Definitely a 3 cheese platter night at selection this week.

The Bathwater Express managed to hit a couple of pot holes last week but no long term damage done and all passengers accounted for. The road is flat and straight and flat to Saturday night’s horizon. Will need the head lights functioning for the night game but other than that all is looking rosy.

Prediction?.... well I am tempted to go with another 5 goal prediction but I am feeling bullish. The G,  Saturday night, a few points to prove… to me it all points to a big response by the team. I am going to go with an 8 goal margin for the Dees…. The Undefeated Dees….

7-0… Had to write it one more time….

 

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7-0 7 Rounds played….. 7 wins….. 28 points in the premiership bank. (took me a bit to work out the points total as it is approaching higher maths for me) What a turn up….. Top of the ladder

Hate to be depressing but I think reality is about to drive through our top of the ladder party. This is the 3rd time they’ve sat at the top since 2004 , the first 2 were fr just a single week and i’m

We missed Brayshaw on the wing terribly on Sunday. He might not be a natural winger in terms of skills or speed, but he’s intelligent and he’s had continuity in the role. Baker did a few nice things,


Love it but I do think injury and some significant line up tinkering (some forced) is going to bite us very soon.

A forward line that includes Brown and Weideman is a massive change. The best teams design game plans for the players they have. We found something that works and we're now about to partially abandon it.

It might sound as though I'm unhappy about this but I'm not.

I think trying Brown and Weid is almost a must, however, if it doesn't work over the next couple of weeks, I hope we're bold enough to go back to what works and that is TMac and Jacko surrounded by smalls and Max pushing forward.

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Posted (edited)

We are training with a smile, 7 nil and not too much media attention. Collingwood get the media all rattled whether they win or lose. Dogs got the build up and see what happened, not up to the pressure and not a strong enough back-line. We are flying along, North showed us a glimpse that they can make the opposition look ordinary. Glad we played well in the 2nd half. 1st half showed us that we need to be able to get the ball. That should be a priority at training this week.

Sydney don't need to get much of the ball to do damage. Can they operate when the opposition isn't giving them space and don't give them a 5 meter start? I would expect shoulder to shoulder defense on a few of their forwards. Florent needs to be stopped, Hickey to be muscled and Papley watched in case he seizes the moment. If Franklin plays, we need someone to stop his movement if he gets the ground ball. Their young players are going to be inconsistent, though nothing like the exuberance of youth to surprise us. Could be part of the joy of watching them, Rowbottom, Mclean, Warner, Gulden, Mills, our young ones are better.

We are at the G, and so far we have been playing it well. Sydney played at the SCG, a smaller ground, therefore will need to adjust their game. They will have a bit of confidence, though losing the inside 50's does not bode well for them, 39 to 65, plus alot of the other stats, lost. They have been marking well, but so have we, marking will be another interesting aspect and contest. Confidence for a young team is compelling and they should come out strong against us. They can also fight back from being behind, as they showed against the cats, "it ain't over till it's over".

I think we are stronger, taller, faster and smarter then them. Geelong underestimated them and drank some of their bathwater after crushing West Coast. We won't do the same. Looking forward to a team that could challenge us at times in the match, and our response to that.

I think the change in team line ups are important for our development through the season. It will give us more options and the ability to mix up the game plan. I imagine those who come in, want to prove themselves and grasp the opportunity. We are in a good place to have that done, even though the changes have been forced, because we have depth. I expect us to be rolling along without much disruption 

Go Dees.

 

 

Edited by kev martin
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Posted (edited)

Franklin and Rampe back -1. 

Swans coming off a confidence boosting win -1

Swans love beating us on the MCG - 1

The kids (Jackson and Pickett) won't save us again! -1

Fritta is out unless we can start a viral campaign to  #Free Fritta. -1

Probably the best defensive midfielder in the comp. (Viney) is out. -1

Max won't play that badly again. +1

BBB will be better for the run +1

Baker probably won't play! +1

We owe these barstewards from Cairns +1

28,000 raucous Dee fans at the G. +1

Swans with  +1  means I'm tipping against the Dees for the first time this year!

 

Edited by dee-tox
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Posted (edited)

Not sure Sydney will be too confident given the statistics of their game against the Cats, and got lucky (20m). +1

How well can they play at the MCG is up for debate. +1

Jackson and Pickett have been playing consistently. +1

Our midfield is to be feared. +1

Baker didn't effect the game against North negatively. 0

@dee-tox put your money on the Dees, +2

We are the strongest in the comp, until proven otherwise.

