Round 5, Metricon Stadium, Saturday 22nd April, 14:35 WST
Gold Coast have had an interesting start to the 2017 season. They have suffered the largest defeat of the season - a 102-point smashing at the hands of GWS in Round 2 which had prompted calls for everyone including Coach Rodney Eade and superstar Gary Ablett to be sacked. However rather than crumbling and letting the result define their season, Gold Coast responded in the best way possible, with an 86-point mauling of Hawthorn at Metricon and then following it up with a 26-point victory over Carlton, which was impressive as it was Gold Coast’s first win in Melbourne since they joined the competition. Tom Lynch kicked 7.0 which was a career best haul, it also tied the previous club record held by Charlie Dixon against North Melbourne in 2015.
Adelaide has been the in-form team of the competition so far in 2017, and are most people’s Premiership favourite after the first 4 rounds. Having disposed off fellow premiership favourite GWS in round 1, Adelaide then accounted for Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Essendon in the following weeks. Eddie Betts (6.2) and Taylor Walker (5.0) put in another dominant display against Essendon last week, if they have another game like that against the Gold Coast then they will remain unbeaten for 2017.
R9 2016 Adelaide 22.17 (149) d Gold Coast 11.8 (74) at Metricon Stadium
R17 2015 Adelaide 19.11 (125) d Gold Coast 12.8 (80) at Adelaide Oval
R6 2015 Adelaide 18.11 (119) d Gold Coast 11.12 (78) at Metricon Stadium
Adelaide’s Forward Line: So far in 2017, Adelaide is the highest scoring team averaging 77 points a game with a 58% scoring efficiency making them the most dangerous team in front of goal. With Eddie Betts (16 goals) and Taylor Walker (11 goals) already this season, including 11.2 against Essendon last week, Gold Coast will need Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Leslie and Jesse Joyce to step up and make sure that Adelaide’s forwards don’t get many shots at goal
History: In the previous 3 encounters between Gold Coast and Adelaide, the results have been large Adelaide victories. A 75 point victory was the difference the last time that these teams played each other, Gold Coast will need to reverse this result this Saturday.
Scoring: Adelaide score heavily when playing Gold Coast, they have averaged 131 points the last 3 times they have met, while the Gold Coast have averaged only 77.33 points. Gold Coast need to stop Adelaide from scoring, with the likes of Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker and Charlie Cameron in the forward line it will be a very tough ask for the Gold Coast Defence.
Gary Ablett: Ablett has been below his best in 2017, he started the season slowly gathering just 44 disposals in the first 2 rounds however in the previous 2 rounds he has amassed 70 disposals. He is a key figure in Gold Coast’s engine room and they need him to play a big part in stopping Adelaide’s midfield, as well as getting enough supply to Lynch and the other Gold Coast forwards so they can kick a winning score.
Confidence: Adelaide are 2nd and undefeated after 4 rounds of the 2017 season, sitting behind Geelong only by percentage. Gold Coast are 9th on the ladder, but they have won their last 2 games against Hawthorn and Carlton, they will need to have the same confidence and determination if they are to cause an upset against Adelaide.
Gold Coast Suns
Steven May Hamstring
Jake Kelly Injured Eye
Gold Coast Suns
IN: Callum Ah Chee
OUT: Steven May (hamstring)
B: Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Leslie, Jesse Joyce
HB: Sean Lemmens, Kade Kolodjashnij, Adam Saad
C: David Swallow, Gary Ablett, Matt Rosa
HF: Jarryd Lyons, Tom J. Lynch, Alex Sexton
F: Brandon Matera, Peter Wright, Jack Martin
Foll: Jarrod Witts, Aaron Hall, Michael Barlow
INT: Brayden Fiorini, Jack Bowes, Callum Ah Chee, Touk Miller
IN: Brad Crouch
OUT: Jake Kelly (Eye)
B: Rory Laird, Kyle Hartigan, Luke Brown
HB: Jake Lever, Daniel Talia, Richard Douglas
C: David Mackay, Matt Crouch, Brodie Smith
HF: Riley Knight, Andy Otten, Rory Atkins
F: Charlie Cameron, Tex Walker, Eddie Betts
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Wayne Milera
INT: Troy Menzel, Tom Lynch, Curtly Hampton, Brad Crouch
Adelaide will be too strong for Gold Coast, even though it is a home game at Metricon. The Adelaide forward line of Cameron, Walker and Betts will prove far too dangerous and mobile for Gold Coast's defence to handle.
Adelaide by 40 points
Will the Crows remain unbeaten after round 5, or will The Suns spring a surprise? Share your thoughts below.