Five winners last week and looking in reasonable shape too until last year’s nemesis Essendon bobbed up in the last match with a stunning upset victory over the Roos. These early rounds are tough for the average tipster to negotiate and it’s even harder for me ha ha.

The safe bet of the week from the Habib footy tipping comp perspective would appear to be St Kilda who really have the wood on the Blues but there are plenty of potential upsets this week…good luck though trying to jag them – go against a few of these and you might be half a chance!

Brisbane vs. Collingwood Gabba

Both teams were fairly impressive against the WA teams last week. The Pies got the points at the G while the Lions answered my pre-season question in the negative with a stronger than expected showing in the West. Despite last year’s victory in Qld Collingwood’s record at the Gabba has not been good. While the Pies do have an excellent interstate record in recent years I believe that Brisbane’s 93 point flogging of Collingwood last year indicates that Brisbane is a side that generally matches up well with Malthouse’s men. Young Nathan Brown had a good outing last week against Matty Pavlich but it gets even harder for him this week against the premier player in the land Jonathon Brown. This is the man who shattered Glass last week and left Scarlett red faced in Round 22 last year. As long as Brisbane don’t forget about other options to goal I expect Jonno Brown to be the difference and for the Gorillas to claim the points at home.

Brisbane by 8 points.

Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs MCG

The Demons return to the scene of the crime to face a pumped up Bulldogs outfit fresh from winning a shoot out against the Crows in the last round. The Demons looked totally dispirited long before the conclusion of the match against the Hawks so if they have any heart at all expect them to come out hard (remember that’s if). The Dees have a good record against the Bullies in recent times but the Dogs hold all the aces in leg speed accross the ground. If the Demons can get the ball to Robbo or the big forwards in Neitz and Newton they can stretch the Dogs but I don’t think they can do this often enough. I expect a Doggie victory here but the Demons will make amends despite not landing the points.

Western Bulldogs by 29 points.

Adelaide vs. West Coast AAMI Stadium

The Eagles return to a venue that holds very little fear for them despite a last up loss to Port in the finals last year. The Crows have struggled to break the shackles against the Eagles in the past few seasons and during this period the Eagles have managed to score 95 points a game against Adelaide which is the best in the league against them. I can’t get past the sizeable obstacle that is Dean Cox in this match. Adelaide’s ruck division is a clear weakness and Dean Cox and Mark Seaby vs. Griffin and Tippett is going to get uglier faster than a gangsta at a KKK meeting. I expect Cox to stand up here and have a big one and the Cows will be up against it.

West Coast by 33 points.

Fremantle vs. Hawthorn Subiaco

A funny thing happened over summer. Once again Fremantle were being rated. Some tipsters might have dared to select them against the Pies last week. Some were pencilling them in for the top four. However it looked like the same old last week with Fremantle once again not quite grasping greatness. The response from the selection committee at Dockerland is to include a couple of youngsters on the large Subiaco fortress against a side that is not exactly the quickest going around. While there is no doubt that the Hawks were impressive last week they did little more than conduct a glorified training session running around Red and Blue witches hats. While Clarkson is sure to remind his troops of this there is no doubt that a scathing Harvey would have blistered the paint off the walls in the Freo changerooms this week. With an injection of youth and back on home turf and with a rocket up their arse, I’m expecting a Freo victory.

Fremantle by 22 points.

St Kilda vs. Carlton Telstra Dome

St Kilda welcome back the now extremely hirsute G Train against the Blues and it perhaps fitting he has grown that scraggly beard as this match is not going to be a close shave. The Saints will be out to prove that they can play attacking football after last weekend’s snoozathon and I can’t see the Blues covering what is an extremely dangerous looking forwardline that includes Riewoldt, G Train and Koschitzke. St Kilda has a massive record against the Blues this decade but even though the Blues got close last time but I can’t see it happening in this match. St Kilda have the winning habit and won’t be troubled by the Blues in this match. Hopefully we don’t see anymore tunnelling as I think the Saints might be digging a hole for themselves in regards to this issue.

St Kilda by 71 points.

Sydney vs. Port SCG

Even though I like Port better as a football side I don’t think they will be able to cope with Sydney’s close checking style on the confines of the basketball court up there in Sydney. Not too many of the Port boys relish the close checking style of play and really need that run to set up their effective system. Geelong denied them this in the first half and Port didn’t look like it. When the Cats lack of legs freed things up a bit Port looked like the top four side I believe them to be. The Power will be desperate to avoid going 0-2 but rest assured that Sydney will also be just as desperate to shut off the Power and avoid the same fate. Many Port ball winners have their stats well down against the Swans and there would be plenty on this site hoping that like last year, the game against the Power plays thier beloved bloods back into form. I believe that Sydney are better placed to run out the game than Geelong were last week and won’t be headed if they can get a good start. However, once again I can see Swans fans chewing their fingers long after all the nails have been bitten off!

Sydney by 1 point!

Geelong vs. Essendon Telstra Dome

The hard running Bomber outfit is looking forward to challenging the Cats as a measure of just how much they have improved. Essendon will undoubtedly have the Cats covered for pace but for disposal skill around the ground it is the Cats that hold the advantage. No matter how fast a guy can run he can’t outrun a kick and blokes like Cameron Ling, Gary Ablett and James Kelly have all started off the season in fine fettle. An area of advantage for Essendon is preparation. The Bombers are arguably at their peak right now but Geelong are clearly miles off it. It was quite noticeable to me that the Cats ran out of petrol about halfway through the third quarter against Port. I rate the Bombers a real chance in this game but what clinches the deal for me is that Geelong has had three extra days to prepare for this match which might negate Essendon’s area of advantage. With no Ottens, Wojincski, Rooke and now Mackie the Bombers will like their chances but with no Lucas and Scarlo to mind Lloyd it will be the Catters standing tall at the end of what I believe will be a great match.

Geelong by 19 points.

Richmond vs. North Melbourne MCG

A pumped up Richmond will fancy their chances over a disapointing North outfit that underperformed to the extreme against Essendon the week before. However I strongly believe that the Roos will hit back hard to defeat the Tigers. They would have spent all week busting to get out on the park again to restore their pride and despite Richmond’s solid win against the Blues I don’t think they have the cattle to perform a Roo cull on Sunday. Expect a big match from Hamish McIntosh and it wouldn’t surprise to see Daniel Wells burn up the track after copping some stick in the media during the week.

North Melbourne by 31 points.

All the best and may your team win as long as it’s not Essendon. <
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