WHERE AND WHEN: Patersons Stadium, Friday August 10, 6.40pm
LAST TIME: Geelong 17.15 (117) defeated West Coast 10.9 (69), second preliminary final, 2011 at the MCG
It wasn’t so long ago that Geelong appeared set to be a bystander in the race for the 2012 premiership as they simply weren’t producing the style of play that they had become renowned for.
Their gamestyle had become sloppy and slow and they seemed to be achieving wins off of some the talent available rather than actually by reaching their ful potential.
There were several games where they did enough to win over some of the poorer sides, and the question had been raised, ‘had we seen the best of this Geelong outfit?’.
Well things change quickly, and suddenly, the top five sides are looking over their shoulders in trepidation.
If the dominance over Essendon didn’t do it, the scintillating first term in which the Cats decimated Hawthorn would have certainly sent shockwaves through the sides sitting in the top spots on the ladder.
One of those sides is the Eagles, who have had problems of late. They have a shocking injury list and it seems to be taking its toll. Coach John Worsfold is determined to keep the impact of these injuries as the club fights for a top four berth, but with only four rounds remaining, another loss like last week’s would just about end those hopes.
That loss was the club’s third in four weeks and has seen the Eagles drop to a game behind fourth. With the season quickly coming to a close, they will be desperately searching for the same switch the Cats have found in order to reinvigorate their side and recapture the form that saw them being touted as top four certainties at the halfway through the season.
If the Eagles are to win they’ll need to find a complete reversal of form. They’ll be fired up after being embarrassed last week against their cross-town rivals, but you can expect to see Geelong close the gap again on the top four teams of the competition.
Prediction: Geelong by 12