This Queen’s Birthday long weekend sees the 2010 AFL Season head into the second half, and as Round 12 gets underway, another bout of fantastic footy is bound to sweep the nation.
Our tip of the week is to back a Swans win at $1.95 – as they face a Power side on a slippery slope down the ladder.
Last weekend saw Geelong break ahead at the top of the table as they continued their fantastic form once again, while Adelaide claimed their third win of the season in a surprise victory over Fremantle – for a full recap of Round 11, click here.
This weekend, the Cats will no doubt look to make their lead at the top that much greater, while Collingwood, St Kilda and Fremantle will all hope to close it up with wins this round.
If you would like to place a bet on any of the action this weekend, or just want to check out the latest odds and markets, then make sure you head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!
Below is a preview of the fixtures taking place on ovals around the country this weekend.
North Melbourne V Carlton
Bouncing off the action this weekend, the Etihad Stadium will see North Melbourne host Carlton for their Round 12 clash.
The home side will be coming into the fixture with confidence rocketing, as they saw an end to a Brisbane Lions comeback last round, claiming a single point win over the heavily backed team.
However North were six goals up at the main break, and need to maintain their form over the second half which they have just not been able to do as of late.
Last weekend Lachie Hansen was moved forward for the Roos after playing the majority of the season thus far down back, but was superb against the Lions in his new found position and could cause opponents difficulty.
The Blues are also coming off the back of a win, although it is a more regular occurrence for the fifth placed side who will no doubt be looking to hit the top four by the end of the weekend.
Scoring four against the Dees, Ryan Houlihan will once again need to pull out all the stops this weekend to secure another needed win, and with Jarrad Waite also firing on all cylinders last weekend, could be another strong link.
It is no surprise to see the Blues heading into the fixture favourites in the odds at $1.28, while the Roos are at $3.70 to claim the win.
Hawthorn V Adelaide
Starting the action for this Saturday, the Aurora Stadium will see Hawthorn at home to Adelaide for their Round 12 battle on the oval.
The home side will come into this game with the knowledge they have turned their disappointing start to the season around, with convincing wins over solid sides in recent weeks.
The Hawks will be knocked slightly with the loss of Chance Bateman due to suspension, while Lance Franklin will be back up front and ready to fire.
Luke Hodge has been great this season, and if he keeps his solid performances up for the Hawks could be a strong contender for the esteemed Brownlow Medal, as he has determinedly led his side into their convincing performances.
Adelaide will be travelling with confidence sky high after their gritty show against the Power last round, and will look to continue their winning streak this weekend.
Taylor Walker has been impressive up front for the Crows while David Mackay is slowly making a name for himself in the AFL, and will hope to make a positive impact once again this weekend.
The Hawks have huge advantages here with the solid home ground advantage and the better form in recent weeks, and therefore go into the fixture favourites at $1.38, while the Crows need to prove themselves more than they have to be any sort of threat and are outsiders at $3.07.
Essendon V Geelong
On Saturday evening, Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium will see Essendon at home to Geelong for their Round 12 battle on the oval.
While the Bombers have had a rather stable season up to this point sitting in the middle ninth spot, at home to Geelong is not a positive prospect with the Cats coming into the game off the back of some of their best footy.
The home side also go into the clash without David Hille and Angus Monfries which will be a crush to the moral, and so Patrick Ryder will need to step up in Hille’s absence and use the opportunity to make an impact.
Geelong will no doubt go into the clash aware Essendon have the ability to put up a fight, however will also be confident they can out play it.
They travel to Melbourne without Cameron Mooney up front, which is a blow seeing as crowd favourite James Podsiadly also looks set to miss the fixture.
Paul Chapman is playing some of his best footy yet this season and will be crucial for the Cats this weekend – with whispers beginning to circulate about him and the Brownlow Medal.
Despite the home ground advantage, the Hawks are going into the fixture as the clear outsiders at $4.50, and once again Geelong are most likely the safe bet this round as they go in as favourites at $1.21.
Port Adelaide V Sydney
Over in South Australia on Saturday night, Port Adelaide are up against the Sydney Swans for their fixture at the AAMI Stadium.
This will certainly be a tough clash, as Port needs to secure points to turnaround a dismal few weeks, while the Swans claimed their first win since round six last weekend, and will hope to continue the streak this Saturday.
The home side will be disappointed with the loss to the Hawks in round 11, and with the news Warren Tredrea could be out for up to 11 weeks, will not help them mentally.
No doubt the Power will hope forward Daniel Motlop can stand up and take the lead after a disappointing performance last weekend, as they need him to deliver more than ever with the loss of influential Tredrea and Robbie Gray.
The Swans put on a fantastic show over the Bombers last weekend, and have only suffered defeats to the big guns on the ladder – although travel to Adelaide without Daniel Bradshaw this weekend.
Jude Bolton was pivotal in last round victory for the visitors, and will see his teammates looking to him for inspiration once again this Saturday evening.
The Power are heading into this weekend as the slight favourites at $1.86, however the Swans are just behind them at $1.95 for the win in what is sure to be a close battle.
