Hawthorn are winning without being convincing, while Adelaide are flying.
Hawthorn welcomes back reigning best and fairest Josh Gibson to solidify the defence, and Brad Hill for his first game of the year to add some pace to the side. Angus Litherland and Daniel Howe are the two too make way. This is the strongest Hawk side of the year.
For Adelaide, one small forward replaces another, with Charlie Cameron in for the injured first year player, Wayne Milera.
Form Hawthorn, at the admission of coach Alastair Clarkson, have won their past two games despite not being the best side on the day on either occasion. Notoriously slow starters in recent times (in Round’s 1-6 across 2012-15, their win-loss record was 14-10), they are relying on experience and nous to keep them in the contest.
Adelaide’s form is strong – their Round 1 loss to North looking despite being ahead for most of the game looks better now; they then disposed of inferior opposition in Port and Richmond, and then won the match of the season against an in-form Sydney.
Stats That Matter
Hawthorn has won their last six against Adelaide. Three of those have been at the MCG, with an average winning margin of 45 points. Hawthorn are 65% ATS in home night games over the last five years.
Adelaide are the only team to cover the line in all four games this season. They are one of only two teams to go 4-0 at the over. Since 2012, the Crows are 53% ATS and hit the over 69% of the time when interstate. They are 46% ATS at night in this time. Adelaide are -10% POT when paying $2.60 or more since the start of 2012. The Crows are the only side to record two wins as an underdog so far this season.