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Aussie Rules: Port set for Bulldogs test

Port Adelaide will face a tough test of their premiership credentials when they make the trip to take on the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

Along with Collingwood, the Power are setting the AFL alight so far this season when sitting pretty in second spot on the ladder. 

However, the Bulldogs are in the mix, and although they sit 12 points behind their opponents, they are in seventh spot and have high hopes of playing finals. 

A win over Port Adelaide would boost their chances and get them pushing towards the top four, but that will be easier said than done as they have lost the last two. 

Ken Hinkley’s men have opened up an eight-point gap on Melbourne in third and have set their sights on ladder-leaders Collingwood, who are four points clear. 

It is all set up for a cracker under the lights at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

WhatWestern Bulldogs v Port Adelaide
WhereMarvel Stadium, Melbourne
When19:50 (AEST) Friday 9th June, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsWestern Bulldogs 2.02, Port Adelaide 1.80

Bulldogs need a response 

The Bulldogs had been going great guns when winning five games on the bounce, but back-to-back defeats have stopped them in their tracks. 

They have been against teams below them on the ladder as well, Geelong and Gold Coast, which will be a concern for coach Luke Beveridge. 

Geelong won by 22 points at Marvel Stadium on Saturday and now the Bulldogs need to respond on home soil. 

Their form at Marvel has not been great though, winning just two games at the venue, and most of their recent success has been on the road at Fremantle, GWS and Carlton. 

It is a crucial period of the season for the Bulldogs, who after the game against Port, will face in-form Fremantle and ladder-leaders Collingwood in the coming weeks. 

They also have to play struggling North Melbourne but it is a tough-looking run of games. 

The Bulldogs do have plenty of quality in their ranks however and will once again look to their inspirational leader Marcus Bontempelli. 

The skipper has been smashing it with tackles and contested possessions this season, while Jack Macrae is another to look out for as he has averaged 27.3 disposals a game. He is priced at 1.36 to notch 25+ on Friday night. 

Power surge on 

There appears to be no stopping Port Adelaide, who have slipped to just two defeats this season and have won the last five games on the bounce. 

However in that run of five games, they have been given a run for their money in tight encounters against Richmond, Melbourne and Essendon. 

There was just 10 points in the game against the Tigers, four against Melbourne and five against Essendon. 

But what will please Hinkley is the fact they showed they can get the job done when the going gets tough. If it is to be a close one again then they are priced at 6.00 to win by 1-12 points.  

Port’s two defeats came in the early rounds, losing at Collingwood and then ‘The Showdown’ against Adelaide Crows, but have been unstoppable since. 

They have picked up wins at North Melbourne, Sydney Swans and St Kilda and a trip to Marvel should hold no fear for them. 

Jeremy Finlayson has been the player to watch this season as far as booting goals is concerned. He has 22 for the season and is priced at 1.14 to score at anytime on Friday night. 

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