The Crows and Power played out the most exciting Showdown in recent memory, with both teams seemingly winning the game within the dying moments, with Port Adelaide having the final say. Adelaide will be stinging from the loss and keen to right the ship, but they host a Bulldogs team spearheaded by Jackson Macrae who is putting up numbers mirroring a young Gary Ablett Jr. Crows will be heavy favorites, but the Dogs have found a balance and if they can keep the game low scoring they will be in with a shot.
Gun: Any stud
Honestly take your pick here. There are four or five absolute locks each and every week playing in this game, Jackson Macrae, Rory Laird, Bryce Gibbs, Matt Crouch and Lachie Hunter. You can’t go wrong with either of those stars. I’d lean towards Laird given he is $2m cheaper than Macrae, Crouch will be the best point of difference, but they’re all studs.
Dud: Marcus Bontempelli ($13.9m)
Marcus Bontempelli has shown renewed form in recent weeks after a hugely disappointing 18 months, finally finding that midfield-forward balance. Adelaide, however, are as well equipped as any to deal with him. They can match his athleticism in midfield, have Laird sweeping off halfback and can move Mitch McGovern from half forward should they need further assistance. Not the game for the Bont.
Point of Difference: Jason Johannisen ($11.6m)
At his best there is no more exciting player in the game than Jason Johannisen and I won’t hear anything else about it. Adelaide play a larger forward group than most, which could mean plenty of chances for JJ to break off halfback and get forward. Plenty of ball will be thrown his way, but in recent weeks it seems the confidence is back in his game and I can see him going large in a good matchup for the Norm Smith medalist.
That’s all for Friday’s analysis. Check back soon for the rest of our Round 9 picks.