Week three of the 2018 AFL finals series

Week three of the 2018 AFL finals series
The Richmond Tigers look unstoppable. Photo: Rachel Hofton, Wikimedia Commons

With just two games to play before the big dance, the remaining four teams will all fancy their chances of taking out a premiership. Tonight Richmond will play Collingwood in a blockbuster clash at the MCG, while tomorrow night West Coast will take on Melbourne.

The first clash is expected to attract the biggest crowd of the year so far, with two of the biggest clubs in the AFL going head to head in a final for the first time since 1980. Unfortunately, the result looks predetermined. Richmond are the defending premiers and have been dominant all year, while Collingwood scraped past GWS in a low scoring affair to reach the preliminaries.

The Tigers beat the Magpies by 43 and 28 points in their two clashes so far this season, and demolished the Hawks by 31 in the first round of the finals. Collingwood, meanwhile, were beaten comfortably by the Eagles then got over the Giants in a very low scoring match. Unless the occasion gets into Richmond’s heads (which it shouldn’t considering they won last year) then they should take this match in a canter.

The West Coast – Melbourne match has had a lot less hype around it, but will probably be the better match. The Eagles are a very good team, especially in Perth, and have been strong all year. The Demons, however, are enjoying a hot run of form at the moment that has seen them dispatch perennial contenders Geelong and Hawthorn in consecutive thrashings in the first two finals rounds.

West Coast had last week off, but the rest probably won’t be as significant given every team had a break in the week before the finals started, and Melbourne were hardly stretched by the Cats or Hawks. This game is very difficult to call, but West Coast have been the better team all season and are probably slight favourites to travel to the MCG next week and get flogged by Richmond.