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AFL Round 9: St Kilda v Melbourne Betting Preview – Saturday 21 May, 2011

Fri, May 20, 12:27pm by Kevin Pitstock

When and Where:

2.10pm at Etihad Stadium
Overall Head-To-Head:

St Kilda – 82
Melbourne – 118
Draws – 1
Last Time They Met:

St Kilda 15.10 (100) defeated Melbourne 9.11 (65), round 14, 2010 at Etihad Stadium
Recent Form:

St Kilda – LWLLL
Melbourne – WWLWL
Current Ladder Positions:

St Kilda – 15th (1-1-5)
Melbourne – 3rd (3-1-3)
Key Players:

What’s up with Brendon Goddard? No one knows the answer, except the man himself. After announcing himself as a genuine superstar of the game with two terrific Grand Final performances in 2010, Goddard has taken a few steps backward in 2011. The 25-year-old is well down on his numbers from the past two seasons, averaging 20 disposals and four marks per game this season compared 28 disposals and seven marks across 2009 and 2010. Whatever the reason is behind his form slump, he needs to find some form soon, otherwise the Saints are looking at a bottom four finish.

Aaron Davey has been one of Melbourne’s most consistent players since arriving at the club in 2004. Every time the Demons have the ball, they look to feed it to Davey. The 27-year-old’s spearing left-foot kick is one of the best in the competition; therefore his teammates look to use him at every opportunity. Davey has been tagged out of a few games this season, particularly against West Coast and Hawthorn, but has regained a little form in the past two weeks against Adelaide and North Melbourne. For the Dees to win on Saturday, Davey needs to have 25 possessions or more.
St Kilda Team Changes:

IN – Jason Blake, Leigh Montagna, Nicholas Winmar and Brett Peake
OUT – Steven Baker (suspended), Jason Gram, Ben McEvoy and Andrew McQualter
Melbourne Team Changes:

IN – Matthew Bate, Jared Rivers, Jordie McKenzie, Joel Macdonald and Michael Evans
OUT – Lynden Dun (suspended), Colin Garland (ankle), Austin Wonaeamirri (knee), Rohan Bail (knee) and Jamie Bennell
New Players:

ST KILDA – Nicholas Winmar (20, Scarborough)
MELBOURNE – Michael Evans (18, Claremont)
Who Wins?

This match epitomises crunch-time. It is simply a must-win for both clubs.

St Kilda has been all the rage in the press this week – for all the wrong reasons. The Saints led the Hawks by 32 points at quarter time last week, but simply stopped after that. They were outscored by 14 goals to five after the first break and eventually lost by 30 points. The Saints now sit in 15th spot on the ladder with one win from the first eight rounds. After such a disappointing start to the season, it’s hard to see them challenging for a finals spot now.

Speaking of disappointing, Melbourne hasn’t been too much better itself this season. Like the Saints last week, the Demons started well and led North Melbourne by 24 points at quarter time. Then they stopped and were outscored by 16 goals to five after the first change. The loss dropped the Demons down to ninth spot on the ladder. To make matters worse, Rohan Bail and Colin Garland suffered serious injuries during the match and now must watch from the sidelines alongside Tom Scully, Jack Grimes, Mark Jamar, Jack Trengove and Jake Spencer.

No doubt the losing coach of Saturday’s match will come under immense scrutiny. And unfortunately for Dean Bailey, it is likely to be him. Six of Melbourne’s starting 22 players will have to watch the game from the grandstand, whereas the Saints regain All-Australian midfielder Leigh Montagna from suspension. Against an undermanned Melbourne outfit, surely the Saints can get their second win on the board.
Best Head-To-Head Bet:

St Kilda by 1-19 points ($4.00 – Sportsbet)

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 – Stephen Milne on Sportingbet

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