Richmond V West Coast Eagles
Bouncing off Sunday’s AFL action for Round 12, Richmond will play host to the West Coast Eagles as the two battle it out at the MCG.
The home side come into this fixture with the worst record in the AFL with just a single win to their name at this point in the season, and will hope the forecasted rain will hit Melbourne as it helped them to their only victory this season over the Power.
However they can be confident with the knowledge that out of the two competing teams they have claimed the most recent win, with the Eagles having to look back to round eight for their last victory.
Daniel Connors will be hitting the oval once again for the Tigers after emerging from his eight-week suspension enforced by the club due to off-field antics, and will need to redeem himself when he runs out on Sunday.
The visitors do not have the most impressive record away from home this season, although they have won once thus far at the MCG – and have the better winning record over the Tigers in their previous meetings.
The Eagles will be looking to Josh Kennedy to deliver seeing as he has vast amounts of experience at the MCG, and will look to improve his mediocre scoring tally at the MCG this weekend.
In what will no doubt be a close game, the Tigers are favourites to claim their second win of the season at $1.82, while the Eagles are very close in the odds at $2 for the win.
Western Bulldogs V Brisbane Lions
Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium will see the Western Bulldogs at home to the Brisbane Lions for a big Round 12 clash this weekend.
Both head into the match desperate for a win, with the home side looking to claw their way back into the top four, while the Lions need to get back to the top eight.
The Dogs will have to make do without Shaun Higgins and Ryan Hargrave, although it looks like Robert Murphy may take to the oval for them once again.
Barry Hall has been superb so far this season, and the Dogs will hope to see him hit the Lions running as he did earlier in the season – booting four goals against them.
The Lions suffered a devastating defeat to North Melbourne last round, with just a single point separating them from securing crucial points at this stage of the season.
Doubts are still lurking over the fitness of big gun Jonathan Brown, while Ash McGrath and Matt Maguire will most likely miss the fixture after receiving injuries last weekend.
The Lions will hope Brent Staker will be able to handle the inform Hall, while Travis Johnstone will need to prove himself for the visitors to make himself a regular for the Queensland side.
It is a safe bet to see the Dogs head into the fixture as the favourites at $1.31, although the desperation from the Lions not to fall that much further away from the top eight may make them a lucrative bet as outsiders at $3.50.
Fremantle V St Kilda
On Sunday afternoon, Perth’s Subiaco Oval will see Fremantle at home to St Kilda, with both determined to claim the crucial four points.
This fixture between third and fourth is all set to be a thriller, with both hoping to claim the points to see them safe in the top four, and with tough games coming up for the duo – these points are crucial.
The home side may be nervous heading into this weekend after a sloppy performance against the Crows, which saw them defeated and lose their grip at the top of the table.
With Michael Barlow dominating when he hits the oval, the Freo kicker is reliable for the homeside and will need to prove himself if the talk about him winning the Brownlow Medal is to be taken seriously.
The Saints travel to Perth confident in their form from recent weeks, which was rounded off with a win over Richmond last weekend, and look more comfortable now without skipper Nick Riewoldt – and will hope Leigh Montagne can continue his impressive run in the middle.
Stephen Milne will be pivotal for the Saints this weekend as he runs out for his 200th game, and after booting five against Freo earlier this season, will no doubt hope to make a similar sort of impact this weekend.
In what is set to be a close affair, Freo have the home advantage and with their form this season deserve the tag of favourites as they head into the weekend at $1.67, while the Saints are at $2.20.
Melbourne V Collingwood
Rounding off the action for the long weekend, Monday afternoon will see Melbourne at home to Collingwood at the MCG for the final clash of round 12.
The home side were disappointing in their game against the Blues last weekend, not able to capitalise on their comeback, and the youngsters certainly started to tire under the wet conditions.
The older and more experienced players are crucial for the Dees at this stage of the season, and will need to step up and lead by example – something Cameron Bruce is quite capable of doing.
The Pies secured a gritty win over the Bulldogs last round which saw them prevent a slippery slide down the ladder from getting into motion.
The visitors will hope the combination of Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan will work its magic once again this round, while Ben Reid was absolutely superb for Collingwood last weekend and will hope to perform once again this round.
The Pies are dominating the odds as they come into the fixture at $1.17 for the win, while it is unlikely the flailing Dees will cause an upset this round and head into the game as outsiders at $5.10.
AFL Round 12 Fixtures
|11.06.10||North Melbourne V Carlton||Etihad Stadium||7.40pm|
|12.06.10||Hawthorn V Adelaide||Aurora Stadium||2.10pm|
|12.06.10||Essendon V Geelong||Etihad Stadium||7.10pm|
|12.06.10||Port Adelaide V Sydney||AAMI Stadium||7.10pm|
|13.06.10||Richmond V West Coast Eagles||MCG||1.10pm|
|13.06.10||Western Bulldogs V Brisbane Lions||Etihad Stadium||2.10pm|
|13.06.10||Fremantle V St Kilda||Subiaco Oval||2.40pm|
|14.06.10||Melbourne V Collingwood||MCG||2.10pm|