AFL Round 11 Preview

A guide to this weekend's games.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Carlton have their backs against the walls while Geelong, winners of their past two, are on the rise. Blues coach Brett Ratten is under the pump with rumours floating around that Mick Malthouse is swooping in to take his job, and even after speculation about Matthew Kreuzer’s health has been rampant over the past couple of days (with some saying his knee is bad enough to go under the knife), he’s been included into the team this week. Joel Corey, Corey Enright, David Wojcinski and Tom Hawkins are a few big names coming back into the Cats’ side, though I’d be surprised if Hawkins played considering he has just came off minor knee surgery. These are testing times for Carlton and Ratten and I don’t they’ll break their slump against Geelong.

Fremantle have lost three in a row, with two of them being blowouts, and now they have to travel to the MCG, where they are notoriously bad at, to take on a red hot Richmond team. They’ve made changes; McPhee, Suban and Griffin replace Duffield (!), Clarke and Anthony but going small won’t help them too much. Richmond were outstanding last week in defeating the Saints, but despite winning four of their last five the Tigers haven’t been able to break the eight. That changes this week.

The Gold Coast have been pitiful this year but at least receive Brandon Matera back into the team after a lengthy stint on the side lines. The Saints have been frustratingly inconsistent this season. Luckily all the need to do on Saturday is show up to play to take home the win.

Sydney’s poor run came to an end last week when they destroyed the inform Bulldogs by 92 points. They receive Nick Malceski back but lose Ben McGlynn to suspension and Luke Parker to a shoulder injury. Essendon are coming off their worst game of 2012, a loss against the previously winless Demons and should bounce back against the Swans.

The Hawks have been brilliant over the past fortnight but so have Port. Winners of their last three, Port will have a real test trying to restrain Buddy and his friends and sadly I think their run has come to an end.

Melbourne gave us hope last week that this lone Monday match will at least be competitive but unfortunately Saturday was merely a one-off. Collingwood have swapped the injured Pendlebury for Dane Swan while also receiving Darren Jolly and Chris Tarrent back into the team.