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Match Preview

Preview: Adelaide v Melbourne

By Ben Guthrie, AFL Media May 22, 2018 11:37 AM

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DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: Sam Jacobs of the Crows and Max Gawn of the Demons compete for the ball during the round 17 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Adelaide Crows at TIO Stadium on July 15, 2017 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images/AFL Media)

SUMMARY
The third-placed Demons face off against the fourth-placed Crows in a hugely important clash for both sides. Melbourne has won four games on the trot, but a win over last year's Grand Finalists would add some legitimacy to their finals credentials. The Demons have scored 315 points in their past two weeks and are fresh off a 109-point rout of Carlton. Melbourne's versatile forward line could prove to be a handful for Adelaide, with Jake Melksham (five goals against the Blues), Tom McDonald (four) and Alex Neal-Bullen (four) all in fine form. Despite being hit hard by injury, the Crows have won four of their past five encounters and appear in good shape to again finish in the top four. After a relatively slow start to the year, Eddie Betts has started to recapture his best form and has booted nine goals in the past three weeks. Betts and Demon Neville Jetta are expected to go toe-to-toe in what will be an enthralling match-up between two of the game's top indigenous players, with the Melbourne-Adelaide clash to kick off the celebrations for Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round the following week.

WHERE AND WHEN: TIO Traeger Park (Alice Springs), Sunday May 27, 2.50pm (ACST)

LAST FIVE TIMES
R17, 2017, Adelaide 17.14 (116) d Melbourne 10.10 (70) at TIO Stadium
R8, 2017, Melbourne 17.5 (107) d Adelaide 9.12 (66) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2016, Adelaide 18.12 (120) d Melbourne 15.8 (98) at the MCG
R3, 2015, Adelaide 12.8 (80) d Melbourne 7.13 (55) at Adelaide Oval
R7, 2014, Melbourne 11.4 (70) d Adelaide 9.13 (67) at Adelaide Oval

THE SIX POINTS
1. Melbourne is the best side this season for taking the ball inside 50, averaging 61.1 per game. They're also ranked first for marks inside 50 and first for scoring. In the past four games, Melbourne is averaging 129 points per game. 

2. Adelaide has won three of the past four clashes and five of seven since 2012; there haven't been close finishes between the sides recently, with just one single figure result since 2007.

3. The Demons have now won 14 consecutive quarters and in their past four games they’ve kicked 78.51 to their opponents' 37.44. For the whole season they are +114 points in third quarters.

4. Melbourne will play its fifth "home" game at TIO Traeger Park where it has had just one win, which came last season against Gold Coast. The Crows will be playing in Alice Springs for the first time.

5. It will be a contest between the two best contested possession teams this season. The Demons are No.1 in the AFL, averaging 163.6 per game. They sit marginally ahead of the Crows in second with an average of 159.7.

6. Melbourne forward Jake Melksham scored a staggering 40.4 points in the Schick AFL Player Ratings last week against Carlton, the fifth-highest recorded since 2010.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … 
Jake Lever. Lever left the Crows on acrimonious terms at the end of last season and after some parting shots levelled at him following his departure, he will be keen to play well. The defender played his best game for Melbourne last week and he'll be looking to continue that form against his old side in Alice Springs.

PREDICTION: Melbourne by 16 points

Match Articles

Preview: Adelaide v Melbourne

AFL Media looks ahead at Sunday's clash at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs

12:07pm May 22, 2018

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Head to Head

Disposal Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Clayton Oliver
    Clayton Oliver
    28.0
  • Melbourne
    Nathan Jones
    26.2
  • Melbourne
    Angus Brayshaw
    22.8
  • Melbourne
    Jordan Lewis
    22.1
  • Melbourne
    Dom Tyson
    22.0
Fantasy Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Max Gawn
    Max Gawn
    118.0
  • Melbourne
    Clayton Oliver
    103.2
  • Melbourne
    Jesse Hogan
    92.2
  • Melbourne
    Nathan Jones
    91.2
  • Melbourne
    Timothy Smith
    90.0
Scoring Leaders
  • Jesse Hogan
    Jesse Hogan
    21.9
  • Melbourne
    Tom McDonald
    13.2
  • Melbourne
    Jake Melksham
    12.12
  • Melbourne
    Alex Neal-Bullen
    11.6
  • Melbourne
    Mitch Hannan
    9.8

Season Averages

  • 382.6 Disposals 387.2
  • 71.0 Disposal Eff 72.7
  • 163.6 Contested Pos 159.7
  • 80.7 Marks 91.8
  • 22.0 Free Kicks 20.6
  • 40.3 Clearances 38.1
  • 61.1 Inside 50s 52.3
  • 35.2 Rebound 50s 40.6
  • 69.8 Tackles 65.8
  • 52.6 Hit-outs 42.0
  • 85.0 Interchanges 87.0

Recent Encounters

  • 10.10 (70)
    RD 17, 2017, TIO
    17.14 (116)
  • 9.12 (66)
    RD 8, 2017, AO
    17.5 (107)
  • 15.8 (98)
    RD 15, 2016, MCG
    18.12 (120)
  • 12.8 (80)
    RD 3, 2015, AO
    7.13 (55)
Disposal Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Rory Laird
    Rory Laird
    33.6
  • Adelaide Crows
    Matt Crouch
    28.6
  • Adelaide Crows
    Bryce Gibbs
    26.7
  • Adelaide Crows
    Paul Seedsman
    24.4
  • Adelaide Crows
    Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
    22.3
Fantasy Leaders (Season Avg)
  • Rory Laird
    Rory Laird
    109.8
  • Adelaide Crows
    Bryce Gibbs
    105.1
  • Adelaide Crows
    Paul Seedsman
    96.6
  • Adelaide Crows
    Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
    91.0
  • Adelaide Crows
    Matt Crouch
    90.0
Scoring Leaders
  • Taylor Walker
    Taylor Walker
    17.5
  • Adelaide Crows
    Josh Jenkins
    16.11
  • Adelaide Crows
    Mitch McGovern
    13.9
  • Adelaide Crows
    Eddie Betts
    12.4
  • Adelaide Crows
    Richard Douglas
    8.5

Team Lineups

Melbourne

B

  • Michael Hibberd,
  • Oscar McDonald,
  • Neville Jetta

HB

  • Bernie Vince,
  • Jake Lever,
  • Jordan Lewis

C

  • Nathan Jones,
  • Jack Viney,
  • Angus Brayshaw

HF

  • Alex Neal-Bullen,
  • Jesse Hogan,
  • Jake Melksham

F

  • Tom McDonald,
  • Timothy Smith,
  • Christian Petracca

Fol

  • Max Gawn,
  • Christian Salem,
  • Clayton Oliver

I/C

  • James Harmes,
  • Charlie Spargo,
  • Bayley Fritsch,
  • Mitch Hannan

Emg

  • Dom Tyson,
  • Cameron Pedersen,
  • Jayden Hunt,
  • Jeff Garlett

In

  • No Change

Last updated: 3:31PM Saturday, May 26, 2018

Byes:

  1. Gold Coast Suns,
  2. Port Adelaide