The expectations couldn't be higher for the Giants after they fell short in one of the great preliminary finals last year to the eventual premiers. It is no wonder Leon Cameron's men are flag favourites. Their midfield is brimming with elite talent, Jeremy Cameron, Jonathon Patton and Rory Lobb are a three-headed monster in attack and Heath Shaw and Zac Williams provide great run and carry out of defence. Injured trio Stephen Coniglio, Brett Deledio and Aidan Corr are big losses, but the Crows have their own concerns for the season opener. Star midfielder Rory Sloane, captain Taylor Walker and defender Jake Lever are touch and go, while Brad Crouch, Scott Thompson and Paul Seedsman will need to build match fitness before they can return. The Crows have a potent attack, but will need their young midfielders to step up if they're going to get off to a winning start in 2017.
WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Oval, Sunday, March 26, 2.50pm ACDT
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R10, 2016: Adelaide 15.17 (107) d Greater Western Sydney 13.7 (85) at Adelaide Oval
R8, 2015: Greater Western Sydney 16.12 (108) d Adelaide 12.12 (84) at Spotless Stadium
R16, 2014: Adelaide 20.20 (140) d Greater Western Sydney 9.18 (72) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2014: Adelaide 21.11 (137) d Greater Western Sydney 10.12 (72) at Adelaide Oval
R7, 2013: Adelaide 29.13 (187) d Greater Western Sydney 7.10 (52) at Spotless Stadium.
THE SIX POINTS
1. A huge third quarter was the catalyst for the Crows when they beat the Giants in round 10 last year. The Crows booted eight goals to one in the term while Eddie Betts and captain Taylor Walker combined for 10 goals for the game. Stephen Coniglio had 30 possessions for the Giants.
2. The Crows clearly have the upper hand in their seven previous encounters with the Giants. They have a 6-1 win/loss record, with four of those victories by more than 10 goals.
3. Adelaide Oval was a fortress for the Crows last year, winning 11 of their 13 games, five of those by more than 50 points. However, the Giants showed they are more than capable of winning on the road, finishing with a 7-3 interstate record in 2016.
4. This looms as a shoot-out between the two most potent attacks in the competition. The Crows led the League with 112 points per game in 2016, while the Giants were ranked second with 106 points per game.
5. At the contest, there is no better side than the Giants. They led the League in clearances last year with 41 per game, with Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio and Dylan Shiel all ranked in the top 15 in the competition.
6. Adelaide will be hoping vice-captain Rory Sloane is cleared to play after being sidelined during the JLT Community Series with a fractured eye socket. Sloane will be the highest-ranked player in the Schick AFL Player Ratings on the ground, ranked eighth overall. He's just ahead of Giants duo Dylan Shiel (19th) and Callan Ward (21st).
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Sam Jacobs.
In his 150th career game, the Crows ruckman faces a tough ask to open the season against the imposing Shane Mumford. With the Crows fielding an under-strength midfield, it'll be up to Jacobs to give them first use of the ball and try to deny the Giants' on-ballers as much as possible.
PREDICTION: Giants by 16 points