Geelong v St Kilda

Picture: Reg Ryan/news.com.au
Joel Corey returns for Geelong against St Kilda. Picture: Reg Ryan/news.com.au
St Kilda could be playing for it's season against Geelong  at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, with the side needing a win to remain in contention for a place in the finals. Precariously placed in tenth spot, one win out of the eight, the Saints can’t afford to lose any of their remaining regular season games. The likely loss of skipper Nick Riewoldt is a huge blow, but Adam Schneider and Clint Jones could return.

While Geelong’s loss to West Coast last Friday night put paid to their hopes of finishing in the top four, they should still be playing finals football and need to keep winning in order to ensure they are playing at home on the opening weekend of the playoffs. Big guns Joel Corey, Paul Chapman and James Kelly are set to return, while key forward Tom Hawkins is a strong chance to play despite being knocked out against the Eagles.

Where It Will be Won – One area that the Saints can match Geelong in is in the midfield. In Nick Dal Santo  and Lenny Hayes , St Kilda has two of the best midfielders in the competition and they will have to be at the top of their game to compete with the Cats elite. Joel Selwood  continues to dominate the clearances, providing clean ball for his teammates, while Steve Johnson  and Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel  add further starch for Geelong in the middle of the field. If they can control the stoppages, St Kilda will have a tough task collecting the four points.

Prediction – Geelong has been playing well in recent weeks, with their only defeats since May coming at the hands of genuine premiership contenders West Coast, Collingwood and Sydney. Buoyed by the several key players, they will have too much firepower for the Saints, who will dearly miss Riewoldt. Geelong 40+

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