Melbourne vs St Kilda
Melbourne and St Kilda meet at the MCG for a match that may well end the finals ambitions of the loser on Sunday of Round 20.
The Demons have played close to their worst fortnight of footy all year in the past two weeks, dropping matches against North Melbourne and GWS.
They never should have lost to North, but the match against the Giants was always expected to be competitive – however, they weren’t.
After kicking the first three goals against GWS they completely went into their shells and were smashed, ultimately losing by 35.
It has put them in a position where they must finish the season strongly if they are to play finals. Luckily, they have every chance of doing so.
After St Kilda today they have matches against Brisbane and Collingwood to close out the year, all of them very winnable.
For St Kilda the finish is a little tougher but no less doable. They have the same number of wins as Melbourne (and West Coast and Essendon), but the worst percentage of the lot.
After this game, they’ve got North Melbourne and Richmond in the coming weeks – both teams they have already beaten this year.
They probably need to win all three of their remaining games this season to make finals given their poor percentage, so the season is very much on the line here today.
Last week’s result was a hard-earned eight-point victory over West Coast.
Melbourne have swung the axe this week dropping some key senior players in Jack Watts and Christian Salem, and also Sam Frost and Corey Maynard.
Mitch Hannan and Sam Weideman will add some forward options for them, they’ve also recalled Angus Brayshaw who has missed a lot of footy due to concussion, and Josh Wagner.
St Kilda have only one change, Nick Riewoldt is out with concussion and Sam Gilbert will come into the side as his replacement.
St Kilda have dominated the recent history between these two teams, but Melbourne broke that streak earlier this year. It’s anyone’s game.
The Saints, as outsiders, offer better value in what looks like an even match-up. $2.88 for them to win by 1-39 is the best value on offer.
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