Dogs Try To Snuff Out Crows' Finals Hopes

Picture: The Daily Telegraph/adelaidenow.com.au
Captain Matthew Boyd is a vital inclusion for the Bulldogs. Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au/The Daily Telegraph
Last 5 Meetings

Round 4, 2013 – Adelaide 80 d Western Bulldogs 28 at AAMI Stadium
Round 2, 2012 – Adelaide 82 d Western Bulldogs 64 at AAMI Stadium
Round 13, 2011 – Western Bulldogs 100 d Adelaide 70 at Etihad Stadium
Round 19, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 61 d Adelaide 53 at AAMI Stadium
Round 5, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 121 d Adelaide 72 at Etihad Stadium


Current Form

  Rd 16    Rd 17    Rd 18    Rd 19    Rd 20 
Western Bulldogs

L

L

W

L

W

Adelaide

L

W

L

L

W


With one of the youngest line-ups in the competition, the Western Bulldogs are certainly giving their fans reason for optimism in the future given how they are finishing the season. The ‘Dogs have split their last six games and scored victories over fringe top eight sides West Coast and Carlton. The kids are learning quickly and some of the veterans like former Brownlow winner Adam Cooney and Robert Murphy are getting back to their best.

Given their injury issues and the loss of form of some key players this season, Adelaide is performing admirably, despite the fact they’ll probably just finish outside the eight. The Crows have won a couple of nailbiters at home recently over Geelong and North Melbourne, but their away form has been pretty ordinary all season.

The Bulldogs will welcome back skipper Matthew Boyd who has had ongoing calf issues this year. The Crows will be without Ricky Henderson, who has been a revelation down back.


Key Men

(Bulldogs) Robert Murphy – Now in his 30s, Robert Murphy could be forgiven for starting to drop in form. The reality is, though, he is playing some of the best football of his career alongside the pups in this Bulldogs side. He is one of the best playmakers from the back in the AFL and he offers a reassuring presence in the Bulldogs’ defence.

(Crows) Brad Crouch – There haven’t been a huge amount of positives out at West Lakes this year, but the form of first-year midfielder Brad Crouch has been outstanding. He is an absolute jet and has been finding plenty of the footy so far. He averages almost 24 touches per match, and when you consider the Crows have on-ballers the ilk of Patrick Dangerfield , Scott Thompson , Rory Sloane and Richard Douglas alongside him, it’s an impressive number.


Prediction

Last year it seemed Adelaide had learnt to win in Melbourne but the Crows have taken a massive step back this season. If they hadn’t been successful in a barnstorming final quarters comeback against North Melbourne, the Crows would be taking an 0-4 record in Victoria in to this game. The Bulldogs have played their best footy this season at Etihad Stadium and they have won two of their last three under the dome, and they were competitive against Sydney in their defeat there in round 19. The teams were miles apart in class when Adelaide won convincingly on a soggy Sunday in round 4 by 52 points at AAMI Stadium, but the ‘Dogs have been a big improver in recent times and look to be finishing the year the stronger. Western Bulldogs by 9 points .

Click here to bet on AFL Round 21 matches