Round 17 Match Preview Sydney vs St Kilda

Round 17,

SCG

Sydney:

Sydney impressively defeated a weakened West Coast team at Paterson’s Stadium, to jump to first on the AFL ladder. They have won their last six games, with their last loss coming against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in round 9. The Swans rise to the top of the ladder, has seen the findings of some young talent. Sam Reid has been impressive up forward, kicking 24 goals this year. Lewis Jetta has also had an impressive year, playing on a half forward flank (36 goals) and also in the midfield. Though the real finding, is tall defender Alex Johnson. At 193cm tall, he will be the ideal match up for Arryn Siposs or as a loose defender. Johnson has played every game this year and has been pivotal to the defence, as he can play as a second tall and free up either Heath Grundy or Ted Richards.

St Kilda:

St Kilda just defeated a strong Brisbane Lions team last round, to record their first two game winning streak since round three. St Kilda has been up and down this year, though their biggest defeat was 35 points against Hawthorn in round six. This week, they will be strengthened by the return of Brendon Goddard and Jack Steven. Both are critical to the Saints midfield and will relieve the pressure off Lenny Hayes and Nick Dal Santo. This is a game where Clinton Jones will be very valuable. Jones has been known for his defensive tagging roles in the midfield and he could get the job on star midfielders Josh Kennedy or Kieren Jack.

Key Players:
Sydney:

Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford, Kieren Jack, Alex Johnson, Ryan O’Keefe.

St Kilda:

Lenny Hayes, Ben McEvoy, Clint Jones, Ahmed Saad, Sam Fisher.

Who’s Missing:

Sydney:

Gary Rohan, Mark Seaby.

St Kilda:

Jason Blake, Rhys Stanley, Raph Clarke, Brett Peake, Farren Ray.

Key Match Ups:
Josh Kennedy vs. Clint Jones:

Kennedy is the second best player in the competition when it comes to contested possession and he will need to be stopped to disallow easy access into the Swans forward line. Jones is the man to tag him, as he has been impressive in stopping players in the past.

Martin Mattner vs. Ahmed Saad:

Saad has started his AFL career in fine form, with 17 goals from 9 games. Mattner will get the job on Saad and this will be an enthralling contest, as Mattner has been in career best form.
Prediction:
St Kilda defeated an in form Sydney in round 9 by 28 points. The Saints were just better in the stats, however they heavily defeated the Swans with 13 more inside 50’s and 16 more tackles. The Swans were without champion Adam Goodes, although they still had a number of stars playing. The Swans this year are ranked 4th in inside 50’s, whilst the Saints are ranked 8th. The Swans also outrank the Saints in tackles, respectively ranked 2nd and 6th. The Saints will need to produce what they did in round 9 again, as the Swans also have a heavy advantage in the contested possession count, ranked 2nd to 14th. If Swan players such as Jack, Kennedy and Jude Bolton can get their hands on the ball first; Reid, Goodes and the Swans other forwards will be able to capitalize on the score board. Both teams have a strong forward line, though the Swans edge the Saints in the midfield. This will be a close game, however the Swans’ impressive form will edge out a fighting Saints.

Swans by 10.

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