AFL Finals: What Every Fan NEEDS To Know Ahead Of The Semi-Finals

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AFL Finals: What Every Fan NEEDS To Know Ahead Of The Semi-Finals

It's now win or go home for this week's four finalists as we hit week two of the AFL Finals.

Here's our match previews for two do or die games...

FIRST SEMI FINAL - GEELONG V GWS

For all your latest odds on Geelong vs Greater Western Sydney, CLICK HERE.

Date: Friday 3 September, 7:50pm

Venue: Optus Stadium

H2H: Geelong ($1.43) v GWS ($2.85)

Line: Geelong (-14.5 $1.90) v GWS (+14.5 $1.90)

Best Bets (odds correct as of 01/09/21):

First goalscorer:

Jeremy Cameron (GEE) - $7.50

Tom Hawkins (GEE) - $8

Jesse Hogan (GWS) - $10

Most disposals:

Joshua Kelly (GWS) - 30+ @ $2.25 (season average of 26.2)

Cameron Guthrie (GEE) - 35+ @ $5.50 (season average of 29.3)

Last five meetings:

Round 21, 2021 - Geelong 8.17 (65) def. by GWS 13.6 (84)

Round 1, 2020 - GWS 17.3 (105) def. Geelong 11.7 (73)

Round 4, 2019 - Geelong 11.9 (75) def. by GWS 11.13 (79)

Round 7, 2018 - Geelong 14.9 (93) def. GWS 4.8 (32)

Round 23, 2017 - Geelong 15.13 (103) def. GWS 8.11 (59)

Match Preview:

In the first of two semi-finals that could go either way, Geelong will play host to the Giants at Perth's Optus Stadium after losing last week's Qualifying Final to Port Adelaide. The Cats were defeated by 43-points in convincing fashion and will have to produce their best to defeat a Giants side hot off a thrilling one-point victory over Sydney last week at UTAS Stadium in Launceston. The sides last faced off in round 21 and it was the Giants who walked away 19-point upset winners over the Cats at GMHBA Stadium in a game where many believed the Giants showed their finals potential. Tim Taranto and Lachie Whitfield were electric that night, collecting 34 disposals each while Jake Kolodjashnij also kicked the opening goal of the night - the first of his career. As for vice-captain Toby Greene, he kicked four goals but will now be missing this weekend after an altercation with an umpire in the elimination final win. Greene's fate was decided at the AFL tribunal as he was found guilty and slapped with a three-game suspension. The Cats also have their own set of headaches leading into the match with Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield dealing with a hand injury that he played through last week. He's not expected to miss out on Friday night but his output was considerably down against Port, so it will be interesting to see if the Cats elect to give him a week off and hope they can qualify for a preliminary final without their superstar midfielder. Both sides have only played once at Optus Stadium this season with the Cats leaving with a 69-point win over Fremantle while the Giants were defeated by the same side by 31-points. This, combined with the potential loss of their most important player and the fact that the Cats finished in the top-four, should have the higher-ranked Cats heading in as favourites and booking a Preliminary Final date with Melbourne next Friday night at Optus Stadium.

Finals Fact:

Geelong has won just 5 of its 14 matches against the Giants since 2016.

Geelong Cats forward Tom Hawkins. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons
Geelong Cats forward Tom Hawkins. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

SECOND SEMI FINAL - BRISBANE V WESTERN BULLDOGS

For all your latest odds on Brisbane vs Western Bulldogs, CLICK HERE.

Date: Saturday 4 September, TBC (AFL yet to confirm match time; likely to be twilight or night)

Venue: Gabba

H2H: Brisbane ($1.60) v Western Bulldogs ($2.35)

Line: Brisbane (-9.5 $1.90) v Western Bulldogs (+9.5 $1.90)

Best Bets (odds correct as of 01/09/21):

First goalscorer:

Charlie Cameron (BRI) - $8

Aaron Naughton (WB) - $9

Joe Daniher (BRI) - $10

Most disposals:

Jackson Macrae (WB) - 40+ @ $4.25 (season average of 33.9)

Lachie Neale (BRI) - 35+ @ $3 (season average of 27)

Last five meetings:

Round 4, 2021 - Western Bulldogs 10.13 (73) def. Brisbane 8.6 (54)

Round 11, 2020 - Brisbane 14.12 (96) def. Western Bulldogs 11.6 (72)

Round 20, 2019 - Brisbane 14.14 (98) def. Western Bulldogs 11.14 (80)

Round 8, 2019 - Western Bulldogs 13.14 (92) def. Brisbane 11.10 (76)

Round 8, 2018 - Western Bulldogs 16.11 (107) def. Brisbane 14.9 (93)

Match Preview:

The second semi-final sees the two sides that were separated by just 0.5% at the end of round 23 do battle for the chance to face Port Adelaide in a Preliminary final next week. Brisbane was rather disappointing against Melbourne on Saturday night, going down by 33-points despite Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale racking up 46 disposals in an AFL finals record and Charlie Cameron kicking five goals. They clearly lost the midfield battle as whole, with Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jack Viney collecting 91 disposals between them and Max Gawn dominating the hit outs with 37. They'll need Jarryd Lyons, Hugh McCluggage, and skipper Dayne Zorko to support Neale in a better way than they did against the Dees, especially coming up against the Dogs' stacked midfield of Marcus Bontempelli, Adam Treloar, Josh Dunkley, Jack Macrae, Lachie Hunter, and Tom Liberatore who all collected 20+ disposals against Essendon in their 49-point win on Sunday. Brisbane coach Chris Fagan will also have to change things up in the defensive 50 with the loss of tall defender Dan McStay to concussion. It's a real blow to Brisbane's chances of winning given how well McStay sets the Lions up with his aerial ability behind the footy. While the Lions do hold home ground advantage, this is the semi-final match up where we could see an upset brewing. The Dogs' deep midfield, their strong performance against Essendon and the loss of McStay, all tips the scales in favour of the visitor advancing to a Preliminary Final at Adelaide Oval next Saturday night.

Finals fact:

Brisbane has played 5 finals since 2016 for just one win. The Lions have been favourite twice and lost both times.

Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Topics: Aussie Rules, afl, Odds, Australian Rules Football, Betting, Australia

Max Sherry
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