North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Can the Kangas take another step towards September?

Adam Cusworth 7 Aug 2018
  • The Kangaroos will be looking for a win in Round 21 in their bid to play finals. They take on the Bulldogs on Sunday

North Melbourne take on the Western Bulldogs in AFL Round 21 and the big game gets underway at 1.10PM on Sunday August 12. 

The Kangaroos head in as favourites for the game and can take another step towards a possible finals birth if they are to secure a win. Fox Footy will broadcast the game. 

Match Preview


North Melbourne are amongst a host of sides that are vying for a top eight position and the Kangaroos are currently 10th on the ladder with 11 wins for the season. They are just one win behind fourth placed Melbourne and have winnable games against Adelaide and St Kilda in the last two weeks. 

The Roos come off a heart-stopping four point win over the Brisbane Lions at the GABBA in Round 20. On the same weekend, the Western Bulldogs registered just their sixth win for the season by accounting for St Kilda by 35 points. 

The Dogs are out of contention and in 14th on the ladder but they can be dangerous on their day, particularly if their big guns in Marcus Bontempelli, Jason Johannisen and Jack Macrae play well. Johannisen and Macrae combined for 78 possessions last weekend, while the 'Bont' booted four goal. 

Both sides compare evenly in a number of statistical measures. Little splits the two when it comes to winning the clearances. North are superior at winning the contested football, while the Dogs play more of an uncontested brand. 

However, the 2016 premiers have not won two games in a row this year and have a huge injury list. If North Melbourne play anywhere near their best they will be hard to beat.

A decisive factor may be the Roos' superiority in the big men department. Todd Goldstein should be able to get on top in the ruck, while Ben Brown will be hard to contain up forward. The competition's leading goal kicker returns to Etihad and has a terrific record at the venue. 

A North Melbourne win may see them sneak into the eight at the conclusion of the round, depending on other results. A percentage boost would be more than handy as they are behind a number of the finals candidates in this deparatment. 

Match Odds


North Melbourne $1.29
Western Bulldogs $3.65

*Correct at the time of writing.

Team News


North Melbourne will be sweating on the fitness of Shaun Higgins. The former Bulldog had minor knee surgery last weekend but is expected to be ok to play. 

The Western Bulldogs have a massive injury list with a number of their players done for the season. Tom Boyd, Billy Gowers and Roarke Smith are a chance to return from their respective ailments. Shane Biggs and Mitch Honeychurch are among those with solid form in the VFL. 

Stats


The two sides have featured in some thrillers in recent times. North Melbourne took out the Round 14 encounter this season by two points but in the two games in 2017 it was the Dogs by one and three. All of those were held at Etihad Stadium. 

North Melbourne have won four of their nine games at Etihad in 2018, while the Bulldogs are five from 10. In the Round 14 game this year, Ben Brown booted five goals for North, while Jack Ziebell chimed in with three. Lachie Hunter and Hayden Crozier were among the Bulldogs best players. 

Prediction and Tips


North have plenty to play for and will be too strong 

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North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Can the Kangas take another step towards September?

The Kangaroos will be looking for a win in Round 21 in their bid to play finals. They take on the Bulldogs on Sunday

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