We'll endeavour to run through the form, incorporate appropriate stats and also supply a betting prediction which won't always just be who will win.
PORT ADELAIDE V GEELONG
Thursday 10 June @ Adelaide Oval
For more reasons than one we hope this game does indeed kick off the start of the second half of the season unless we have more handbrakes put on the football.
This does shape as a really important match up and is a replay of a big final not long gone so that is fresh in our minds as well.
The first time they met in the weird 2020 season the Cats gave Port a lesson. Second time around in a Qualifying Final it was the Power that had all the answers.
And given where they both sit on the Ladder (same points and 7% only between them) this really is one which could determine a home ground haven later in the year. Then again Geelong rarely has that.
Both effectively enter off similar form lines. They both had the bye and both had been knocking off lower rated teams in recent weeks. That said there wasn't much to impress about the way they went about it.
Port was OK at home to Fremantle but had the Perth side kicked straight and taken chances, the footsteps might have been heard late in the third.
We know good kicking is good footy and the reverse is almost a stronger analogy. The negativity that surrounds when you miss set shots, especially easy ones, deflates many individuals in a big way.
Port Adelaide have been forced a bit this year to rely on the older guard. Their youngsters, laden with so much talent and well recognised for it, have either been injured or off the pace this season.
It has required those tough, big bodies like Wines and Boak in the midfield and a sturdy, if not flashy backline, to maintain the foundation of success.
Those backs are going to have to stand up once more against a tall forward structure with Hawkins, Cameron and Rohan. Should it be a damper, greasy evening that would help make marking targets less and ground balls more.
But while the home field didn't help Adelaide last week against a quarantining Collingwood, will it benefit Port against a similarly restricted Cats?
It might just give Geelong the time to reflect on that woeful game at the MCG in Round 11 when the entire world fell asleep.
No one was allowed to be there but if they were, they might have turned their attention to the quaddie legs at Caulfield for more interest! It was such a bore fest that the seagulls didn't just take up residence, they built a nest and laid their eggs.
The Pies didn't allow Geelong a luxurious rumble through the middle but there was as much the lack of initiative from the Cats that played the same game. The late charge to tighten the scoreboard was an indictment on both of them.
Without Dangerfield, Geelong did lack that explosive factor. Now he's back things might ignite. They rely on the older brigade for inspiration a lot. Surely the likes of Smith and Higgins can't take them to the title. It needs the Narkles, Parfitts and definitely the ruck stocks to lift them when all play.
And that could be the difference here. Port's big man department could dominate the game in the centre and denying Geelong first crack at it could be crucial. The Cats do win it out of the centre often. That area just has to be halved.
The one thing the Power has struggled with this year is taking on the top rated teams. They have to have set themselves for this. A loss potentially consigns them to the mediocrity of a bottom of the eight placement and that would seem a big drop from 2020.
Suggesting they bring the heat early. Let's see if Geelong can withstand but it should be close.
Match Selection: Port Adelaide by 11 points
Suggested Bets: Port Adelaide 1-39 @ $2.25