What will happen today in the AFL?

AFL player Buddy Franklin
Buddy Franklin kicks for goal. Photo: Flickerd, Wikimedia Commons

This afternoon the Western Bulldogs will play their first home game of the season, against the West Coast Eagles. After that, The Sydney Swans play their first game at home against Port Adelaide at the SCG. So how will the AFL games go, and who will win?

The Bulldogs and Eagles were both poor last week, but at least Footscray had the excuse of having to fly to Sydney. They also got absolutely flogged by GWS though. West Coast were beaten comfortably by the Swans. With both the Doggies and Eagles unlucky to play two of the premiership favourites in the opening round, they will look to kick start their seasons tonight.

West Coast is notoriously poor in Melbourne, with only two wins in AFL’s main city last year. One of those two wins was against the Bulldogs, in round 15 at Etihad. Both teams also suffered injury blows last week, with Tom Liberatore out for the season from the Bulldogs and Josh Kennedy still injured for the Eagles.

With both clubs short on star power this week the game will turn into a grind. In a close, hard fought game the home crowd could come into it, and we all know how passionate the Footscray supporters are. With very little confidence I’ll tip the Doggies by 10.

The Swans and Power at the SCG will be on a whole other level. Two of the genuine AFL premiership contenders this year will go head to head, and both were in strong form last week. Port Adelaide gave Fremantle a 50 point belting in Adelaide, while Sydney flew to Perth to beat West Coast by 29.

Port have a reputation in the AFL for being flat track bullies, as they are notoriously difficult to beat at home while not being a power side in away games. However, they beat the Swans at the SCG last year in round 1. This was the year that Sydney lost their first 6 games of the season yet still made the semi-finals, so that may not mean much now.

This could very well be the game of the round. Both sides have attacking superstars in their ranks, with the headline act being Lance “Buddy” Franklin, who kicked 8 6 pointers last week in Perth for Sydney. The twilight game is also a novelty in Sydney, and with a public holiday tomorrow there should be a good crowd.

I’ll give this one to the Swans by 12 in a high scoring, fast paced match.