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Match preview: Gold Coast v Port Adelaide

Pick a Winner: GC v Port Duck and Browny preview the Suns v Power

SUMMARY

For the second year in succession, these clubs take the game to China – and they could not be in more contrasting form. Gold Coast put in its worst performance under coach Stuart Dew against Melbourne last Saturday, while Port is fresh off an exhilarating Showdown victory over Adelaide. Following last year's blowout win by the Power, the pressure is on the Suns to make this contest competitive, or risk not heading back in 2019.  After losing three games straight, things have been made even more difficult following the suspension of tall forward Sam Day, which coupled with the injury to Tom Lynch, leaves the Suns' forward line a bit on the short side. Port has been up and down this season, but with wins over the Crows and Swans along the way, has shown that its best is still right up there. It's hard to see Ken Hinkley's men losing this one.

TALE OF THE TAPE SUNS POWER
LADDER 14TH 8TH
KICKS 4TH 3RD
MARKS 18TH 5TH
HANDBALLS 16TH 6TH
DISPOSALS 17TH 3RD
DISPOSAL EFFICIENCY 18TH 6TH
CONTESTED POSSESSIONS 3RD 11TH
UNCONTESTED POSSESSIONS 18TH 4TH
INSIDE 50S 14TH 11TH
MARKS INSIDE 50 18TH 7TH
POINTS FOR 16TH 7TH
POINTS AGAINST 14TH 10TH
CLEARANCES 7TH 2ND
CENTRE CLEARANCES 13TH 5TH
FREE KICKS FOR 9TH 11TH
FREE KICKS AGAINST 2ND 12TH
TACKLES 1ST 2ND
CONTESTED MARKS 18TH 17TH
GOALKICKING ACCURACY 14TH 5TH
HIGHEST SCORE 15.11 (101) 16.14 (110)
LOWEST SCORE 7.13 (55) 7.8 (50)
GOALS KICKED 82 101
BEHINDS KICKED 78 86
TOTAL POINTS 570 692
KICKED 100 POINTS OR MORE 1 2
CONCEDED 100 POINTS OR MORE 3 2
QUARTERS WON 11 16
4TH QUARTERS WON 1 3
DEBUTANTS 2 0

WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium (Shanghai), Saturday, May 19, 3.15pm AEST 
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide  

LAST FIVE MEETINGS

R23, 2017, Port Adelaide 20.15 (135) d Gold Coast 3.2 (20) at Adelaide Oval
R8, 2017, Port Adelaide 16.14 (110) d Gold Coast 4.14 (38) at Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium
R23, 2016, Port Adelaide 13.11 (89) d Gold Coast 9.12 (66) at Metricon Stadium
R22, 2015, Port Adelaide 12.16 (88) d Gold Coast 7.9 (51) at Metricon Stadium
R21, 2014, Port Adelaide 7.14 (56) d Gold Coast 7.5 (47) at Metricon Stadium

THE SIX POINTS

1. It wasn’t close when the sides played in 2017. In two games the Power kicked a combined 36 goals to seven and won by a total of 187 points. The Suns' 3.2 (20) in the second match was the club's lowest ever score.

2. It will be a contest between the two best tackling teams in 2018. Gold Coast is ranked first, averaging 72.6 a game and Port Adelaide second, averaging 69.5.

3. After Gold Coast won the first meeting in 2011 the Power have dominated, winning eight consecutive matches. The Suns have managed 100 points in a game once, all the way back in that 2011 victory.

4. The Suns are the worst finishing team in 2018, losing seven of eight final quarters and a combined minus 102 points in that term. In their last three games they've kicked just 42 total points in fourth quarters while conceding 100.

5. This will be the second meeting between the teams in China and the fifth game for premiership points played outside of Australia. It’s also the fourth different home venue for the Suns in 2018 so far.

6. Port Adelaide has eight players ranked in the top 100 of the Schick AFL Player Ratings (Robbie Gray, Ollie Wines, Justin Westhoff, Tom Rockliff, Jared Polec, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak and Chad Wingard). With Jarryd Lyons and injured Tom Lynch, Gold Coast has just two.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

After escaping with a fine from Monday night's Tribunal hearing for making contact with an umpire, Gold Coast skipper Steven May will be desperate to play well. Gold Coast's season is sliding out of control and not only does it need to rectify last year's disaster in China, but also give its fans reason for hope on the eve of returning to Metricon Stadium. That starts with the skipper.

PREDICTION: Port Adelaide by 45 points

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