Who Will Switch The Power Back On?

Angus Monfries - Port Adelaide
Angus Monfries is under an injury cloud heading into round 18. Image courtesy of elitesports.com.au

AFL Port Adelaide  Power Logo

Port Adelaide v Melbourne

Adelaide Oval

Sunday July 20 – 12:40 PM (AEST)




AFL Melbourne Demons Logo

With just one win in their past five matches, Port  cannot afford to drop points against Melbourne this weekend.

It was all going to plan for Port halfway through the season. Riding out an eight match winning streak and sitting pretty on top of the table, they were without a doubt the team to catch. But a round 13 loss to current front runners Sydney has produced a domino effect, and seen them plummet to fifth on the table and battling for a spot in the top four. Last week’s loss against a struggling Richmond was one of the shocks of the year, and we can expect a host of changes coming from coach Ken Hinkley ahead of Sunday’s crucial match. It's unlikely injured pair Alipate Carlile and Angus Monfries will return from hamstring injuries, but the club hasn't completely ruled them out. Robbie Gray was said to be unaffected by his head knock early in the week, although he'll still be put through the necessary tests before lining up. After such a poor run of form, Hinkley may cast his eye over a couple of the SANFL big guns. Paul Stewart and Karl Amon both have strong claims for a spot in the midfield after strong state league performances over the weekend.

Melbourne head into round 18 coming off the back of four straight losses, the latest a 66-point drubbing at the hands of Geelong. When you look at the stats, it’s easy to see why the Demons are struggling so much this year. Their defence has actually been pretty solid, conceding just 52 points more than Hawthorn in 2014. Melbourne’s Achilles heel has been the inability to get into scoring positions. They’re the only side yet to score more than 1000 points this year and are spending the least amount of time in their opposition’s 50. Out of favour forward Sam Blease may be the missing piece to the puzzle Paul Roos requires in the Demons’ attack. The 23-year-old’s disposals have let him down in recent weeks, but Melbourne are desperate for some excitement and power in front of the sticks. Blease was strong on the weekend, managing 24 touches and kicking two goals, and it would be cruel to watch him go through the whole year without a senior team call up.

Port Adelaide know how important it is to get a win this weekend and jump back into contention at the top of the table. I have no doubt they will win on Sunday, but something is telling me it won’t be by as big a margin as you would expect. Carlile and Monfries will be pretty big losses for the home side if they aren’t fit, but regardless, the Power have no excuses for a fourth defeat in a row.

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Nick's Tip: Melbourne + 42.5 

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