Friday nights blockbuster AFL Finals clash at the MCG between is between the Geelong Cats and the Richmond Tigers. Both teams are heading into the match in good form but the Cats have had the upper hand over the Tigers in recent years so it will be up to Richmond to change that around which they are definitely capable of doing on their day. View our Geelong Cats vs Richmond Tigers preview.
When: 19:50 | Friday 8/9/2017
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Geelong could not have been more impressive beating GWS by a big margin in the last game of the season but the big query is if they can take that form to the MCG as they miss out on a home final due to capacity issues at Simonds Stadium.
The Tigers have also been impressive of late with plenty of AFL fans saying they are not true title contenders but they continue to prove them wrong.
This match could be a clash of the titans between Dangerfield and Dustin Martin, and we bloody hope it is!
Teams for this match are not available. Please check back later.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change
Tough selection decision for Cats in AFL
Geelong coach Chris Scott says the unique nature of the Richmond forward set-up and the prospect of cold and wet conditions will affect the make-up of the Cats team for Friday night’s AFL qualifying final.
Geelong will make at least one change, with skipper Joel Selwood certain to return after recovering from ankle surgery.
The Tigers have had great success this year utilising Jack Riewoldt as their only tall marking option in attack, supported by a host of fleet-footed types at ground level.
It raises the prospect of the Cats leaving out a key-position player such as combative youngster Wylie Buzza.
Such a move could free up swingman Harry Taylor to reprise his successful defensive forward’s role against four-time All-Australian Alex Rance from the most recent meeting between the sides in round 21, when the Cats won by 14 points.
“We’re not a team who say that irrespective of the opposition and irrespective of the weather we just roll out the same 22 in the same spots – we put some work into that,” Scott said on Wednesday.
“(Richmond) do set up differently to most teams in that they have been playing only one ruckman and their back up (Shaun Grigg) is only 190cm.
“They generally only play one tall forward and they’re pretty quick in their front half so you need to take those things into consideration.
“… they’ve worked in a really clever way with the personnel they’ve got and it’s worked for them throughout the bulk of the season.”
Scott confirmed that utility James Parsons had fully recovered from the foot injury he suffered in the last-start win over GWS.
But exciting forward Nakia Cockatoo is at least another week away, with the club taking a conservative approach to his ongoing hamstring issues.
The Cats lineup on Friday night at the MCG will include six survivors from their most recent premiership team in 2011, including triple flag-winners Selwood and Andrew Mackie.
In contrast, none of the Richmond players have played in a winning final for the club, although a handful, including former Cat Josh Caddy, had experienced some September success at their previous homes.
“Particularly when it comes late in the final series I think it’s just crazy to say there’s no advantage to having been there before,” said Scott.
“It’s logical to say if you’ve done it before you know what it feels like and what you’re up for.
“And if you haven’t, you can only imagine what it’s like.”