- Carlton v Collingwood: The oldest and greatest of rivals reigniting the flame
Both teams are in desperate need of a win after two losses to start the season. Carlton had a positive first outing but got smashed by Gold Coast, whilst the Pies had it the other way around as they got thumped by Hawthorn in round 1 before getting narrowly beaten by GWS last weekend. This rivalry looks set to heat up this week as both sit in 16th and 17th on the ladder respectively. It should undoubtedly be a fiery clash, as both teams fight for their first win of the season.
- Port proving last week’s performance was not a one-off
Port Adelaide have had a habit of producing inconsistent performances on a consistent basis. So far this season, they have won two from two, but it’s last weekend’s win against the Swans which took many by surprise, and has many predicting big things for the Power. However, time and time again they have failed to follow up such an outing, and this week they’ll look to buck the trend as they attempt to easily dismantle the Brisbane Lions.
- Melbourne v North Melbourne
Although both teams have vastly different expectations for this season, the fact North Melbourne have beaten Melbourne for their last 17 clashes speaks wonders as to why so many eyes will be on this match. Melbourne last won in 2006 over the Roos, and having been rather disappointing for their first two games this season, they will be looking to end their drought this weekend. North on the other hand have been rather impressive thus far this season, and will be confident of making it 18 in a row against the Dees who haven’t been in the greatest form.
- The Suns’ continual rise
Stuart Dew appears to have changed the culture and dynamics of the team up in the Gold Coast, and it’s working wonders as they remain unbeaten in 2018. They have continued their JLT series form into the season proper, and have been outstanding in their first two matches against North Melbourne and Carlton. Their performance against Carlton in particular has won many supporters, and they will be looking to keep that momentum into this week’s ‘home’ match against the Dockers in Perth, who are fresh off an upset win over Essendon. Can the Suns’ rise continue?
- The Sydney Derby
The Swans are fresh off a shock loss to the Power last weekend, and will be eager to make amends against their cross-town rivals GWS. The Giants are sitting pretty atop the table, but last week’s win against the Pies came at a cost as Tom Scully will miss the next 12 weeks with a broken ankle. Nevertheless, they have the depth to cover his loss to an extent and it makes this match against the Swans all the more fascinating. The Swans will have some extra ticker to inspire them, as they strive to get their season back on track.
- The Saints redeeming themselves
After a not-so convincing first round win against the Lions, they backed it up with an utterly disappointing Good Friday performance against North Melbourne as they got walloped by 52-points. This is a team who had high expectations for the season, with a finals spot appearing to be the bare minimum goal. But so far this season, they have looked no where near a finals team, and will need to start putting in far more competitive efforts. There’s no better game than this week against Adelaide, as although the Saints won’t be expected to win, it is the perfect platform to have a red-hot crack and turn their season around.
- If the Hawks are a top-4 threat
The Easter-Monday win over the Cats has many predicting big things for the Hawks in 2018, some even suggesting a top-4 spot is firmly within their sights. They have been extremely convincing in their first two matches of the season, but their last match is what has the footy world talking as they were able to nullify the influence of the Cats’ ‘big three’ in ‘Dangerwoodlett’. This week they have another chance to prove their credentials to the competition against last year’s premiers Richmond, who are vulnerable and not in the greatest form so far this season.
- If the Bulldogs can get their bite back
It’s fair to say that the Dogs have been bitterly disappointing ever since they won the 2016 premiership. It seems like ages since they were in possession of the premiership cup, as they have been uncompetitive and lacked the bite they did in their premiership year. Their start this season appears to be even worse than last season. The Dogs have a good recent record against the Bombers , however, and will be hoping to continue that on the weekend with a much improved performance all round, as they try and get their season back on track.
- West Coast backing up their upset win
As bad as the Bulldogs have been, not many expected the Eagles to come to Melbourne and get the job done on Sunday. However, similar to Port Adelaide, West Coast have a knack of producing inconsistent performances on a weekly basis season by season. This week they face the Cats at home who haven’t been too convincing thus far this season. After losing their first match at their new stadium in round 1, they’ll be looking to continue their recent good form against the Cats on Sunday where they have won two of their last three encounters.