The question every footy lover is contemplating this weekend is whether Kennett's curse will plague the rampaging Hawks when they meet Geelong, and Mark Ricciuto has this answer in his weekly AFL preview...
GWS Giants coach Kevin Sheedy celebrates his 1000th game of football as a player and coach on Saturday when his young side take on Port Adelaide at home.
It's remarkable longevity in a game that can often be cut-throat, and no doubt his side will be fired up to put in a good performance for their mentor. Three others keen to prove a point will be former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams, and players Chad Cornes and Dean Brogan, who will come up against their former club for the first time.
The Giants have as expected run out of puff, but they'll see this as an opportunity to take it up to side that is struggling. Port Adelaide will be trying to stay out of the dreaded bottom four and they'll also see this as an opportunity for a victory. A 27-point loss to Fremantle flattered Port, who scored just two goals to three-quarter time, an they will be looking to bring a bit more to the table against GWS.
I expect some real fire in this game, with Cornes and Brogan both known protagonists, and I think it'll be enough to inspire their young team mates to win with the +50.5 point start @ Betfair odds of (1.82), maybe even to a victory...
Carlton will be hoping to keep their season alive with a victory at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but it will be a difficult task against ladder leader Sydney.
Buoyed by consecutive victories, the Blues have September back on the agenda, and as an added bonus they have some quality players coming back into the fold, with Mitch Robinson, Kade Simpson, Andrew Walker and Robert Warnock all a good chance to return. Important forward Jarrad Waite would be a good chance to return also after two goals in the VFL last week, and he's a player so important to the Blues structure.
They come up against a Sydney side who conversely have a few concerns of their own, with forward Sam Reid injuring his knee, something they can ill-afford given Shane Mumford's absence.
But the Swans are in great form, having won their last eight by an average of 50 points, and have won their last three games on the road by an average of 43 points. The smaller confines of Etihad Stadium, similar to that of the SCG, should also suit the Swans, but it's proven a difficult venue for the Blues, who have lost four of their last five at the ground.
While the Blues have plenty to play for, Sydney will keep on keeping on, recording a victory and covering the line of -17.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.87).
The match of the round this week is Friday night's game between Hawthorn and Geelong at the MCG.
After last round, the Hawks moved to second, courtesy of their massive win over Essendon and are in terrific form, having won their last eight by an average margin of a whopping 81 points!
However, one side they've failed to overcome this year, and for the last three seasons since their 2008 Premiership win, is Geelong. The Hawks have lost their last eight games against the Cats, albeit by an average of just ten points, however, it's still a nasty hoodoo!
The Cats are coming, no doubt about it, and the whiff of September air has those at Simonds Stadium excited. Consecutive victories against fellow finals hopefuls in Essendon and Adelaide have the Cats clinging to finals' hopes. Geelong will be hoping Joel Corey, Steve Johnson and Allen Christensen get up for the game after injury scares last week, while James Podsiadly and Matthew Scarlett should return. Scarlett's return will be particularly important given how damaging the near-full strength Hawks' forward line has been in recent weeks.
While I don't plan on investing too heavily on them, I think the Hawks (1.34) will win.