Saturday, April 10
Adelaide v Melbourne at Adelaide Oval, 1.40pm ACST
- Adelaide finished its season full of running, thumping a young and tired Western Bulldogs by 56 points and knocking off Collingwood in a 14-point win. The victory meant the Crows took the Pies' spot in first place, finishing as minor premiers, earning last weekend off and hosting rights for Saturday's prelim and potentially a Grand Final.
- Melbourne comes into this match as the form side of the four remaining teams, having defeated Adelaide, Fremantle and Brisbane in its final three regular games, and then comfortably accounting for the Dockers again in last week's qualifying final. The Crows win did come at stronghold Casey Fields, however, rather than in South Australia.
WATCH IT LIVE Crows v Demons
- Where do you start with Adelaide? The midfield is well-run by ball-winners Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard, with superstar Erin Phillips often taking part in centre bounces before causing havoc up forward. Sarah Allan anchors the backline and will most likely take Tegan Cunningham, while the versatile Chelsea Randall is the ultimate wildcard.
- Melbourne's developing midfield core – led by veteran Karen Paxman and featuring Tyla Hanks, Lily Mithen and Maddi Gay – has been taking on all in its path. The 183cm-Eden Zanker has caused havoc since being moved to the middle, and has allowed best-and-fairest Shelley Scott to have more of an impact up forward. Ruck Lauren Pearce can bust a game open with her tap and clearance work.
- Adelaide had the opportunity to rest any niggles in their week off, with Ebony Marinoff saying she was able to recover from a corky. Nikki Gore is the only serious injury, having fractured her ankle last month.
- Once again, all eyes will be on Melbourne's Daisy Pearce as she desperately tries to prove her fitness after damaging her MCL two weeks ago. Hamstrung pair Krstel Petrevski and Sinead Goldrick as well as the luckless Shae Sloane (ACL) are out for the season.
Last time they met
- Round seven, 2021. Melbourne stunned a hapless Adelaide, winning by 28 points at Casey Fields. The Dees brought the pressure, holding the normally voracious Crows to just five scoring shots and two goals in total. Small forward Kate Hore kicked three, beating the Crows off her own boot, while Danielle Ponter was a late withdrawal with a groin injury.
- Oddly enough, Melbourne is yet to play Adelaide in the city of churches in five seasons, with the Crows previously hosting in Darwin. Adelaide is a hardened finals side, and while the Dees' risky list turnover last year has paid off in spades, this prelim might be a bridge too far. Adelaide by 11 points.
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