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AFL Round 24: Port Adelaide v Melbourne Betting Preview: Sunday 4 September, 2011

Fri, Sep 2, 4:49pm by Kevin Pitstock

When and Where:

2.40pm at Adelaide Oval

Overall Head-To-Head:

Port Adelaide – 12
Melbourne – 11
Draws – 0

Last Time They Met:

Melbourne 17.11 (113) d Port Adelaide 14.8 (92), Round 17, 2011 at TIO Stadium

Recent Form:

Port Adelaide – LLLLL
Melbourne – LLLLW

Current Ladder Positions:

Port Adelaide – 17th (2-19)
Melbourne – 12th (8-1-12)

Key Players:

While his numbers have been slightly down on previous years, Travis Boak has been a shining light for the Power in 2011. The 23-year-old is ranked first at the club for possessions (22 per game) and second for tackles (five per game). Boak has been a consistent performer in a midfield that has been battered for much of the season. This was epitomised during Port Adelaide’s horrendous 138-point loss to Collingwood in Round 20, when Boak gathered 31 touches and eight inside 50’s. Expect him to finish the season in fine style against the Dees.

He may not make the All-Australian team this season, but James Frawley has been excellent nonetheless in 2011. From a disposals viewpoint, the 22-year-old has been just as impressive, averaging a career-high 19 disposals per game. Frawley has been one of the few players to have thrived under new coach Todd Viney, collecting hauls of 20, 28, 16 and 21 over the past month. On Sunday, expect him to get the job on Jay Schulz, who is a difficult man to stop when on song.

Port Adelaide Team Changes:

IN – Dean Brogan
OUT – Matt Thomas (Knee)

Melbourne Team Changes:

IN – Rohan Bail, Matthew Bate and Jack Fitzpatrick
OUT – Liam Jurrah (Wrist), Tom McNamara and Tom Scully (Soreness)

Who Wins?

This won’t be a great game to watch, but it will be fascinating to see what an AFL game looks like on the picturesque Adelaide Oval.

Can you believe it – Port Adelaide can be competitive! In all seriousness, it was a magnificent performance by the Power last weekend, pushing Essendon right until the final siren. The Power led by 34 points in the final term and looked like they would do the impossible. But they conceded seven goals in 20 minutes and gathered only six possessions in ten minutes to eventually go down by seven points. The positive signs were everywhere though: Robbie Gray’s six-goal haul, David Rodan’s class around the stoppages, Travis Boak’s attack on the footy and Matthew Lobbe’s ruck work. And don’t forget John Butcher, who’s significantly increased his value with 11 goals from his first three games.

It was ugly and unconvincing, but Todd Viney certainly enjoyed his first win as Melbourne coach against Gold Coast last weekend. The Demons pulled away from their inexperienced opponents in the second half to eventually win by 30 points. Sam Blease was electric off half-back with 28 disposals, earning himself a well deserved nomination for the NAB Rising Star award. Skipper Brad Green won some respect back too, kicking four goals and leading by example. After the match, Viney didn’t rule applying for the permanent coaching job next season, so watch this space with interest.

Got a funny feeling about this one. After last week’s performance against the Bombers and on the narrow Adelaide Oval, which a number of Port players would’ve played on in the SANFL over the years, the Power could cause a big upset.

Best Head-To-Head Bet:

Port Adelaide by 1-24 ($4.10 – 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 – John Butcher on Sportingbet

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