And then there were four.No Hawthorn, no West Coast, no Fremantle, no North Melbourne. For the first time since 2007, all four preliminary finalists are different from the previous year. But while the cards have fallen differently in 2016, there is still an enormous amount of intrigue ahead of the AFLs penultimate week of the season.This years two preliminary finals -- while both tantalising for spectators -- could not be more contrasting.Geelong vs. SydneySydney and Geelong will both feel the pressure for various reasons when they take to the MCG on Friday night. One of these 21st century powerhouses will again fail to secure a place on the AFLs grandest stage in what will likely be labelled another failed year.The Cats aggressive off-season recruitment means the spotlight will be shining brightly on Chris Scott and the clubs brains trust. The high-profile and much acclaimed acquisition of superstar onballer Patrick Dangerfield has bolstered their midfield stocks enormously, but after paying so much to lure him away from the Crows -- not to mention the additions of Zac Smith, Lachie Henderson and Scott Selwood -- success will be expected sooner rather than later.Without question, the Cats loaded up for another premiership on the back of their incredible era of success in the noughties, and anything less will be deemed a failure.If they crash out this weekend, questions will abound.What do they do with ageing superstars Corey Enright, Tom Lonergan, Jimmy Bartel, Andrew Mackie and Harry Taylor, who are all over 30?Do they have enough young talent on their list? The Cats do have some promising youngsters, but not to the same degree as many of their rivals. To make matters worse, their first pick in the 2016 draft is a lowly No. 38. Master recruiting manager Stephen Wells will have to work his magic, yet again, to ensure the Cats dont drop away.Even the most optimistic Cats fan would acknowledge they must strike now to justify their all in approach during the last player exchange period.The Swans, meanwhile, are also under pressure on myriad fronts. Injuries to key personnel have come at the worst possible time, while they also have to travel to the MCG -- admittedly, a happy hunting ground for them -- for the preliminary final off the back of a six-day break.However, their decision almost three years ago to sign Lance Franklin on a $10m, nine-year deal once again has the spotlight firmly fixed on the Harbour City club.Rightly or wrongly, the Swans are viewed as needing to justify Franklins staggering contract with silverware, and a loss to Geelong will mean three seasons have come and gone without any since the former Hawk made the move north.Franklin missed last years finals campaign with mental health issues, but hes back and in arguably career-best form this season and could almost single-handedly lead his team towards premiership glory. But if not, watch the cynics line up to state -- with Franklin only a few months away from hitting a footballers dreaded age of 30 -- that time is running out to strike during the Buddy era.GWS vs. Western BulldogsThe second preliminary final could not be more different.Its too much to claim Saturdays clash at Spotless Stadium is a free hit for the Bulldogs and Giants, but both clubs are under far less pressure than the two teams that will be do battle at the MCG a day earlier.Why?Because both clubs have arrived earlier than expected.Many football experts and fans would have predicted these two sides, particularly the Giants, had the ability to challenge for the premiership over the next two, four or even eight years. So if they fall one or two hurdles short this season, all would not be lost as they should be set for a sustained period of success.Looking at GWS, its perhaps no surprise they are only two wins away from a first premiership trophy.The Giants list is the envy of the competition. Having feasted on 17 top-10 draft picks since 2011 -- the next most in that time is Melbourne with six, while four clubs (the Hawks, Crows, Dockers and Eagles) havent had a single top-10 pick during the same timeframe -- they were always going to rocket up the ladder and smash through the premiership window at some stage. To be on the brink of a premiership in their maiden finals campaign shows just why their rival clubs are worried about an imminent period of domination.The Dogs ability to nail their early and late draft picks, as well as rookie selections, in the past few years also has them set up to be a long-term contender.Under Luke Beveridge, the Bulldogs are tough, hungry and, perhaps most importantly, young. The side that stunned Hawthorn only had a combined 1,899 matches of experience -- exactly 1,500 less than the finals-hardened Hawks.The Dogs are also resilient. The Bulldogs have somehow overcome a seemingly endless amount of injuries, defying enormous adversity throughout the season. For a young side to make the top four after being without their inspirational captain for almost the entire year is testament to Luke Beveridge and the playing group.Whether they win or lose on Saturday, the future is still blindingly