Richmond vs Sydney

Richmond can cement their place inside the Top 4 with a win over Sydney at the MCG.

Richmond will look to build their case for a top-four finish in 2017 with a win over the Sydney Swans at the MCG.

The Tigers have had a pretty good first half of the year really, and certainly much better than anything fans expected after their lacklustre 2016. They’ve got seven wins for the year which is better than all bar three other teams, and puts them one valuable win ahead of a large pack of teams on six victories. It’s important to keep winning though because if they can stay ahead of the pack they’ll be a good chance to finish in the top four. They come into this match having had the bye last week, but before that they had a solid, comfortable win over North Melbourne.

Sydney on the other hand are fighting for a slim shot at finals. Ever loss brings them one step closer to being ruled out of September. They lost their first six matches straight but have now won four of their last five, leaving them at a precarious 4-7 record. History suggests they can only afford to lose maybe three more games for the year if they want to play finals this year. They come into this one in a happy position, having taken a big win over the reigning premiers the Western Bulldogs at home last week.

No change for Richmond in their side this week – they seem to have found their best mix and are happy with where they’re at.

The Swans have dropped Lewis Melican, with Gary Rohan coming back – not a like-for-like swap, and one that suggests they want to move the ball quicker.

An interesting fact is that despite Sydney being the better side in recent years, the Tigers have won three of the last four between these sides, always as the underdogs. However, the last result between the two, in Round 23 last year, was a 113-point win to the Swans at the SCG. Sydney have beaten Richmond in Melbourne only once since 2009.

Given their respective ladder positions, it’s hard to believe that Richmond are the outsiders in this match – $2 on the Richmond win looks like good value.

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