Geelong v Adelaide
7:10 PM AEDT, Simonds Stadium, Geelong
View a detailed form guide for Geelong v Adelaide
The Simonds Stadium redevelopments that were completed last year are now allowing Geelong to host fixtures in high-profile timeslots, such as this Thursday night clash with Adelaide. The Cats have been the league powerhouse since the start of 2007, winning three flags and making the top 4 in six of the past seven seasons. The Crows have been less impressive in recent years, playing just one finals series since the end of 2009.
Geelong skipper and midfield general Joel Selwood has overcome a hamstring complaint to be selected for this match, while ex-Cat James Podsiadly will make his debut in Adelaide colours against many of the teammates he shared a 2011 Premiership triumph with. Former Carlton small forward Eddie Betts will also play his first game for the club, joining Podsiadly in a revamped Adelaide forward line that will be quite fearsome once Taylor Walker returns from injury.
The Crows were very impressive in the pre-season, winning all three of their fixtures, while the Cats won two out of three, with a narrow loss to North Melbourne their only blemish. Both sides are not at full strength as Geelong are missing pacey pair Steven Motlop and Allen Christensen through, which will significantly reduce the Cats speed, while Adelaide are missing Walker and former best and fairest winning midfielder Richard Douglas.
Geelong are almost always good things at the Cattery, so even though I think Adelaide will push them hard, I am still on the Cats to get the cream.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Geelong to win by 39 points or less @ 2.20 (Sportsbet)
Note: Previews for the remaining Round 1 matches will be published on Thursday night.