bright at Whitten Oval.Extreme pressure is a constant companion during any final. But the pressure gauge is likely to be cranked up an extra notch or two when the Swans and Cats clash for a place in the grand final. Cheap Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys . With the short-handed Warriors needing help from someone -- anyone -- to stop a three-game skid, ONeal returned from right knee and groin injuries that had sidelined him for four games and put up season highs with 18 points and eight rebounds. It was just enough to help lift Golden State to a 102-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. Cheap Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys . The defending champion beat Gael Monfils of France 7-6 (6), 6-3, while second-seeded Andy Murray of Britain dispatched Edouard Roger-Vasselin, also of France, 6-3, 6-3. Making his first appearance since injuring his wrist a month ago, Del Potro had difficulty with his service games in the first set. http://www.wholesalejerseysstore.net/?tag=cheap-los-angeles-chargers-jerseys . The Nashville Predators were glad their captain was still on their side. Weber had a goal and two assists, and Roman Josi scored the shootout winner to lift the Predators to a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Thursday night. jerseys from china . Belfort (24-10) needed just 77 seconds to down Henderson in the headlining bout of Saturdays "UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson" event at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil. The fight served as a rematch of the pairs 2006 meeting, which Henderson won by decision. Cheap Los Angeles Rams Jerseys . Jane Virtanen scored two, and Alex Roach and Elliott Peterson rounded out the offence for the Hitmen (40-15-6). Brady Brassart chipped in with three assists. Colton McCarthy scored twice, Brayden Point had a goal and two assists, and Jack Rodewald also scored for the Warriors (15-35-9), who were 2 for 5 on the power play. ST. LOUIS -- Robby Fabbri was slow to rediscover his scoring touch early in his second NHL season.He finally got his first goal of 2016-17 in the first period Sunday night, and the St. Louis Blues followed with a long-awaited offensive barrage.Fabbri and Jori Lehtera each scored in the first 3:35 and the Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-1.It felt like my first goal last year, said Fabbri, who had 18 goals as a rookie. Its nice to get that weight off my shoulders.St. Louis entered with 26 goals in 12 games this season and hadnt scored more than two goals in any of its past six games.We knew goals were going to come, Blues goalie Jake Allen said. Tonight, the tides turned a little bit and thats nice.Allen stopped 22 shots for St. Louis, and the Blues killed off five power plays.The Blues have won 10 of their last 12 games against Colorado dating to April 2011.Matt Duchene got his sixth goal for Colorado. Semyon Varlamov had stopped 20 of 25 shots, and Calvin Pickard had three saves in the third period for the Avs.Fabbri scored 1:37 into the first on a 2-on-1 break with Dmitrij Jaskin, beating Varlamov to the short side.Lehtera scored from the slot off a pass from Carl Gunnarsson, getting his first goal 3:35 in.The first period today was the best period we played all year, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. Our puck pursuit, our tenacity, our secondary forecheck was excellent. We looked like a team right on the mark.Man, we did a lot of things right. You draw up the game plan and thats exactly what you want. I was really happy with how we played in the first period.After Duchene madee it 2-1 by tipping Francois Beauchemins shot 6:38 into the second, Jaden Schwartz deflected a slap shot by Alexander Steen with 5:06 left in the period and Scottie Upshall buried a back-handed pass from Ryan Reaves about two minutes later.ddddddddddddIt was a great pass, Upshall said. Our fourth line has been working hard lately and getting some chances. It was nice to chip in.David Perron scored with 54 seconds left in the second on a shot that deflected off Varlamovs glove and shoulder.Varlamov was not happy with his performance.You saw what happened. I gave up five goals, Varlamov said. It is my fault. Ill take it.The Avalanche have totaled three goals in their last four games.Weve got to look at each other and look at ourselves in the mirror, Beauchemin said. We can all do more. Its not one, two, three, four guys. Its everybody thats got to step up their game.Game notes Blues D Joe Edmundson did not return after getting hit by Rene Bourque along the boards late in the first period with an upper body injury. Hitchcock said after the game it will be days for Edmundson to be sidelined. ... Colorado LW Blake Comeau was scratched with a groin injury. ... Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla skated in his 1,485th NHL game, moving past Rod BrindAmour for 19th on the NHL career list. Iginla needs three more to tie Wayne Gretzky for 18th.UP NEXT:Colorado: Will play at home against Arizona on Tuesday.St. Louis: Will play at home against Chicago on Wednesday. ' ' '