Comrades of the world unite, it’s the opening match of Round 12 of this very very special 2017 AFL season, and we provide the AFL preview. But if you can’t be bothered reading further, feast your ears on The AFL Protected Zone Podcast. One of the best!
AFL Preview Game 1: Sydney v Western Bulldogs
This is a rematch of the 2016 AFL Grand Final. In fact, it’s the second time they’ve played against each other this year, Western Bulldogs winning the earlier game at the Docklands Stadium by 27 points.
The big news is that Kurt Tippett has been dropped by Sydney for the first time since he joined the Swans in 2013. What does this mean? Tippett is an excellent player but has been derided for his big-pay $800,000 per season contract, which actually doesn’t seem so big now, in the context of million-dollar contracts being offered to top-line AFL players. And he has been injured for most of the time at Sydney, playing 70 games out of a possible 110. That’s not great, and he might be heading for the trade zone at the end of this season.
Western Bulldogs have been firing on about two or three of their six cylinders this season, which is still a few more than Sydney. Sydney have been trading on their reputation this year, rather than their ability. Just like Hawthorn, their aura has been largely diminished this year, and we’re never sure what we’ll get from them each week.
Western Bulldogs have won their last four games against Sydney, including last year’s Grand Final, as well as the last two games played at the SCG, both victories by four points. This is significant, as tonight’s game is being played at the SCG. It should be a tight match and if Sydney loses, it will be the end of their chances to make the finals, unless they can win their final 11 games of the year, which would be close to impossible. But in this very unusual 2017 AFL season, anything can happen. But it probably won’t.
The SCG is waterlogged after a full day of torrential rain on Wednesday. The rain will continue for most of Thursday, easing off by about 7pm. It’s going to be cold night, and the ball will be as hard to handle as a slippery eel. Swans swim well in water, but dogs can swim too and have teeth. Sharp teeth.
Western Bulldogs to win. #AFLSwansDogs
- Eddy Jay – Western Bulldogs, 10 points.
- Lintang Enam – Western Bulldogs, 24 points.