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Aussie Rules: Depleted Brisbane have sights on top spot

The race to finish in the top four of the AFL continues on Sunday afternoon with Brisbane entertaining Essendon, while Carlton make the trip over to the west to take on the Eagles.

There is a chance that round 17 could end with four teams all on 48 points at the top of the ladder and Brisbane could be one of them if they avoid an upset against the Bombers.

Carlton are also right in the mix for a place in the top four and they will be out to bounce back from last week’s defeat to St Kilda when they face West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium. Again it is a game they will expect to win.

However one or two shock results have been thrown up this season so the Blues will be taking nothing for granted.

The other clash on Sunday sees Hawthorn take on Adelaide at Marvel Stadium. Both sides are going through a rebuild so it is all about finishing the season strongly to give the members some hope for 2023.

It looks to be an interesting day of footy so let’s take a closer look at all three games.

What: Brisbane v Essendon
Where: Gabba, Brisbane
When: 13:10 (AEST) Sunday 10th July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Brisbane 9/25, Essendon 11/5

Brisbane have lost just four games this season but three of those have come in the last six games so their recent form has been patchy to say the least.

Melbourne hammered them by 64 points two weeks ago to set one or two alarm bells ringing but they responded well when seeing off the Bulldogs by 41 points last week.

Anything other than a victory against the Bombers will be seen as another big setback. However their chances have been hit after five players entered the AFL’s health and safety protocols.

Noah Answerth, Harris Andrews, Keidean Coleman, Callum Ah Chee and Dan McStay have all been ruled out. Not only that, Jarrod Berry, Jaxon Prior, Dayne Zorko and Jaxon Prior have been ruled out through injury.

Essendon have picked up just four wins this season but have pulled off two shocks in the last few weeks when beating both St Kilda and Sydney. So they are more than capable of raising their game in Brisbane on Sunday.

The Bombers have axed Jake Kelly from their squad while Darcy Parish has been ruled out for a month with a calf injury.

What: Hawthorn v Adelaide Crows
Where: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When: 15:20 (AEST) Sunday 10th July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Hawthorn 3/5, Adelaide 27/20

Hawthorn are rebuilding under first-year coach Sam Mitchell and will be hoping to add to their four wins between now and the end of the season.

They showed their potential with a surprise five-point win over Brisbane but have not won since when losing five games on the bounce.

The Hawks now have a great chance to climb the ladder as they face teams around them in the next three games. Following the Adelaide game they will go head-to-head with struggling North Melbourne and West Coast Eagles.

Hawthorn continue to blood some youngsters with young midfielder Josh Ward and defender Denver Grainger-Barras added to the squad.

Adelaide find themselves one place and four points ahead the Hawks and have picked up two wins in the last four, albeit against North Melbourne and West Coast.

Midfielder Matt Crouch has been added to the side, while Ned McHenry and Will Hamill return.

What: West Coast Eagles v Carlton
Where: Optus Stadium, Perth
When: 16:40 (AEST) Sunday 10th July 2022
How to watch: 7mate, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: West Coast 21/10, Carlton 19/50

West Coast have won just two games this season but there have been some signs of improvement of late as a number of key players have returned to the side.

They are still losing games but are way more competitive and ran Geelong close at Optus Stadium before beating Essendon the week after.

The influential Josh Kennedy is back in for the Eagles on Sunday but Elliot Yeo has been ruled out with a hamstring injury which is a big blow.

Carlton need all four points to close the gap on the top four. They suffered a big setback last week when losing to St Kilda at the MCG and need a response.

It has been a case of win one, lose one in recent weeks and they need to find some consistency as the business end of the season approaches.

They receive a big boost as Jacob Weitering returns to the side.

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