What group modifications are doubtless for week one in all finals? Who hits September in type – and what points have to be fastened? With the fixture locked in, that is all the things it is advisable to know.
September kicks off with 4 large matches and whereas groups have two weeks to arrange, there’s a lot to consider together with some doable huge strikes on the choice desk.
Right here’s the place all 4 video games stand.
Thursday, September 7, 7.20pm
First Qualifying Remaining, MCG
COLLINGWOOD v MELBOURNE
WHO IS IN BETTER FORM?
Craig McRae says he doesn’t consider in type. Primarily based on the numbers, that is perhaps a great factor. The previous six weeks has the Demons ranked No.4 for contested ball and No.6 for clearance differential. The Pies are twelfth and tenth respectively and, regardless of limiting Essendon to a few targets on Friday, they’re 14th for factors conceded. Conversely the Dees are scoring fluently – No.3 for factors in that point – and Bayley Fritsch’s five-goal return packs them with additional firepower.
WHOSE STARS WILL BE DIMMED?
Clayton Oliver has been tagged by Finn Maginness and Callum Mills, and Christian Salem was shut down by Ryan Clarke on Sunday. Then once more, Steven Might and Jake Lever loom as rebounding weapons in opposition to Dan McStay and Brody Mihocek. All season McRae has been requested whether or not he would tag Nick Daicos. Now the query is whether or not he’ll comply with the type of rivals and put the clamps on Oliver and Salem.
Brayden Maynard will hand the captaincy again to Darcy Moore, who is definite to return from a hamstring tweak, whereas Beau McCreery is out there from suspension. Can he play in the identical ahead line as Bobby Hill and Jack Ginnivan? Jake Melksham’s shattering potential ACL harm might open the door for five-goal VFL ahead Tom McDonald to return for what can be his first recreation since spherical 11. As for Brodie Grundy, his hopes of turning into a premiership participant hinge on Casey Scorpions going back-to-back or Max Gawn breaking down.
Demons by 18 factors
Friday, September 8, 7.50pm
First Elimination Remaining, MCG
7.50pm, Friday, September 8
CARLTON v SYDNEY
ARE THE BLUES THE BEST TEAM IN IT?
Patrick Cripps will run out for his maiden closing 3581 days after he was drafted. Most Blues are September virgins, however enjoying in entrance of greater than 80,000 followers 4 instances this yr will assist settle any nerves. After which there may be their formline. Since spherical 14 – albeit parking Sunday night time, the place the stakes had been meaningless – the Blues are No.1 for factors scored and for factors in opposition to in addition to contested possession, floor ball and clearance differential. Cripps’ sidekick has been George Hewett, who in rounds 22-23 had 38 contested possessions, 31 floor balls and 16 tackles. On Sunday night time they kicked 5 targets from stoppages within the first half alone in opposition to GWS. Over the previous three months they’re the most well liked group by a protracted, great distance.
CAN HEENEY REPEAT CRIPPS CLAMP?
Isaac Heeney sat down with assistant coach Dean Cox and Luke Parker for a crash course on stopping Patrick Cripps earlier than spherical 11. Heeney went toe-to-toe with the Brownlow Medallist and gained six clearances to Cripps’ 5 and laid 10 tackles to his six. The Swans had been gone after spherical 17, caught within the backside 4, when Heeney was a whipping boy. He has epitomised the soar into September. Heeney began the season kicking 15.14 and since then he has 15.5 (which was not helped by 0.2 on Sunday) whereas Errol Gulden is enjoying like Nick Daicos with out the plaudits. He had 42 touches and two targets on Sunday. The query the Blues may ponder is who Callum Mills goes to? Mills shutdown Jordan Dawson final week and Clayton Oliver on Sunday.
Dynamic goalkicker Tom Papley ran at 90 per cent on Saturday and can return whereas Cripps is a certainty to fit again in. Blake Acres’ sore shoulder additionally gained’t cease him from lining up in consecutive finals sequence.
