The Cats will welcome a Buddy-less Swans to Geelong on Saturday afternoon- in a replay of last year’s Semi final. The Cats are fresh off a surprising win as underdogs against Port in Adelaide, with the inexperienced defence holding firm and Joel Selwood and Paddy Dangerfield leading by example- as they always do. The Swans, on the other hand, were disappointing at home against the Crows; with the famed midfield failing to deal with an Adelaide side missing its top 3 midfielders. The injury concerns to talls have only deepened for the Swans, with Buddy missing this clash due to a heel injury and running machine Daniel Hannebery succumbing to another soft-tissue complaint. The Swans are one of the few teams that have enjoyed success down in Geelong, but can the greatest team of all turn the Cattery into a fortress once again?
Cats (WLLWW) – The Cats certainly didn’t play like outsiders in their 34 point win over the Power last round. Despite missing a number of high-profile players, Geelong stuck so rigidly to their shrewd gameplan, the potent Port forward line could only manage 4 marks inside 50. The fact that Menegola, Duncan, Kelly and Horlin-Smith were amongst their best will be particularly heartening to Cats fans- a sign of their increasing depth and quality.
Swans (WLWWL) – There are some danger signs for the Swans after a lucky 7-point win over the Bulldogs and a disappointing 10 point loss to the Crows at home after starting 26 point favourites. Parker, Kennedy and Hannebery are all having their worst years (disposals wise) in several seasons, and the over reliance on Buddy has been compounded by the absences of Reid, Naismith and the retired Kurt Tippett.
Stats That Matter– The Swans have won their past 2 matches in Geelong – Patrick Dangerfield kicked 4 goals in their last meeting – The Cats have won 7 of their last 8 games in Geelong – The average margin in the past 5 meetings is 42 points – Unders is 5-10 in Geelong home games across 2017/2018 – Sam Menegola averages 120 Fantasy points per game against the Swans
The loss of Buddy has come at the worst possible time for the Swans, coming up against an undersized Cats defence while they are trying to pull themselves out of a mini form slump. The Wolf thinks the Cats should win, but is somewhat wary of a dogged Sydney side who always find a way to get up when they aren’t expected. If Patrick Dangerfield spends a lot of time in the forward line, as he did last week, it’s hard to see how the Swans can contain him. Don’t discount the Swans though, they will be smelling an upset- which has been only improved with the news Daniel Menzel is missing.
How It’s Shaping UpGeelong by 12
Best: Geelong WIN and Under 179.5 ($1.95) Value: Patrick Dangerfield 3+ Goals ($3.00) Player Prop: Sam Menegola 110+ Fantasy points ($2.50) First Goalscorer: Patrick Dangerfield