Where and When: AAMI Stadium, Friday 15 June, 8:40 pm
The Saints are looking to consolidate their position in the eight, but have one of the toughest missions currently in football to do so as they face Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
Coming off yet another six-day break, travelling interstate to play against an 8-2 side – it’s going to be difficult.
However, they’ll go into the match with the confidence that they can win, having demolished the Crows by 103 points less than a year ago.
Adelaide come off the bye having been in awesome form prior to it, winning eight of ten games this year, a huge step up from 2011.
They’ll be looking to put last year behind them, especially as it included a 127-24 destruction at the hands of the Saints in Round 18.
There’s no doubt they’ve much improved under Brenton Sanderson, with Patrick Dangerfield, Scott Thompson, Nathan Van Berlo and Rory Sloane all in great form delivering it down the throats of one-two combination Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett, who have collectively bagged 47 goals for the year.
Being in such good form, it’s hard to see Adelaide lose to just about anybody.
The Saints come off a thumping of the Suns, defeating them by 95 points at Metricon Stadium.
Skipper Nick Riewoldt bagged seven goals and core midfielders Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo and Brendon Goddard are all in good form, not to mention others such as Jason Blake, Jason Gram and David Armitage.
In fact, such is their form that they’ve won 28 of a possible 44 quarters this year – third in the competition and above Adelaide. It also serves to explain their massive percentage of 125% despite being a 6-5 team.
However, their defence will be stretched tonight despite the return of Sam Fisher, with Tippett, Walker and Josh Jenkins all threatening.
St Kilda are playing well, no doubt, and if their senior core can all play well, there’s no reason why they can’t win this one.
Players to Watch
Sam Jacobs: He’s been a fantastic addition to Adelaide over the past couple of years, averaging plenty of hitouts and giving the Adelaide midfield first use. Up against Ben McEvoy and Jason Blake, he has a tough task, but needs to do all he can to ensure Adelaide can win the clearances.
Leigh Montagna: He’s slowly but surely hitting form, averaging a solid 23 disposals for the season. Now, in a game where everybody needs to contribute, whether Montagna can play well or not could define the Saints’ night.
It seems to be a battle of the midfield, as it appears to be the standout feature of both sides.
Adelaide should win, given their form and home ground advantage, but don’t write the Saints off by any means.
Adelaide by 20 points
B: Brent Reilly, Ben Rutten, Sam Shaw
HB: Matthew Jaensch, Daniel Talia, Michael Doughty
C: Nathan van Berlo, Scott Thompson, David Mackay
HF: Jared Petrenko, Taylor Walker, Matthew Wright
F: Josh Jenkins, Kurt Tippett, Jason Porplyzia
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Patrick Dangerfield
I/C: Richard Douglas, Chris Knights, Brodie Martin, Ian Callinan
Emg: Brad Symes, Ricky Henderson, Brodie Smith
In: Chris Knights, David Mackay, Brodie Martin
Out: Graham Johncock, Bernie Vince, Brodie Smith
Milestones: Richard Douglas – 100 games
B: Jason Gram, Jason Blake, James Gwilt
HB: Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: David Armitage, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Jack Steven, Nick Riewoldt, Brendon Goddard
F: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Ahmed Saad
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Leigh Montagna, Clinton Jones
I/C: Raphael Clarke, Adam Schneider, Arryn Siposs, Terry Milera
Emg: Jarryn Geary, Tom Simpkin, Jack Newnes
In: Sam Fisher, Ben McEvoy
Out: Tom Simpkin, Jack Newnes