GWS Giants and Hawthorn get AFL Round 21 under on Friday night with the race for finals spots hotting up.
Three-way leaders Geelong Cats, West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Lions will all look to stay ahead in the battle for the top two spots with Richmond Tigers breathing down their necks.
All four sides have home fixtures, and we preview all of the Round 21 action:
GWS Giants v Hawthorn
GWS will head in as favourites and have been the superior side over the course of 2019. The Giants sit in 5th position of the ladder with 12 wins from 19 games under their belt, while Hawthorn have won just eight and are languishing in 12th position. Last weekend, GWS accounted for their local rivals, Sydney, in a thrilling contest by two points, while Hawthorn struggled after quarter time in their game against North Melbourne, going down to the Kangaroos by 22. Hawthorn can give this a shake but the Giants should have the answers in front of goal.
Prediction: Giants by 1-39 ($2.06 TopBetta)
Melbourne Demons v Collingwood
It has been a disappointing season for Melbourne, who have just three games remaining until the curtain closes on their 2019 campaign. The Demons have managed just five wins this year and are languishing in 17th position. Last weekend it was a 33 point loss to Richmond for the struggling club. They take on a Collingwood outfit that come off a confidence building 69 point win over the Gold Coast Suns at the MCG. That win snapped a two game losing streak for the Magpies, who sit in 6th position on the ladder. Collingwood’s form has been a bit shaky but it is hard to see them dropping this one.
Prediction: Pies by 1-39 ($1.99 TopBetta)
Port Adelaide v Sydney Swans
Port Adelaide stormed back into finals contention with a big win over Essendon last weekend and will be looking to back that form up. The Power knocked over the Bombers by 59 points and are just one game outside the top eight with nine wins under their belt for season 2019. They take on a Sydney outfit that are out of contention with just six wins but the Swans will be no pushovers and they almost defeated the 5th placed GWS last weekend, going down to the Giants by two points. This will be a close one but Port Adelaide should grind out a win.
Prediction: Power by 1-39 ($1.97 TopBetta)
Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast Suns
Brisbane will head in as overwhelming favourites and sit in 3rd position on the ladder with 14 wins under their belt. Only percentage separates them from the faltering ladder leaders, Geelong. The interest in this game might centre around the margin and a big result for the Lions should see them rise above West Coast. Their opponents, the Gold Coast, have won just three games this season with all of those coming in the first month of the season. It has been a 15 game losing streak since then and in Round 19 they went down to Collingwood by 69. This all points to a big win for the Lions.
Prediction: Lions -50.5 ($1.90 TopBetta)
Essendon Bombers v Western Bulldogs
This is a must win game for Essendon, who are not completely safe in their quest to qualify for the finals. The Bombers sit in 7th position on the ladder and have some space on the chasing pack but another loss might turn out to be costly. The Dons come off a 59 point loss to Port Adelaide last weekend and will be out to rediscover the form that saw them win their five games prior to that. Their opponents, the Western Bulldogs, are all but out of the finals race after going down to Brisbane by 18 points last weekend. The Western Bulldogs have won the past four games between the two sides and represent the value in the head to head betting.
Prediction: Bulldogs win ($1.96 TopBetta)
Geelong Cats v North Melbourne
This shapes as another danger game for Geelong, who have stumbled in recent times. The Cats set the pace in 2019 but their grip on top spot is looking very shaky as they have lost four of their past seven since the mid season bye. Last weekend, it was a shock loss to Fremantle, going down to the struggling Dockers by 34 points. They face a North Melbourne outfit that looked sharp after quarter time of their Round 20 clash, overcoming a deficit to defeat Hawthorn by 22 points. Geelong are on shaky ground at the moment and North Melbourne can give them a fright.
Prediction: Roos +22.5 ($1.90 TopBetta)
St Kilda v Fremantle Dockers
St Kilda come off a 22 point loss to the Adelaide Crows last weekend and that result ended any hopes the club may have had of making the finals this season. The Saints sit in 14th position with eight wins from their 19 games. Fremantle remain some small semblance of hope of featuring in the September action after registering an upset 34 point victory over the competition’s ladder leaders, Geelong, in Round 20. The Dockers are just one game outside the eight and a win here will keep them in the hunt. Fremantle have won the past two games between the two sides, but St Kilda can win this one in a close game.
Prediction: Saints by 1-39 ($2.14 TopBetta)
Richmond Tigers v Carlton
Richmond have stormed into premiership favouritism on the back of six wins on the trot and another victory here will lock in a top four spot. The Tigers come off a 33 point win over Melbourne, their 13th for the season, one fewer than the ladder leaders, Geelong. Carlton, have been the improvers in the second half of the season and have won five of their eight games under David Teague. However, the Blues were no match for West Coast last weekend, going down to the premiers by 24 points. Richmond will be too good here but the Blues represent value at the line that has been set.
Prediction: Blues +33.5 ($1.87 TopBetta)
West Coast Eagles v Adelaide Crows
West Coast head in as favourites for the big game and the Eagles could find themselves in top spot at the end of the weekend if they are to register a win. The 2018 premiers sit in 2nd spot on the ladder, just percentage behind the ladder leaders Geelong, and come off a 24 point victory over Carlton last weekend. Despite registering an important 22 point win over St Kilda last weekend, the Crows are just clinging on to their spot in the eight. West Coast will be far too good for the Crows in this game.
Prediction: Eagles -25.5 ($1.90 TopBetta)