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Match preview: Adelaide v Gold Coast

Pick a Winner: Adel v GC Duck and Browny preview the Crows v Suns
Jarryd Lyons has had his wish for a more prominent role granted at the Suns - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Gold Coast Suns
Jarryd Lyons has had his wish for a more prominent role granted at the Suns

SUMMARY

This appears likely to be a comfortable win for Adelaide, despite the mounting injury list at the Crows. However, it would be foolish to write off Gold Coast, with its confidence growing every week under new coach Stuart Dew. The Suns are 3-2 after five rounds, more than halfway through a nine-week road trip forced on them by the Commonwealth Games. After 10 straight losses to the Crows, this could be the Suns' best chance to end that drought, but beating North Melbourne, Carlton and Brisbane is one thing. Knocking off the Crows at Adelaide Oval, where they are an imposing 28-6 in their past 34 games, is an entirely different proposition. The Crows – also 3-2 – have had players step up. Tom Doedee has taken over Jake Lever's defensive post, Paul Seedsman is covering for Brodie Smith across half-back and Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Hugh Greenwood are ripping in at stoppages. This a great test for the Suns to see how far they've improved this season.

WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, April 28, 7.10pm ACST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE TIMES

R5, 2017, Adelaide 23.15 (153) d Gold Coast 13.8 (86) at Metricon Stadium
R9, 2016, Adelaide 22.17 (149) d Gold Coast 11.8 (74) at Metricon Stadium
R17, 2015, Adelaide 19.11 (125) d Gold Coast 12.8 (80) at Adelaide Oval
R6, 2015, Adelaide 18.11 (119) d Gold Coast 11.12 (78) at Metricon Stadium
R11, 2014, Adelaide 16.13 (109) d Gold Coast 11.11 (77) at Adelaide Oval

THE SIX POINTS

1. Last year's encounter between the two sides was over at the main break, with the Crows kicking 11 goals to four in the first half. Matt Crouch, Rory Laird, Brad Crouch and Rory Sloane all had 30 or more disposals, while Michael Barlow led the way for the Suns with 36 touches.

2. The Crows play a high-possession game, averaging 395.2 disposals per game this season. In contrast, the Suns are ranked second-last, averaging 355.6.

3. The Suns must create history if they're to collect the four premiership points. They've never beaten the Crows, losing all 10 previous meetings. Six of those have been by more than 50 points.

4. One of the reasons for the Suns starting 3-2 for the third time in their brief history has been their commitment to tackling. They're ranked in the top four for tackles, averaging 70.2 per game. That's a long way ahead of the Crows, ranked 13th with 60.8 per game.

5. The Suns have lost all three previous games at Adelaide Oval – two against the Crows and one against Port Adelaide. Their most recent loss was a 115-point thumping at the hands of the Power in round 23, 2017.

6. In the battle of the Tom Lynches, it's the Gold Coast version that has the edge in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. Suns co-captain Tom Lynch is ranked 45th overall, 43 spots ahead of his namesake, Crows forward Tom Lynch (88th).

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

Suns midfielder Jarryd Lyons left the Crows at the end of 2016 for a more prominent role. He's definitely got that at his new club, averaging a career-high 27 disposals and 8.2 clearances per game this season.

PREDICTION: Adelaide by 30 points

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs