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10:30am  Feb 23, 2018

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AFL Preview: Crows v Power

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  April 4, 2017 9:46 AM

AFL 2016 Rd 22 - Port Adelaide v Adelaide

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 20: Mitch McGovern of the Crows celebrates a goal as Brad Ebert of the Power looks on during the 2016 AFL Round 22 match between Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows at the Adelaide Oval on August 20, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)

Any Showdown gets the blood boiling among South Australian footy fans, but the odds are so much greater this time around. Not only is it the 20th anniversary of this encounter since the Power entered the competition in 1997, but the cross-town rivals occupy the top two spots on the ladder. The Power have been ultra-impressive in beating grand finalist Sydney at the SCG in round one before smashing Fremantle last week. This is the true litmus test of how far Ken Hinkley's men have improved over the summer. Brilliant victories against Greater Western Sydney and Hawthorn have confirmed Adelaide as a genuine premiership contender. The Crows will be desperate to keep the Power in their place.

WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, April 8, 7.10pm ACST

R22, 2016, Adelaide 15.19 (109) d Port Adelaide 14.10 (94) at Adelaide Oval
R2, 2016, Adelaide 22.12 (144) d Port Adelaide 11.20 (86) at Adelaide Oval
R16, 2015, Adelaide 18.8 (116) d Port Adelaide 17.11 (113) at Adelaide Oval
R5, 2015, Port Adelaide 18.7 (115) d Adelaide 13.13 (91) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2014, Adelaide 14.15 (99) d Port Adelaide 10.16 (76) at Adelaide Oval

Showdown Medallists

1. In the most recent Showdown, Eddie Betts booted five goals and Mitch McGovern three, while Matt Crouch collected the three Brownlow votes with 33 disposals, five clearances and six tackles. Robbie Gray had 27 touches and kicked two goals.

2. It will be a contest between two of the top three scoring sides this year. The Power are first kicking 39 goals, just one ahead of the Crows with 38.

3. The Crows have won four of the past five meetings with Port Adelaide, but the Power hold a narrow 21-20 advantage heading into the 42nd Showdown. Since 2013, both clubs have won four games each.

4. The Power and Crows are No.1 and No.2 this year for taking the ball inside 50. Port Adelaide is first with 62.5 per game, ahead of Adelaide with 60 per game.

5. Crows star Eddie Betts has thrived on the big stage of the Showdown. In his six games against Port Adelaide since joining Adelaide in 2014, Betts has kicked 24 goals in six games.

6. After a career-high six goals to go with 30 possessions against Fremantle, Power star Robbie Gray has risen to fourth in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. Gray was as high as No.2 overall in round 16, 2016. Rory Sloane is the highest-ranked Crow at No.7 overall. 

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR… Sam Powell-Pepper
The Power's rookie sensation has taken all before him in his first two games of senior football with his physicality around the contest and willingness to put his body on the line. But the hype and importance of a Showdown is something else. This is the opportunity for Powell-Pepper to make yet another statement in his young career. 

AFL MEDIA PREDICTION: Adelaide by three points