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AFL Round 20: Hawthorn v North Melbourne Betting Preview – Sunday 7 August, 2011

Fri, Aug 5, 6:02pm by Kevin Pitstock

When and Where:

2.10pm at Aurora Stadium

Overall Head-To-Head:

Hawthorn – 88
North Melbourne – 74
Draws – 2

Last Time They Met:

North Melbourne 12.10 (82) defeated Hawthorn 10.10 (70), Round 5, 2010 at Aurora Stadium

Recent Form:

Hawthorn – LWBWW
North Melbourne – LLWWL

Current Ladder Positions:

Hawthorn – 3rd (13-4)
North Melbourne – 10th (8-10)

Key Players:

Many Victorians often have a friendly joke and tease about Tasmania – but not Lance Franklin. The 24-year-old has loved going to Launceston this season and has dominated every opposition that he’s come up against. Franklin has kicked 12 goals from three games at Aurora Stadium this season, while also averaging 23 disposals and seven marks as well. It’s no secret North Melbourne’s defence has been suspect to star big forwards over recent years, so expect ‘Buddy’ to have a day out against a weak back line at one of his favourite venues.

You can’t say anything bad about Andrew Swallow. Nice guy, speaks well in the media, performs consistently, shows plenty of leadership and the girls love his looks. The 24-year-old showed plenty of maturity and class against Carlton last weekend, gathering 33 disposals in what many called a best-on-ground performance, despite his team losing by three goals. With the Roos’ seaosn on the line, hopefully Swallow can bring the form he showed last weekend down to Tasmania – for the team’s sake and for the sake of the Kangaroos supporters.

Hawthorn Team Changes:

IN – Luke Hodge
OUT – Xavier Ellis (Soreness)

North Melbourne Team Changes:

IN – Lindsay Thomas and Shaun Atley
OUT – Leigh Adams (Knee) and Gavin Urquhart

Who Wins?

The folk of Launceston are in for a treat on Sunday, because the game they’ll witness is the likely to be the game of the round.

Despite sitting third on the ladder, Hawthorn hasn’t been receiving the credit it’s deserved over the past month and a half. The Hawks have won five of their past six games, including a slick 51-point victory over finals-contenders Fremantle last weekend. They never looked in danger of losing the game, despite missing captain Luke Hodge, because they handled the wet conditions much better than the Dockers. The strong bodies of Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis are back to their best and are smashing opposition teams at the stoppages.

Maybe 2011 just isn’t North Melbourne’s year. The Kangaroos are a brave side and have been in solid form over recent weeks. However they don’t have that polish to compete with the majority of top eight sides yet. Against Carlton last round, the Roos led at quarter and half time, and were level at three-quarter time. But they lost the game in a 15-minute period during the fourth term. An area of grave concern for coach Brad Scott is his side’s kicking efficiency, but hopefully that will naturally improve with the more games this side plays together.

This is it for the Kangaroos. If they want to feature in the finals, they must win this game, particularly with Essendon and Fremantle set for tough games. The Roos are the last team to defeat the Hawks in Launcestion, winning in wet conditions in Round 5 last year. This one will be tight, but it’s hard to go past Hawthorn’s recent form.

Best Head-To-Head Bet:

North Melbourne +30.0 ($2.11 – Centrebet)

Also Sportingbet Australia is doing a first goal scorer special on the AFL, on top of the usual first goal scorer payout. If your first goal scorer bet scores the second goal, the guys at Sportingbet will pay you out as well! If he kicks the first two, they will pay you double! Get on!

Other Suggested Bets:

First Goal Scorer – Cyril Rioli on Sportingbet

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