With the Anzac Day holiday taking place on Wednesday this year, this week’s round of AFL action kicks off on Wednesday with Collingwood taking on an undefeated Essendon at the MCG. After four rounds, just three sides remain unbeaten with the Bombers joined by Sydney and West Coast at the top of the table. Round 5 delivers some cracking AFL matches as well as the usual one-sided affairs involving cellar dwellar teams GWS, Gold Coast and Melbourne.
Collingwood V Essendon, Wednesday April 25, MCG
Essendon may be undefeated but they face their toughest test of the year this week and will start as rightful outsiders when taking on a quality Collingwood outfit. The Magpies bounced back from a flogging by a red-hot Carlton side to beat Port Adelaide by 24 points on the weekend and will go into the game confident against an injury depleted Essendon side. The Bombers might be missing some stars but confidence is a wonderful thing in sport and they should still have plenty of that after winning their first four matches.
Fremantle V Carlton, Friday April 27, Patersons Stadium
This could well be the match of the round. Both sides come into the game with three wins under their belts, making this one tough to call. Carlton suffered a shock loss to Essendon on the weekend after destroying all their previous opponents and will be looking to bounce back against a Fremantle side that is on a high after disposing of a quality St Kilda outfit last Friday.
GWS V Western Bulldogs, Saturday April 28, Manuka Oval
The two teams will descend on the nation’s capital for Saturday’s clash but Canberra’s AFL public are not in for much of a treat. GWS were soundly beaten again on the weekend by Adelaide and it would take a brave individual to give them a chance, even against a Bulldogs side that has won just one game this year. GWS have had 529 points put on them in the first four rounds and they are likely to suffer plenty more at the hands of the Bulldogs this Saturday.
Western Bulldogs $1.01
North Melbourne V Gold Coast, Saturday April 28, Etihad Stadium
Gold Coast have struggled enough this season as it is but they look in for a special treat with superstar Gary Ablett set to miss the game with injury. Ablett limped from the field in the Suns’ most recent flogging at the hands of the Brisbane Lions and they are unlikely to cause too many problems for a Kangaroos side that has two wins from four games this season.
North Melbourne $1.01
Gold Coast Suns $15.00
Melbourne V St Kilda, Saturday April 28, MCG
The Demons have been nothing short of woeful so far this season and their winless streak looks set to continue when start as rank outsiders against St Kilda on Saturday night. They came up against fellow winless side the Western Bulldogs last weekend but still went down by 21 points and they face a talented St Kilda side who will be looking to avenge their round 4 defeat by Fremantle.
St Kilda $1.13
Brisbane V Geelong, Saturday April 28, Gabba
Brisbane may start as $3.70 outsiders for their home clash against Geelong but the Queenslanders should not be written off. Despite boasting a host of star players, Geelong have not been able to produce their best football this year and come up against a near full-strength Lions side that is full of confidence after hammering little brothers the Gold Coast last weekend. If Geelong can produce their best football they will go return home as comfortable victors but a Brisbane team with a fit Simon Black and Jonathan Brown should never be taken lightly.
Hawthorn V Sydney, Sunday April 29, Aurora Stadium
Hawthorn will go into this clash as $1.34 favourites on the back of a five-point loss to competition front runners West Coast but the unbeaten Swans should not be discarded. They faced a tough North Melbourne side and beat them by 36 points on the weekend and will go into the game full of confidence against a strong Hawks lineup that boasts attacking stars Cyril Rioli and Buddy Franklin.
Sydney Swans $3.25
Richmond V West Coast, Sunday April 29, Etihad Stadium
West Coast have been by far the most impressive side in the first four rounds of the competition and their winning streak looks to continue when they face the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. Richmond showed they are no mugs by coming within ten points of a strong Geelong lineup on the weekend but they face a talented and confidence-filled West Coast lineup this weekend that doesn’t look like breaking down any time soon.
West Coast $1.41
Adelaide Crows V Port Adelaide, Sunday April 29, AAMI Stadium
The local derbies are always interesting and firey and this one looks to be no different. The Crows will go into the game as deserving favourites but Port have proven they are no pushovers this year, losing in close encounters to strong Sydney and Collingwood sides in the last two rounds.
Port Adelaide $2.64
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