Sydney are middle range, though moving up.    

Edited by kev martin
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Hate to be depressing but I think reality is about to drive through our top of the ladder party. This is the 3rd time they’ve sat at the top since 2004 , the first 2 were fr just a single week and i’m afraid it may be the same in 21. 

we’re missing Fritsch, arguable our most important fwd, viney a midfield bull and gun and tommo. Tommo on his own isnt a gun like the other two but his abcense throws out of the dynamic of the strongest part of our game. 

So we will be unsettled both back,  fwd and perhaps in the middle . This while we take on the side placed 4th , with 2 of their real guns returning, coming off a major win. 

I hope i’m wrong but i see a 5 goal loss coming. The coaching panel with the additions of Yze and Choco has rightly gotten many accolades this far. But they’re about to face their strongest tactical challenge in 2021. we’ll soon see how much or how little has changed in our culture when the winds are blowing hard against us. 

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3 hours ago, dee-tox said:

Swans with  +1  means I'm tipping against the Dees for the first time this year!

This is a very strange way to make a prediction, Monsieur Tox. 
I’m not sure why every factor you mentioned is weighted the same. Ie, 1.

And as for the Swans love beating us on the MCG as a factor, I could easily counter with the Demons love beating the Swans on the MCG. And add, the Demons are desperate to stay on top of the ladder.

Now you may be right, but this is a strange way to figure it. 

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21 minutes ago, Fanatique Demon said:

This is a very strange way to make a prediction, Monsieur Tox. 
I’m not sure why every factor you mentioned is weighted the same. Ie, 1.

And as for the Swans love beating us on the MCG as a factor, I could easily counter with the Demons love beating the Swans on the MCG. And add, the Demons are desperate to stay on top of the ladder.

Now you may be right, but this is a strange way to figure it. 

Don't take it too serious Monsieur Fan! Just random musings! 

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27 minutes ago, dee-tox said:

Don't take it too serious Monsieur Fan! Just random musings! 

Each to their own scaling and thoughts.

Keep those thoughts flowing. I am interested. Just hope your adjudication is wrong. 

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I’ve been banging on about it but the two most important parts for me are centre clearances (Kennedy in particular) and putting pressure on Sydney when they have the ball so they don’t cut up our zone with keepings off.

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If we produce the same level of performance as we did against North we lose this game.

Buddy, Papley and Heeney are the danger men. If we can limit their influence we will go a long way to subduing the Swans.

Hopefully the first half v North was just an aberration, we’ve got it out of our system and can now return to the tough, contested, pressure based game plan that got us to Top of the ladder in the first place.

Petty to slot into the defensive unit seamlessly. Sparrow into the midfield.

The Weid comes in for Fritta. Very different dynamic up top but hopefully it’ll work. Sydney defenders aren’t world beaters. Out mark them and slot our set-shots. BB to find separation this week (and umpires pay frees if defenders are trying to piggy back ride) and slot a few.

Spargo and Nibbler to rediscover their pressure games. The real Max Gawn to show up. Gus back to the wing where he’s been solid for us this year.

That first half last week has me really spooked. My MFCSS has returned with a vengeance so I don’t know which way this will go. All depends on which Melbourne shows up.

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Geelong did an us last week - an us of 2019 that is. Inside 50's through the roof - but failed to capitalise. 

Geelong lost it, Sydney did not win it..but got the points....ahhh you get my drift.

The concerns for me are like everyone. How does Petty go second time around? Great that it's a forced change as he will get a run in the team for continuities sake. 

With Viney a confirmed out, does the in - Sparrow? Harmes? operate in a Viney-esque way - even at 70% Viney, and is that sufficient as a defensive midfielder.

I'm excited to see Ben Brown second time up - I look forward to him kicking 6 goals, 4 of them free kicks for chopping of the arms :)

I wonder about Gawn being down, as to what drove that... is he slightly ill/injured? Hickey will throw his weight around.

Finally, Fritsch is a huge loss - I feel he is underrated on here.

But... we have the luxury of being about to lose a match (and perhaps one more) without falling back to the pack so to speak. So there is time to build synergy again with the newbies coming into the squad for a lengthy period of time.

Prediction:

Melbourne by 11 points, running over the top after trailing by 7 at 3/4 time. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Better days ahead said:

Buddy, Papley and Heeney are the danger men.

