By Ethan Meldrum and Michael James
The Triple M Footy Preview is brought to you with our good mates at Crownbet. Each week, a member of the triplem.com.au team will look at the fixture and put their neck on the line with their call for the games of the round. With odds for each team thanks to Crownbet.
Keep up to date with the latest odds on all the weekend’s action at Crownbet.com.au.
Western Bulldogs vs. GWS
The Bulldogs are coming off four games on the trot but meet their biggest test in the GWS Giants. The loss of Shane Mumford to suspension will be offset by inclusions of Jonathon Patton and Toby Greene. The last two times their teams have played there has been a combined margin of 8 points so let’s hope for another epic!
GWS by 9
Western Bulldogs 2.20
Sydney vs. Fremantle
It's hard to fathom anything other than a Sydney win here at home. The Swans have been superb since their opening six games, going 11-2, with both losses to Hawthorn. The Dockers smashed and grabbed a few wins earlier in the season but that run looks over, having won just two of their last 10 games.
Sydney by 51
Geelong vs. Richmond
Richmond haven’t beaten Geelong since 2006 but if there was ever a game to reverse the trend it’s this one. The Tigers are on fire - winning six of their last seven games. Geelong are limping in with Joel Selwood missing with injury and Tom Hawkins missing with suspension.
Richmond by 12
Brisbane vs. Gold Coast
The Lions haven't been too bad recently, with wins over Fremantle, Essendon and Carlton, plus good showings against the Dogs and Tigers. They'll have this game earmarked as a real chance to heat up the wooden spoon race. Gold Coast's outs might be too severe - they're missing Ablett, Lynch and Hanley from last week - and have lost their last five by an average margin of 38 points.
Brisbane by 21
Gold Coast 2.55
Essendon vs. Adelaide
The Bombers at their best on a quick Etihad Stadium surface can keep up with the firepower of the Crows. But reaching that best will be made much tougher without Zach Merrett and Orazio Fantasia, both significant outs. The Crows are in good form after last week's Showdown demolition, but don't expect the Dons to go down without a fight.
Adelaide by 14
West Coast vs. Carlton
Carlton has been impressive defensively all season, and are every chance to suck West Coast into a close game here. But the Eagles desperately need to show something, especially after last week's eight-point loss to the Saints, or risk throwing away a season that was set up for more.
West Coast by 31
West Coast 1.15
Melbourne vs. St Kilda
A mini-final in every sense awaits us at the MCG. Both sides need four points here, or their chances of seeing September action might disappear with it. The Dees did it comfortably back in round one, but this one won't be as easy, especially on form: they've won twice in six weeks, while the Saints are coming off good games against the Power and the Eagles.
Melbourne by 10
St Kilda 2.35
Hawthorn vs. North Melbourne
The Hawks won't make finals this year but don't discount how good they've been since their early-season slump. They've only lost to Geelong and Richmond, both top four sides, since their bye. It should be too much for North Melbourne who, since their own bye, have won once.
Hawthorn by 24
North Melbourne 4.00
Port Adelaide vs. Collingwood
After Port Adelaide's stinker of a Showdown and on Collingwood's form - they're undefeated in their last four - this one won't be so simple as the Power look to keep their top four hopes alive. Maybe this comes down to the Daniel Wells factor: he's been ruled out with a quad injury from last week, and the Pies are 1-9 this season when he's missed.
Port Adelaide by 22
Port Adelaide 1.35