Four teams battle it out in Semi-Finals action with the hope of advancing to meet Richmond or Collingwood in the Preliminary Finals.
Friday night will see minor premiers Geelong Cats take on the reigning premiers West Coast Eagles at the MCG.
The Brisbane Lions will then host the GWS Giants at the Gabba on Saturday night.
We preview both finals matches:
Geelong Cats v West Coast Eagles
Regular season records count for little in finals and in week one it was Geelong that lined up at the MCG against Collingwood in the first of the Qualifying Finals. They went down by 10 points in that game after a slow start proved to be costly
A night earlier, West Coast thumped Essendon in the first of the Elimination Finals, taking out the Bombers by 65 points. Josh Kennedy and Jamie Cripps booted four goals each for the winners in that clash, while Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo were amongst some of the other players that starred for the 2018 premiers.
Kennedy and Jack Darling will be a couple of the key players for West Coast. That pair have combined for 104 goals this season and sit in the top seven players for total goals. Tom Stewart was one of Geelong’s best last weekend and will likely play on one of that pair, with Harry Taylor a likely match up for the other.
The Eagles will look to get on top in the aerial duels both in their forward line and at the other end with Jeremy McGovern and Shannon Hurn likely to be influential in defensive 50.
West Coast look too good for Geelong and can cover the small line.
Prediction: Eagles -4.5 ($2.02 TopBetta)
Brisbane Lions v GWS Giants
In week one of the finals, Brisbane hosted Richmond at the GABBA but were no match for the Tigers, going down by 47 points. On the same day, GWS stayed in contention by knocking over the Western Bulldogs by 58 points in the Elimination Final.
Brisbane had the superior form over the course of the home and away season, finishing 2nd on the ladder with 16 wins to their credit, while the Giants ended in 6th position with 13 wins.
However, that counts for little now and the Giants have been the better side in previous years, having made the Preliminary Finals in both 2016 and 2017, while they bowed out at this stage last season. This is Brisbane’s first finals appearance since 2009.
One of the keys to this game will be Brisbane’s ability to convert. They have a dynamic forward line but that group were wasteful early on against Richmond last weekend.
Charlie Cameron and Eric Hipwood are among a number of players that will be out to rebound. Cameron has booted 55 goals this season but only three in the past two weeks. Both of those recent games were against Richmond. Prior to the Tigers loss, the Lions won nine on the trot.
GWS also have plenty of quality in their forward 50. The Coleman Medal winner, Jeremy Cameron, will be a key target, while Jeremy Finlayson and Toby Greene are others that are capable of stepping up. That duo combined for six goals in the win over the Bulldogs.
Other key battles occur in the midfield, where the likes of Lachie Whitfield, Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper take on Brisbane’s Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko and Jarryd Lyons. The winner of this game will take on Collingwood in the Preliminary Final, while the loser can kiss goodbye to their 2019 campaign.
Brisbane can get through this match in a close one.
Prediction: Lions 1-39 ($2.20 TopBetta)