Fri, Sep 30, 1:46pm by Kevin Pitstock
It has come down to the two best teams in the competition once again, this year the Premiers of the last two seasons, the Magpies and the Cats. Should the Cats win they will strengthen their reputation as one of the greatest teams in the modern era while if the Magpies win they will go back to back, something that the Cats haven’t managed in their five years at the top.
If this was written four weeks ago it would have been a relatively simple tale of explaining why the best team for the season, the Magpies, would win and the Cats would be valiant in defeat. But things have certainly changed with the Cats now the form team coming into the final on the back of two comfortable wins in the finals and a thrashing of the Magpies in albeit a dead rubber in the final minor round game.
The Magpies haven’t been impressive. They somehow scrounged a win over the Hawks when their defensive press and their run from their much heralded backline both broke down. That is something that the Cats would have taken a close look at. Personnel wise there has been much debate over who would line up for both teams.
Injuries from the Preliminary Final to Stevie Johnson from the Cats and Darren Jolly and Ben Reid from the Magpies have been the talking point all week. All have been named with Jolly and Johnson the most likely of the trio to pull out before the match.
Even though wet conditions will most likely prevail, Jolly, despite being out of form, must play for the Magpies to be a winning chance. Big men on Grand Final stand tall, remember his efforts in the replay last year. If Johnson does pull out then the loss of both him and Menzel does leave a hole in their forward line that would require filling.
While the Magpies best football is still the best football to be played this year, it is always the team that plays best at the end of the season that captures the flag and there is no doubt that is the Cats. It is also hard to ignore their ability to beat the sides around them on the ladder. Twice they beat the Magpies and twice they beat the Hawks.
The wet weather shouldn’t favour either side as both have talented mid-fielders who can play hard on the inside and skilfully on the outside.
Our traders think that simply put, the Cats have more players in form at the right time of the year. On top of that they have been there on the big day and know as much as the Magpies about winning on Grand Final day.
The money has come in big time for the Cats and our traders expect that to continue. This will make the Magpies the value bet at the price, but they are sticking with the Cats.
2011 AFL Grand Final Bettings Odds
Collingwood – 2.10 – 1.92 (+3.5)
Geelong – 1.77 – 1.92 (-3.5)
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