Three takeaways from round nineteen

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Crows Rory Sloane (left) and Matt Crouch (right) leave the field following their round 19 loss to Carlton. (Photo by: Michael Wilson/AFL Photos)

Round 23 between the Crows and Bulldogs is shaping as a regular season final

Adelaide are sliding, and the Western Bulldogs look like the biggest threat to take their spot in the top eight if they don’t find some form quickly.

The Crows currently sit eighth on the ladder whilst the Bulldogs are one place behind in ninth, both are equal on premiership points with only percentage separating them.

The Crows lost a game that they would have expected to win against Carlton last weekend, whereas the Bulldogs dispatched of Fremantle quite easily in their game, keeping the pressure well and truly on the under-performing Crows above them.

Out of the run home for both sides, the Crows probably have a slightly easier draw than the Bulldogs, but the Bulldogs are definitely playing the better football at present.

2019 was meant to be a year that saw the Crows rediscover themselves as a contender yet at 9-9 they are teetering, whilst the Bulldogs have shown glimpses of the team that won a fairy tale premiership in 2016.

A round 23 match-up between these two sides could very well decide who plays finals in what would be a huge game.

The Eagles are looking good for another tilt at a flag

And to think that there were questions over the Eagles earlier on in the season.

West Coast’s premiership defence is going just about as well as you could have hoped for if you are invested in the Eagles.

They have won five of their past six games, their only loss in that time coming in a nail biting one-point loss against Collingwood.

The Eagles are travelling reasonably well on the injury front aswell, Jamie Cripps and Liam Duggan are expected to be fit in the coming weeks and they will welcome back captain Shannan Hurn back this weekend.

Their only notable concern ahead of finals the health of star ruckman Nic Naitanui, who remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Sitting in second on the ladder, the Eagles face Carlton, Adelaide, Richmond and Hawthorn in their run home, and there’s no doubt they could easily win all four of them, three wins in that time may even be enough to claim a top-two finish as they eye a back to back premiership.

Forget form, Collingwood’s injury list could destroy their season

Geelong and Collingwood were the two form sides during the first half of the season, the Cats have overcome some mid-season challenges to still sit pretty comfortably on top of the ladder, Collingwood however, are struggling.

The Magpies have now lost four out of their last five games and it’s seen them drift out of the top four and find themselves back amongst the pack.

If that’s not bad enough for Collingwood, their injury list is probably the worst part of it.

They welcome back Taylor Adams and Levi Greenwood this weekend, but the Pies still have a host of good names unavailable through injury.

The list seems to be growing every week, with Jordan de Goey, Darcy Moore, Ben Reid, James Aish, Jordan Roughead, Daniel Wells, Tom Phillips, Brayden Sier, Isaac Quaynor, Lynden Dunn (out for season) and Tom Langdon (out for season) all currently sidelined; whilst Dayne Beams remains out with mental health leave and Jayden Stephenson is still serving his gambling suspension.

This weekend sees them take on the lowly Gold Coast Suns and the timing couldn’t be better for them, as they search for a confidence boosting win sorely needed to revitalise their season.

The Pies will need a drastic change in fortunes if they are to have any sort of impact in September.

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