Carlton might be back in town after their big win against the Pies, but Mark Ricciuto hopes they aren't underestimating an in-form North Melbourne when they meet in Friday night AFL.
North were unlucky not to take the four points in Tasmania, run down in the last quarter by the West Coast Eagles, and will take a good record at Etihad Stadium into the game, having won their last three matches at the venue by an average of 27 points, as opposed to the Blues who have lost their last three under the roof.
While Carlton will be buoyed by the potential return of Marc Murphy, the pressure firmly remains on Brett Ratten: another loss here will undo their good work.
North will have to overcome consecutive six-day breaks, however, I still think they will win with a +6.5 point head start @ Betfair odds of (1.83) and possibly do enough to knock the Blues over!
Fremantle got their season back on track with a win over the Western Bulldogs last week, and have a chance to go back-to-back when they take on Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
While the Dockers generally don't travel too well, Melbourne will also be forced to travel to a venue at which they have had little success in recent times, having lost their last 12 games under the roof by an average of 44 points and not having won there since 2007.
Freo have managed one win in Melbourne this year (round eleven against the Tigers), which will give them some confidence, and with Matthew Pavlich back in form after having kicked six goals last round, they are hard to go past. Pav's ability to provide a target for Freo is what the Dees are missing without Mitch Clark, so if you're a Fremantle believer, have a look at them to cover the line of +17.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.80)
While we're on the subject of bad records, Essendon's record at AAMI Stadium, particularly against Port Adelaide, is atrocious!
The Bombers haven't beaten Port away since 2000, though they haven't played Port in Adelaide since round one 2009.
Port Adelaide are one of those sides that, despite ladder position, seem to match up well against the Bombers, so the Dons will need to be on their game, particularly given their disappointing loss last week to the Saints and a host of injuries and suspensions. They'll miss key players such as Michael Hurley, David Zaharakis, Stewart Crameri, Heath Hocking and Angus Monfries, which will make life difficult, particularly in terms of their ability to kick goals.
The Power are also licking their wounds after being on the wrong end of a flogging to cross-town rivals the Crows, and have injury problems of their own, but should get skipper Dom Cassisi back. The chance of some rain will also work in their favour, given Essendon like some space and time to move the footy around by foot, a game plan more suited to dry conditions.
This is a massive game for both sides in the context of their respective seasons, and a game I think the Power will give themselves a good chance of winning. I'm going to go out on a limb and say I think they'll win the game, so if you're a believer, jump on board @ Betfair odds of (3.35), but they should certainly cover the line of +17.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.90).
The final game of the round is a top of the table clash between the West Coast Eagles and the Sydney Swans at Patersons Stadium.
Over the past decade the sides have played out arguably football's most famous rivalry, and this promises to be another cracking game given top spot is on the line.
While the Eagles have an 18-game winning streak at Subiaco, Sydney were the last team to beat them there, so the venue will hold no fears for the Swans. In fact the Swans haven't lost to the Eagles since 2007!
West Coast will be without some important players in Beau Waters, Luke Shuey and Quienten Lynch, which will hurt them, but I think this one will be too close to call...however, I generally give the home-ground weighting in Perth a margin of four goals, so while Sydney with a head start of +10.5 points @ Betfair odds of (1.80) could tempt a few of you, I'll just be sitting back and enjoying what should be a great game.