Blues by 18 factors
Saturday, September 9, 3.20pm
Second Elimination Remaining, MCG
ST KILDA v GWS
DOES ANYBODY RESPECT THE SAINTS?
Internally they believe not, however as Ross Lyon mentioned a month in the past “the ladder doesn’t lie”. Since spherical 19 the Saints have recaptured their early-season defensive type. They’re No.3 for factors conceded and fifth for opposition scores per entry. They’re 0-5 in opposition to top-four groups, however have crushed the opposite three golf equipment who’ve secured an elimination closing place. The Saints’ physician may have to prescribe Jimmy Webster some sleeping drugs as a result of he has 13 nights to ponder enjoying on Toby Greene. Good luck, Jimmy.
HOW IMPORTANT WAS COREY DURDIN’S SNAPPED GOAL?
Lyon’s “wherever, anytime” mantra was set to be examined when the Giants briefly snatched a house closing on the stay ladder. That was till Carlton’s Corey Durdin flipped their ladder spots with a late objective on Sunday night time. However for this Giants facet … who cares? An undersold a part of their story this yr is their never-say-die perspective. They’ve performed at 12 completely different venues and have powered residence in opposition to all odds – typically down on rotations and in wild climate circumstances – in opposition to Adelaide, the Canine, Geelong and Melbourne. Adam Kingsley has a robust case to be coach of the yr.
Max King will exchange Jack Hayes or Cooper Sharman whereas Seb Ross may are available for Hunter Clark, with Ryan Byrnes the doable substitute choice. Josh Battle suffered one other concussion, however with 14 days to recuperate he ought to be OK to play his a hundredth recreation. Anthony Caminiti is one other who can be thought-about. The massive choice name – significantly with King’s doubtless inclusion – can be on All-Australian full-back Sam Taylor, who was a late withdrawal on Sunday with hamstring tightness. Absolutely he performs and companions Jack Buckley in what has proved an unlikely however typically unstoppable pairing behind the ball.
Giants by 12 factors
Saturday, September 9, 7.25pm
Second Qualifying Remaining, Gabba
BRISBANE v PORT ADELAID
WILL ROUND 1 LEAVE MENTAL SCARS?
The only assembly between these golf equipment this yr was again in spherical 1 – when Port Adelaide gained contested ball by 33, floor ball will get by 15 and clearances by 9. They outscored the Lions 9.10 (54) to 2.3 (15) from stoppages. It was a coalface monstering and it rattled a Brisbane outfit that admitted it drank its personal pre-season bathwater. However the Lions enter finals on a 9-2 run – and a kind of losses was by one level – which is a much-improved type line from 12 months in the past, after they gained seven of their closing 13 home-and-away video games. Conversely, since spherical 18 the Energy are seventeenth for opposition scores per entry and one of many worst groups at defending ball motion. There are alarm bells in all places for Ken Hinkley’s mob.
CAN THESE TEAMS WIN AT THE ’G?
Reckon that is one in all footy’s falsest narratives. Sure, Brisbane’s current document is 1-14 on the MCG … however they’d the Dees on toast final month, kicked the primary six targets in opposition to Richmond final yr after which eradicated Melbourne on the ’G. Port was smacked by the Pies on the MCG this yr, however has gained its previous two. Anyway, the winner of this conflict gained’t have to fret about jetting to Melbourne till grand closing day, and after every travelling 12 instances this yr you can not underestimate how essential a month primarily spent in their very own beds can be.
All eyes are on Port’s ahead set-up. Todd Marshall’s hip is okay whereas Charlie Dixon and Scott Lycett can be found. Can they play Marshall, Dixon, Jeremy Finlayson and Ollie Lord in a towering assault? The Lions are equally wholesome with Lincoln McCarthy’s calf setback not seen as an impediment to lining up on the Gabba.
Lions by 30 factors
Initially printed as AFL 2023: Ultimate form guide for first week of finals