Agree, especially Heeney, he is having a huge impact. Need someone to stop him having a clear run up at the ball when in the marking contest.

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It’s the biggest danger game so far I believe.  Kennedy, Rampe, Franklin, Heeney, Mills, Parker, Lloyd and Papley would all walk into any other team in the competition.  If most of them are “on” we will be seriously tested. I would tag Parker (Jordon) and attempt to keep the forward 50 as open as possible with the intention of drawing Lloyd and Rampe away from the contests. That allows our superior tall forwards and Kozzie to dominate.
 

 

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Don’t know much about other sides , so I need to agree re the danger players. 
 

we have 3 unknowns 

1/. How will Weid and BBB go in our forward line,  we don’t know but neither do Sydney.  How will their backline cope ?

2/ who will replace Viney in the guts ?  I think Sparrow or Harmes, both can bring hardness to the centre and are capable in there.

3/ Tomlinson out, it’s either Petty playing more importantly a role than in the past or Tmac playing as a backup to May and Lever as the “main” defenders. A lesser role than he often does. 
 

this way we keep the “structure “ of the forward , mids, and the defenders basically the same, slightly different personnel but played in the same manner that has given so much this year. In the same way Richmond swap players around but keep the game played how they like it.

will we have fritz , I would argue the point. Poor play perhaps, intentional to protect his other hand, the player came back on. It was not a game ending event,  should have been a free against us at the time and a fine for fritz at the worst.

and I would have Jones as med sub, another game for him, and we might need his hardness and experience at the end.

if we win by 4 goals we will have done well, if we win by 4 points I might need cardiac help !  Go Dees 8 in a row ,

now we wait for our FD and lawyers to tell us what they think!

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5 hours ago, kev martin said:

Not sure Sydney will be too confident given the statistics of their game against the Cats, and got lucky (20m). +1

 

On the Couch last night quoted a stat that out of 66 games played since data commenced being collected, given the stats from the Cats/Swans game,  a team has never lost from that position - that is until Saturday and the cats lose.

Swans were clearly outplayed everywhere -so lucky is a good descriptor and as they should have lost by heaps. 

The other amazing stat was that about Adam Tomlinson

Of the 21 one-on-one contests he participated in this year so far, he won 20 of them.

 

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The MFCSS is strong this week. I'm hoping for a game like 2010 where we played out of our skins, but fear we'll have a game like 2018 where we were shooting for finals and tripped over. 

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2 hours ago, wizardinoz said:

With Viney out why won't Goody put Brayshaw back in the middle where he played his best football? Seems an obvious move to me.

We missed Brayshaw on the wing terribly on Sunday. He might not be a natural winger in terms of skills or speed, but he’s intelligent and he’s had continuity in the role. Baker did a few nice things, but he didn’t know when or how to defend the way Brayshaw does and I think it hurt us. We’ve got plenty of other options on the inside to cover Viney such as Jones, Harmes or Sparrow.

Leave Brayshaw playing in the role he’s now used to, where we need him and where we’re skinniest for options - the wing.

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Swans have a habit of upsetting our apple cart.

The forced changes should take care of any complacency.

A possibly damp night may not make it a good night for talls.

17 points in favour of the Dees

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so over the Swans its about time we beat them at home...they aren't that good, got smashed by Gold Coast and somehow won last week despite getting pummelled in the midfield

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Seems like every week is a new test of our legitimacy.  Cope without two key forwards? Check. Out-compete the reigning premiers? Check. Get our act together against the presumptive wooden spooners?  Check.

Manage a new disruption to our forward line, midfield and defence at the same time?

It's the disruptions like this and the inevitable stumbles of a long season that make the early winning streak so valuable.

Of course, much better than covering a stumble is covering a stumble and still winning to go three games clear of the opponent in 4th place.

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The horrible performance against North has shaken my confidence in the team.  North are a poor team (see 127pt loss to dogs) and were 20pts up in the 3rd Q, on a clear day just because they out-worked us. We did well to recover but I saw danger signs.

What is up with Gawn? I have never seen him drop a chest mark and fumble inside defensive 50.  maybe it was the head knocks

Hopefully it was the shock we needed to keep our winning season on track. I suspect we will need to grind this one out.

Swans are a different team with Buddy in - 11 goals in 3 games

Demons by 4 points

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