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Preview: Adelaide v Western Bulldogs

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  May 14, 2018 5:01 PM

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05:  Eddie Betts of the Adelaide Crows under pressure from Sam Petrevski-Seton of the Blues during the round seven AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Carlton Blues at Adelaide Oval on May 5, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images/AFL Media)

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Eddie Betts of the Adelaide Crows under pressure from Sam Petrevski-Seton of the Blues during the round seven AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Carlton Blues at Adelaide Oval on May 5, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images/AFL Media)

SUMMARY

This will be the game the Western Bulldogs find out where they truly sit in the grand scheme of things. The Bulldogs' four wins this season – including the past three in a row - were against sides 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th on the ladder. Knocking off Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, a ground where the Crows are hard to beat, would be a feather in the cap for Luke Beveridge's young side. It's also a huge game for the fourth-placed Crows as they aim to move above the logjam of teams with a 5-3 win-loss record. The dramatic finish to last weekend's Showdown loss will make the Crows hungry to end their month-long stretch of Adelaide Oval games on the right side of the ledger. Midfielder Jack Macrae has been brilliant for the Bulldogs, but expect Matt Crouch, Bryce Gibbs, Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Hugh Greenwood to ensure he doesn't have things his own way.

WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Oval, Friday, May 18, 7.20pm ACST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE TIMES

R16, 2017, Adelaide 16.8 (104) d Western Bulldogs 5.15 (45) at Adelaide Oval
R7, 2016, Western Bulldogs 18.15 (123) d Adelaide 17.6 (108) at Etihad Stadium
2EF, 2015, Adelaide 16.13 (109) d Western Bulldogs 14.18 (102) at the MCG
R4, 2015, Western Bulldogs 18.17 (125) d Adelaide 10.8 (68) at Etihad Stadium
R6, 2014, Adelaide 13.14 (92) d Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) at Etihad Stadium

THE SIX POINTS

1. Leading by just three points at half-time, the Crows stormed home with 11 goals to one on their way to a comfortable 59-point victory when the teams met in round 16 last year. Josh Jenkins booted four goals, while skipper Taylor Walker chipped in with three.

2. These two sides are a long way apart when it comes to attack this season. The Crows are ranked fourth in scoring, averaging 97 points per game, while the Bulldogs are 13th, averaging 78.

3. It's been back and forward in the recent history between the Crows and the Bulldogs. The Crows are up 4-3 since 2013, but neither club has won consecutive games against the other since the Crows in 2012-13.

4. The Crows have a sizeable edge over the Bulldogs in winning contested ball. They're ranked fourth in the league, averaging 153 contested possessions per game. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are 16th at an average of 137.1.

5. The Bulldogs must break a 30-year Friday night hoodoo if they're to beat the Crows. They are 0-7 in Friday night interstate games since 1988. Their Adelaide Oval record isn't much better, with one win from four attempts.

6. On the back of a career-high 47 disposals in the Bulldogs' win against Brisbane, midfielder Jack Macrae has also hit new heights in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. He's moved up to 46th overall after starting the season ranked 97th, a 53 per cent improvement.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

Three-time All-Australian small forward Eddie Betts plays his 100th game for the Crows. He becomes the 42nd player in VFL/AFL history to play at least 100 games for two clubs, after 184 games for Carlton.

PREDICTION: Adelaide by 22 points