There is no such thing as a certainty in footy.
Or is there?
We had certainties for football on Friday night, but with eight more games to go in round 18, we looked closely to get one guarantee for each team for the remaining games.
Check out our collateral for the rest of the weekend’s action.
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Adelaide v Collingwood
Laird has 35+ divestments
35 divestments may seem steep, but Rory Laird can find the ball in his sleep.
Laird has crossed the 35 mark five times this season and is averaging 33.6 touches per game in total.
Against a weak Collingwood midfield, and with Matt Crouch left out again, expect the Adelaide superstar to dominate.
Scott Pendlebury Has 25+ Divestments
Scott Pendlebury has averaged just 22 disposals per game this season in a different role at half the defender, but with Taylor Adams out and a few midfielders unavailable, the Pies will have to get back to the source on the ball.
This means he must unleash Pendlebury in his 350th match and give him the chance to find the pill at will.
His teammates will of course also be looking for him given the milestone. Expect a big game from the Collingwood superstar.
GWS v Brisbane
Kelly gets 25+ touches
GWS has been inconsistent from a game style standpoint in recent weeks as they want to bolster their defenses, but their Rolls Royce always makes its presence felt.
Josh Kelly has hit 25 dives 11 times in his last 12 games, starting to hit the consistent levels many had hoped for from the 27-year-old.
He also did not miss a game in 2022.
Meanwhile, with the exception of Lachie Neale, the Lions have been in midfield for the past few weeks and Kelly was able to fill his shoes.
Or at least collect 25 divestments.
Brisbane kicks 90+ points
While the Giants have been poor in many areas this season, the Lions will benefit from their defense on Saturday.
These two sides met just seven weeks ago, and despite a slow start, Brisbane was still able to come in at 16.14.
They will probably do the same again at Maunka Oval. Despite missing nearly half of their team last week, Fagan’s men pushed Essendon and kicked 90 points.
They welcome Dan McStay forward and some key ball movers on Saturday, and the league’s best offense should score at least 90 points.
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North Melbourne – Richmond
Davies-Uniacke has 25+ divestments
North Melbourne midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke has had arguably the best two weeks of his career in the past two weeks, with big games against the Cats and Magpies respectively.
The young star backed up his 35-game match at Geelong in Round 16 with a best-afield 33-disposal, 12-clearance outing against Collingwood in the MCG.
Given his form line and Richmond’s lack of depth in midfield, Davies-Uniacke expects to often find a foothold on the fast-paced deck of Marvel Stadium.
Vlautin has 20+ divestments
Richmond defender Nick Vlaustin is eager to make up for it after missing out on last week’s painful loss to the Suns with suspension.
When he returns this week, the 28-year-old will have a point to prove and he’ll be happy to take on a side he has a great recent record against.
Last time out against North Melbourne, the reliable backman had 30 disposals, 14 points and six goals in his best form in one of the best individual performances of his career.
Expect the leader to show on Saturday afternoon why he is so critical of this side of Richmond.
Carlton v Geelong
Walsh has 25+ divestments
After a somewhat quiet game against the Eagles last week, Sam Walsh will try to shine on the big stage.
With an average of 32.3 sales this year, the young star loves to find the pill and on the wide MCG plains, finding it 25 times shouldn’t be a stress.
The last time Walsh played against the Cats, he took the P155 and racked up 36 disposals in addition to two goals.
Tipping Walsh as a Saturday night star.
Gary Rohan to kick a goal
I expect Gary Rohan to show up on Saturday night and cause Carlton’s defense some grief.
Now that Carlton will be paying close attention to Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins, Rohan should be able to kick a goal or two.
A nice kick, Rohan can hurt teams in his day.
Sure, he’s kicking a snag!
Fremantle v Sydney
Lance Franklin kicks 2+ goals
After having his name in the headlines for a week, you just get the sense that Buddy will make a statement against Fremantle.
