Hawthorn

Hawthorn favourites for AFL hat-trick

2015-10-01
Hawks face West Coast in MCG showdown

Hawthorn will bid to secure a hat-trick of AFL premierships when they meet West Coast in this year's Grand Final at the MCG in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Hawks' proven track record in the biggest game of the year has understandably made them favourites at 3/5 with a home-ground advantage working further in their favour.

Alastair Clarkson's men have multiple premiership winners across the board whereas West Coast are set to pick from just three players who have ever played in a title decider.

The Eagles' last grand final was in 2006 and they have been the surprise package of the season under second-year coach Adam Simpson.

Simpson has inside knowledge of the Hawks, having served as an assistant coach to Clarkson before moving west , and masterminded a resounding win over his former club at Domain Stadium in the opening week of the finals.

The Eagles exposed Hawthorn's ageing midfield with Simpson's much-lauded pressing game but whether they can continue to do that on the biggest stage, and on the wider expanses of the MCG, is set to be a determining factor with a 28-degree day also forecast.

The West Aussies, who are priced at 7/5 for the win, have had a far lighter workload than Hawthorn in the past two months, however, and should be fresher.

The Eagles have not had to leave Perth since August 30 and enjoyed a week off during the finals after beating Hawthorn, who have twice had to make the 4,225-mile round trip to Perth in the past three weeks. With that in mind, odds of 5/4 for the Eagles to win the second half look full of value.

The 90,000 fans who are set to cram into the MCG are likely to see a shoot-out with both clubs comfortably the highest scorers during the home-and-away season.

Hawthorn averaged 111 points per game, with the Eagles only six points fewer, and odds of 7/5 for the 'total points scored' to be over 194.5 appear worthwhile.

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