Hawthorn vs Geelong: Hawks to put a dagger in Cats Finals Hopes

Tom Mitchell to be the difference between the two rivals
Mitchell tipped to be the difference against Geelong in MCG blockbuster (Getty Images)

Hawthorn vs Geelong Preview & Betting Tips


Hawthorn line-up against Geelong in another MCG blockbuster. The Hawks are primed for four straight wins for the first time since 2016.

Hawthorn Hawks


Hawthorn have been outstanding over the last month of the competition and will relish the opportunity to end their long-time rival’s finals chances this weekend. 

Hawthorn have the chance to nab four consecutive wins for the first time since 2016, after a 4-point win over Essendon last round. 

Hawthorn’s uncontested style of possession and their ability to convert chances gives them the edge. Jager O’Meara and Tom Mitchell have been outstanding winning the ball across the middle of the park. Mitchell has averaged 40+ disposals in five of his last six matches.

Defenders James Sicily and Ben McEvoy remain on the sidelines this weekend but should be ready for the finals.

Geelong Cats 


This weekend is a virtual elimination final for Geelong with their finals chances to go on the line. Geelong coach Chis Scott has some tough decision to make this week and is likely to throw Joel Selwood the tagging role on Tom Mitchell. 

Poor efficiency in front of goal proved to be crucial last week in the 3-point loss to Richmond. Spearhead Tom Hawkins only kicked one goal and Gary Ablett missed crucial goal scoring chances. 

Geelong are set to be without Jed Bews after the defender picked up an injury in the match against Richmond last round. Rhys Stanley is set to come into the side as his replacement. 

Head-to-Head


These two sides have built up a classic rivalry over the years that has defined the AFL. The last time these two sides locked horns in round 4, it was Hawthorn who won, 17.16 (118) to 18.9 (117) at the MCG.

Match Up


Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell went untagged last week and single-handily smashed Essendon’s midfield with 43 disposals. 

Mitchell is playing on another level to the rest of the competition at the moment and is clearly the difference between the two sides.

Hawthorn are the most efficient side in the AFL when it comes to using the ball in the final 50, with a 74.6% disposal efficiency. 

Once the Hawks get inside the final 50, they rarely waste a scoring opportunity. 

Hawks forwards Luke Breust and Jack Gunston combined for eight goals last week in a winning effort and expect a similar game plan for Alastair Clarkson’s side this week. 

Key Statistics


  • 3 of the past 4 matches have been decided by under a goal.
  • The last 22 matches between these sides have been decided by a margin of 10 points or less.
  • Hawthorn have won 6 of 8 matches at the MCG in 2018
  • Tom Mitchell has averaged 40+ disposals in 5 of his last 6 games.
  • Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield has averaged 25+ disposals in 5 of his last 6 games.
  • Geelong have won 2 from 6 played at the MCG in 2018.

Verdict 


Hawthorn have been clinical in the last month, winning four of their last five outings. Hawks midfielder Tom Mitchell has a clear path to the Brownlow Medal after averaging 36.7 disposals for the season. 

Geelong have only lost two consecutive games once this season but they have a horrendous record at the MCG. 

Geelong have won two from six at the home of football and simply haven’t performed consistently on the road to justify a place in September. 

The Hawks are paying slighting over the odds at 2.25 and I’m confident they’ll end Geelong’s season this weekend.

Best Bet: Hawthorn Win @ 2.25
Dan Gardner 10 August 2018

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