Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy can’t believe his winless AFL side will start a game as favourites but Melbourne’s Neil Craig admits the Giants deserve it more than the Demons.
With Saturday’s Skoda Stadium clash the Giants’ best chance of a win in the run home, if they can’t salute they face the prospect of becoming the biggest losers in an AFL/VFL season ever.
No club since Fitzroy in 1964 has gone through an entire season without a win and that was when the season lasted only 18 rounds.
For the Demons, the consequences of a loss would be almost as dire.
Already this year they’ve lost their coach, their president, their chief executive and suffered some huge thrashings, including last round’s listless 122-point loss to North Melbourne.
To also become the first club this season to lose to the Giants would heap further indignity on them.
But betting agencies and punters believe it’s on the cards, with the odds pointing to a Greater Western Sydney win.
And Craig admits that’s fair enough.
“If you looked at GWS’s form last week and you looked at our form, I know who I’d have favourite, wouldn’t you?” Craig told reporters on Wednesday.
But Sheedy, whose side led the Demons at the last change in round four before falling away and who led Collingwood for the best part of three quarters last round before also fading, isn’t convinced.
“I doubt that will happen, what are you talking about?” Sheedy said of the Giants’ favouritism.
“It makes no sense. All I’ll say is that it will be a tight game.”
Sheedy admits the sniff of a rare Giants win brings its own pressure.
“There’s a fair chance we need to win,” he said.
“We played probably our best game for the year last week I would have thought.
“Two points down against a finals team at three-quarter time and it was probably our best performance at the MCG.
“We actually looked like we were an AFL side.”
Craig says the Demons also sense an opportunity but admits he’s unsure how his troops will bounce back from their deflating performance against North.
“The Melbourne Football Club at the moment is in no position to guarantee they’re going to win any game,” he said.
“If you don’t believe that, just look at our past performances.
“What we’ve got to do is make sure to the best of our ability about our response this week.
“We need a much fiercer response than we actually put on show against North Melbourne.
“That was a classical day, absolutely classical day of a team that was playing football as distinct from performing.”
“We want to get away from that standard as quick as we can.”