By RHYS PAYNTING
RADIO GAME | Maribyrnong Park v Pascoe Vale
A CRACKER of a contest here between two of the standout sides from the first two rounds, and a game that will show us a great deal on what to expect from two finals hopefuls.
Both teams came off big wins before the break with Maribyrnong Park stacking on the biggest win so far this season against West Coburg, and Pascoe Vale comfortably handling Craigieburn at home.
Pascoe Vale had 11 goal kickers against the Eagles while the Lions had 15 players kick majors in their thumping, suggesting this game should be an electric and unpredictable match-up.
Omar Saad and Tom Baravi were fantastic for Marby against their old side and will look to continue the great form they’ve shown in the opening two rounds.
Josh Cauchi was the danger man for Pascoe Vale slotting four goals, bringing his season tally to seven, a concern for Lions defenders.
This is the first major challenge for the Panthers, and it could test them away from home, but expect nothing less than a blockbuster from the opening bounce.
Essendon Doutta Stars v Craigieburn
A handy week off for Essendon Doutta Stars who come into this home game against Craigieburn with one win and one loss.
Craigieburn will travel down the freeway in search of their first win of 2017 after two losses to start their 2017 Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division campaign.
Jack Landt was best afield for the Stars against Avondale Heights, kicking six goals in a blistering display.
Expect the Essendon Doutta Stars midfield to find some freedom in this with Jordan Schroder, Nathan Kazuro and Shylo Smith all starting the year reasonably well, but looking for the break-out game to kick start their season.
Jamie Allan and Mitch Jensen have been outstanding in their first two games and will be looking to continue their dominance here for the home side.
Sharpshooter Aaron Kite has been the worry for opposing coaches for the Eagles, kicking four goals in both of his starts for 2017.
Youngster Ricky Zwagerman was handy last start for Craigieburn, as were Josh Young and Nathan Perrone in an Eagles side who are kicking straight in front of goal, but struggling to get the ball inside 50.
Expect Stars head coach Dean Wallis to have his men fired up to win their first game at home in a tough day at the office ahead for Craigieburn.
West Coburg v Greenvale
A Greenvale side on the back of a week off is a scary sight for the struggling West Coburg.
Although the Burgers also sat last weekend out, this is a game that could get out of hand for the home side, on the back of a disappointing start to Season 2017.
Addam Maric, who is in elite form, will be a focal point and West Coburg will need to come out firing from the first bounce to compete with the Jets run and gun.
Jack Yelland has been one of the standouts in both of his first two games this season, and will play a crucial role in keeping West Coburg in arms reach here.
Expect ruckman Fabian Deluca to have his way and give the Greenvale midfield first use more times than not.
A tough test for the winless Burgers, but a chance to show up and give some grit in front of their home fans.
Aberfeldie v Avondale Heights (12pm ANZAC Day)
ANZAC day footy heads to Clifton Park where the in-form Aberfeldie will take on an Avondale Heights side who come into this on the back of splitting their first two games.
Aberfeldie are coming off a historic win against Keilor prior to the break, one that has them firmly leading the charge for premiership glory at this early stage of the season.
Avondale Heights are yet to take a major scalp, but looked good for parts of the game against Essendon Doutta Stars after running away with a victory away from home against Craigieburn.
Luke Blackwell, Sam Cattapan, Ben Mabon and Nic Cattapan have all been outstanding for Aberfeldie, while the ever-dangerous Kyle Reimers looks as fit as ever, slotting 10 goals in his first two games of Season 2017.
Ex-Carlton ruckman Cam Wood and lethal goal-scorer Patty Rose have been the outstanding names for Avondale Heights so far, with Wood playing a major part in getting his midfield first use of the ball.
Rose has kicked 12 goals to start off his 2017 campaign, including a bag of eight against Craigieburn in Round 1, and will look to add to that total here, albeit against a solid Aberfeldie back-line.
Aberfeldie should continue their unbeaten run in this, but as we’ve learned over the first two rounds, Avondale Heights will start strong, with the question mark floating over their ability to hold on to cause an upset.