With reports suggesting the Swans are “lowballing” their star, Franklin will be happy to display his wares at Optus Stadium.
Buddy has a stellar track record against most teams, but that’s especially true against the Dockers, as he last kicked less than two majors against them in the 2013 Grand Final.
Considering he’s kicked multiple majors in his last eight games against the Dockers, don’t expect that to slow down now.
He should get a lot of opportunities to make his mark on this game.
Andrew Brayshaw has 25 divestments
Andrew Brayshaw has had an incredible season for the Dockers and is clearly one of the favorites for the Brownlow Medal.
Expect him to take on Sydney and make a big impact in midfield.
Brayshaw has averaged 30.9 sales per game this season and has been very consistent. He is a lock to find at least 25 against the Swans at Optus Stadium.
Hawthorn v West Coast
Lewis kicks 2+ goals
Fresh off a five-goal performance last week, expect Mitch Lewis to be dominant again against the Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
The 23-year-old will average three goals per game in 2022 and have broken countless backlines, with West Coast’s next on the list.
Adam Simpson’s side conceded five goals each to Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow in last week’s loss, while Jack Riewoldt and Peter Wright have scored three and four goals respectively against the Eagles in recent weeks.
With Lewis looking foreboding and playing an out-of-form backline, he could have a refuel at the MCG and will have his chances to kick at least two majors.
West Coast will score 80+ points
There is no doubt that West Coast has improved in recent weeks and they should be competitive in what is shaping up as a high scoring game.
Despite kicking 53 points last week, they entered that clash with scores of 93 (at the MCG) and 107.
They also kicked 7.3 in a quarter against the Blues last weekend, suggesting the scoring abilities are there.
On the other hand, the Hawks’ defense ranks fourth among the worst in the league for points awarded, and they give the Eagles a chance to get a score at the ‘G.
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Melbourne v Port Adelaide
Gawn to have 5+ points
Without a bona fide ruckman taking on him from Port Adelaide, you get the feeling that Max Gawn is ready for a huge game on Sunday.
The Melbourne skipper was a bit rusty on his return to the side against the Cats last week, and he will be very determined to get his team back on track with a big performance in the ruck.
He has averaged 6.3 points and 16.8 sales in his last four games against the Power, so he should have no problem regaining that form in Alice Springs.
Book to have 25+ divestments
Travis Boak should have no trouble amassing more than 25 sales on Sunday, given his recent record against the Demons.
In his last four games against Melbourne, he averaged 29.8 sales, and the 33-year-old is still finding plenty of football in 2022, with 27 strokes per game.
If the Power is to stand a chance against the reigning Prime Ministers, Boak will have to give his best in midfield, and with Clayton Oliver missing from the opposing colors, the former Port Adelaide skipper could have a great day out.
Essendon v Gold Coast
Shiel has 20+ divestments and 5+ evictions
Dylan Shiel has been piling up the stats lately.
The Bombers gun has managed to turn it around after a slow start to the year and is now playing much more impactful football.
Shiel has racked up 20+ hits in each of his last 6 games, bringing his average to 21.5.
The midfielder’s clearing game has been the key factor in his improved play, with at least six in every game since round 11.
Heading into the matchup with the Suns, Shiel leads the league in total center clearings, with a total of 57 for the season.
Expect Shiel to continue his good form on Sunday.
Chol, Casboult & Rankine combine for 6+ goals
The usual suspects will come out strong against Essendon.
This trio of top goalkeepers scores an average of 5.6 goals together, led by Mabior Chol in the best form of his career.
Pairing him with a resurgent Casboult and the fledgling pistol Rankine, Gold Coast has an 8th-place attack in the league for average points per game.
This is also Izak Rankine’s first game to bounce back from health and safety protocols, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the livewire seems to be making up for lost time.
The Suns would be happy to take on the Bombers, who award the third most points per game and fall far short of the defensive expectations of the start of the season.
It shouldn’t be a problem for the Gold Coast trio to pile on the goals at Marvel Stadium.
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