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Adelaide v Richmond

Adelaide hosts Richmond in a must-win clash at Adelaide Oval. Both injury-ravaged teams aim to bounce back from tough losses, with the Crows' finals hopes and Tigers' pride on the line.

Returning home from yet another disappointing interstate trip, Adelaide will play host to a hobbled Richmond lineup at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday night. The Crows fell to their seventh loss of the season via last weekend’s 107-80 result against Hawthorn at the MCG, during which they trailed by as many as 48 points. Despite sporting the longest injury list in the league, Richmond put up a significantly better fight than Adelaide last weekend, albeit ending in a similar result, falling 99-69 to Geelong at GMHBA Stadium after leading by 29 points during the second quarter. In a brutal blow, that result brought with it the Tigers’ fifth ACL of 2024, suffered by Mykelti Lefau. Richmond has now lost eight straight, demonstrating how much has changed since these clubs last met in Round 2, 2023. The Tigers won that fixture 108-76 at the Adelaide Oval, led by Tim Taranto’s 28 disposals and seven clearances.

Do-or-Die for Adelaide

If it hasn’t already been do-or-die for Adelaide, it certainly is this Thursday night! Coming off a tough loss on the road against the Hawks, the Crows are now 4-1-7, sitting 14th on the ladder and 10 points outside the top eight. The Crows, like many teams, have had plenty of injuries this season and their injury list has only lengthened after Round 12. Unfortunately, one of their in-form midfielders in Matt Crouch suffered an AC joint injury last weekend and has been ruled out for the season, while key forward Tex Walker is also out of this contest with a back injury.

With Crouch sidelined and skipper Jordan Dawson nursing a foot injury and likely to play forward, is it finally time for the Crows to throw some different names into their midfield mix? One would assume so. Josh Rachele has been starved of supply up forward and should get his chance in the guts, while midfielder Billy Dowling has also been included for his debut this weekend after some great form at the lower level. Max Michalanney was also thrust into the midfield in the fourth quarter against the Hawks and could enjoy some time in there again.

Richmond’s Injury Woes Continue

Meanwhile, Richmond has been absolutely decimated by injury in 2024 but will enjoy some key personnel back in Round 13. Shai Bolton, Tim Taranto, and Dion Prestia are among the inclusions, while Dustin Martin is unsurprisingly being managed to ensure his 300th game is at the MCG next weekend.

The undermanned Tigers were fantastic in the first half against the Cats on enemy soil last weekend and looked somewhat likely of causing an upset at stages; however, the class of the Cats shone through in the second half and the Tigers went on to lose their eighth straight game.

Finals Hopes on the Line

Adelaide (4-7-1) is running out of chances to keep its ever-fading finals hopes alive and simply must beat the injury-ravaged Richmond to do so. A defeat would all but end the Crows’ season, especially with the high-flying Swans to follow before a bye.

Richmond (1-11) has continued to battle hard in recent weeks even as its injury toll mounts without getting the reward of four points. The Tigers traveled well during their period of success and can carry some hope into taking on the under-fire Crows, even on their home deck.

Tim Taranto and Dion Prestia will add more than a fair share of experience into the depleted midfield of the Tigers.

Key Matchup: Midfield Battle

With both teams struggling and key players missing, the midfield battle will be crucial. Adelaide’s makeshift midfield, potentially featuring new inclusions and repositioned players, will be tested against a returning Richmond trio of Bolton, Taranto, and Prestia. This battle in the center could very well decide the outcome of the game.

As Adelaide looks to revive its season and Richmond fights to break its losing streak, Thursday night’s clash at Adelaide Oval promises to be a fierce contest. Both teams have plenty to prove, and despite their struggles, the stage is set for an enthralling encounter under the lights.

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