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Melbourne Demons v Geelong Cats Elimination Final Predictions and Match Preview - Can the Demons secure long overdue finals victory?

Adam Cusworth 5 Sep 2018
  • Melbourne and Geelong square off in an Elimination Final at the MCG on Friday September 7. Here is our preview of the sudden death encounter. 

Melbourne takes on Geelong in one of the two AFL Elimination Finals that will be played out in the first weekend of the series on Friday September 7 clash gets underway at 7.50PM.  

The Demons head in as slight favourites for the sudden death encounter and all the action can be seen on Channel 7 and Fox Footy. 

Match Preview


Melbourne ended a 12 year drought by qualifying for the finals for the first time since 2006 and finished the season ranked higher than Geelong, ending in 5th position with 14 wins. 

The Demons secured their spot on the back of two wins at the end of the home and away season against some fellow finalists. They defeated West Coast by 17 points in Perth in Round 22 before knocking over an undermanned GWS outfit by 45 in Round 23. 

Their opponents, Geelong, won 13 of their 22 games in 2018 and finished 8th. But finishing positions count for little for both sides in this one, which will see the loser bow out, while the winner will take on the loser of the Richmond and Hawthorn clash. 

The Cats come into this in some red hot form, enjoying successive 100+ point wins with those efforts coming against Fremantle and the Gold Coast Suns. A host of their big names are in great form, including the 2016 Brownlow Medalist, Patrick Dangerfield, as well as the likes of Gary Ablett and Tim Kelly. 

Despite their impressive list of big names, the Cats rank lower than Melbourne in a number of statistical categories. The Demons are the competition's best for scoring, hitouts and contested possessions, while Geelong are 4th, 12th and 4th in these areas. 

Max Gawn is one player that should get on top. Look for the Demons ruckman to provide the likes of Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw with the first use of the footy. 

While Melbourne might have a tiny edge in the middle, Geelong have a huge advantage in experience, particularly in exposure to finals. The Cats have featured in the September action in 10 of the past 11 years and this should hold them in good stead. Only four Demons have played in a final, including the former Hawk, Jordan Lewis. 

Team News


Melbourne will lose Dom Tyson from the side that defeated GWS in Round 23 after the midfielder broke his arm in that clash. Dean Kent is another in doubt with an injured shoulder. Jack Viney is tipped to return from injury, while Mitch Hannan is another possible inclusion. 

Geelong have no injury concerns out of the win over the Suns. Cam Guthrie is expected to be ok despite sustaining a corkie. Esava Ratugolea is one that is edging closer to a return from injury for the Cats. 

Stats


Geelong have dominated Melbourne in recent years, winning 15 of the past 16 games between the two sides although little separated them in the two encounters this season.

In Round 1, Melbourne missed out by three points after a late Max Gawn shot on goal sailed wide, while in Round 18, Geelong stormed home to win by two points, courtesy of a kick after the siren by Zach Tuohy. 

The most recent finals encounter between the two sides was way back in 2005 and on that occasion it was Geelong by 55 points. The Cats have won just two of their seven games at the MCG in 2018, while Melbourne are five from 11 at the venue this year. 

Prediction and Tips


This shapes as a classic and I am going with the experience of Geelong to help the Cats through to another Semi Final. 


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Melbourne Demons v Geelong Cats Elimination Final Predictions and Match Preview - Can the Demons secure long overdue finals victory?

Melbourne and Geelong square off in an Elimination Final at the MCG on Friday September 7. Here is our preview of the sudden death encounter.

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