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Friday Furnace: Are you ready for a dose of wet-weather football?

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With a deluge of rain forecast across Australia, and only two games scheduled at the enclosed Etihad Stadium, round nine of the AFL season looks set to serve up a dose of good old fashioned wet-weather football.

Skills will be thrown out the window, players will be bashing and crashing into backs and scrambling the ball forward anyway they can - which will inevitably result in more scrutiny on the deliberate out of bounds rule.

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Rohan Connolly previews all the footy action ahead of round 9 in the AFL.

Meanwhile the phrase 'it looks like [insert team name] wants it more' will be spoken countless times by commentators as an explanation for why one team is in front in the adverse conditions.

Round nine also shapes as crunch round for footy tipsters with only two teams (Brisbane and Richmond) more than $4 outsiders.

The Eagles travel to take on a team led by one of their favourite sons while the Dockers are looking to record their sixth win from their last nine games.

Our crack(pot) panel returns to look ahead at all the action in round nine.


The panel: David Prestipino (wine-ing footy tragic), Tim Carrier (office fantasy football addict), Justin Rake (long-suffering Fremantle fan), Brendan Foster (resident grumpy old man).

Harley Bennell will be waiting in the wings when Fremantle open their season with a blockbuster showdown against Geelong.

Fremantle's Harley's have hit a rough patch. Photo: Getty Images


Burning Question: Which West Coast will rock up for this road trip?

Headline you'd like to see: Engines stalled as Harleys take Dockers for a ride

Tune in... to Friday night footy but don't miss the Collingwood v Hawthorn clash on Saturday night - an intriguing one for many reasons. 

Tune out... of Channel 7 after last weekend's debacle of not showing the most thrilling win in Fremantle's history live on TV for local WA fans.

Pick of the round: Geelong (7-0) and Sydney (6-1) have great recent form against their respective opponents the Bulldogs and St Kilda this round. A multi on both, to win 1-39pts, pays $6.48 with Sportsbet.

Tips: Geelong, St Kilda, GWS, Collingwood, Adelaide, Essendon, North Melbourne, Fremantle

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14: Nat Fyfe of the Dockers is tackled by Dustin Martin, Toby Nankervis and Josh Caddy of the Tigers during the 2017 AFL round 08 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 14, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Can Richmond arrest their form slump. Photo: Adam Trafford/AFL Media


Burning Question: What is it going to take for the AFL to stop changing things (rules/fixtures/free-to-air broadcasting)?

Headline: Giant upset: Flag favourites fall again as Tigers roar back into form

Tune in: To every game this round - it's a cracker!

Tune out: If you're a Power or Suns fan. Make the most of your team's footy free weekend.

Pick of the Round: $10 on Richmond to beat the injury-hit Giants and North Melbourne to win their 16th straight game against the Demons will return $106

Tips: Geelong, Sydney, Richmond, Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, North Melbourne, Fremantle

Brad Hill and Matt Taberner were key players in the Dockers win over Essendon.

Brad Hill has run into some good form. Photo: Paul Kane


Burning question: How long until Nat Fyfe returns to his absolute best? Scary prospect for the rest of the competition.

Headline you'd like to see: The Buck stops here: Pressure continues to pile as Pies lose to Hawks

Tune in: Hard to go past Friday night's Bulldogs v Geelong clash as game of the round, but GWS v Richmond should be a cracker.

Tune out: Brisbane v Adelaide. Crows looking for redemption after a shocking fortnight and Brisbane might cop the brunt of it.

Pick of the round: Brad Hill to gain more than 600m in Fremantle's game against Carlton.

Tips: Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, GWS, Adelaide, Collingwood, West Coast, Melbourne, Fremantle

Orazio Fantasia celebrates a goal with Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.

Will West Coast be able to stop the Bombers small forwards? Photo: Adam Trafford/AFL Media


Burning question: Can the Eagles stop Essendon's fleet-footed forwards?

Headline you'd like to see: Gibbs shuts down Freo's Jive Talkin' (Anyone born after 1980 won't get the Bee Gees reference)

Tune in:  I think Saints v the Swans at Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon is shaping as a cracker.

Tune out: No real shockers this week, but I reckon the Cats could massacre an injury-ravaged Bulldogs at their new digs tonight.

Pick of the round: Brisbane are paying $8.50 at home to an Adelaide side playing with no confidence.

Tips: Geelong, St Kilda, Richmond, Brisbane, Hawthorn, West Coast, Melbourne, Carlton