It’s a dream fixture for AFL fans with all-time battles between the Power and Crows, Pies and Blues, Dogs and Giants, Bombers and Swans, Tigers and Dees and the Q-Clash.
All our best tips and analyses are below.
game of the week: Crows vs. Power
29th July 7:40PM
Up to five matches could have easily held the mantle as Game of the Week in Round 20, but we’ve gone with arguably the greatest rivalry in the AFL with Saturday night’s Showdown between Adelaide and Port Adelaide.
The Power, who still sit in second spot despite two consecutive losses, will be hoping to bounce back into form following their gut-wrenching two-point loss to Collingwood in Round 19. Port led by as much as 17 points at three-quarter time before the Pies stormed home with six goals in the final term. Willie Rioli was handed a one-week suspension, but they’ll be buoyed by the return of Darcy Byrne-Jones across half-back.
Adelaide’s another team that desperately needs to turn their form around, with their four-point loss to Melbourne making it three straight for Matthew Nicks’ men. Sitting in 13th on the ladder and a game and a half outside the eight, the Crows will happily welcome star midfielder Rory Laird back into the team after missing with a shoulder injury. However, they will need to find coverage for Izak Rankine (hamstring) and Nick Murray (ACL), with Irishman Mark Keane tipped to provide defensive coverage.
The Crows have saluted in two of the past three Showdowns, but there’s little doubt Ken Hinkley will have his side fired up as Brisbane mount pressure on their top two spot.
TIP: Same Game Multi
- Leg 1: Port Adelaide 1-39
- Leg 2: D. Houston 25+ disposals
- Leg 3: T. Walker 2+ goals
- Leg 4: T. Marshall goal in 1st half
- Total: $6.75
Magpies vs. Blues
28th July 7:50pm
Friday night footy doesn’t get much better than an in-form Collingwood and Carlton going head-to-head at the MCG. The Pies firmed as flag favourites following their thrilling victory over the Power in Adelaide, and their winning ways should continue with Carlton attempting to find replacements for the injured Sam Walsh, Jack Silvagni, and Jesse Motlop.
TIP: Magpies 1-39 @ $2.03
Cats vs. Dockers
29th July 1:45pm
Geelong is right in the thick of the finals arms race in eighth position on the ladder following their valiant 11-point loss to the Lions at The Gabba. It was the Cats’ first defeat since Round 14, having accounted for Essendon, the Kangaroos and Melbourne in that time. James Aish, Bailey Banfield and Nathan O’Driscoll are pushing for a recall at Fremantle, with their season all but over on the back of four straight losses and no Sean Darcy.
TIP: Under (-169.5) @ $1.87
Bulldogs vs. Giants
29th July 1:45pm
Another mouthwatering prospect as 5th and 7th battle at Mars Stadium in the frosty surrounds of Ballarat. The Giants are the form side of the competition with six straight wins. Toby Greene, Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio, and a resurgent Lachie Whitfield are leading the charge for Adam Kingsley’s men. The Dogs won’t have the same home-ground advantage as they would at Marvel, but they did demolish the Crows by 45 points in B-Rat earlier in the season.
TIP: Bulldogs to win @ $1.50
Suns vs. Lions
29th July 4:35PM
The Q-Clash might have a different level of interest than previous editions, but the Lions will be keen to keep pressuring Port Adelaide for second spot on the ladder. Currently sitting in third and one game behind the Power, the Lions will need to do so without young gun Will Ashcroft after he ruptured his ACL. It should still be a comfortable day at the office for the Lions.
TIP: Lions (-20.5) @ $1.90
Bombers vs. Swans
29th July 7:25PM
Can Essendon break their form slump and reignite a finals run? Having lost four of their past five games, the Bombers are desperate to turn their season around with a strong showing against a Swans side that has won their past two against the Dogs and Dockers. Jordan Ridley is set to miss the next month for the Bombers with a quad injury, while the Swans are as fit and healthy as they could be—a close one.
TIP: T. Papley first goal scorer @ $9.50
Hawks vs. Saints
30th July 1:10PM
There are no two ways about it; this is it for the Saints. Despite sitting in sixth, Ross Lyon’s chargers have struggled to recapture their early-season form with two wins (North and WCE) from their past six games. If the ever-improving Hawks can taste victory this weekend, it’s just about lights out for the boys from Moorabbin.
TIP: Hawks to win @ $2.10
Tigers vs. Demons
30th July 3:20pm
Melbourne is back in the premiership hunt, and they’re back in a big way. The greatest indicator of the Dees’ return to form has come on the scoreboard, with an average of 94 points from their past three wins. Christian Petracca up forward, Kozzie Pickett in the midfield and Max Gawn as the sole ruck have been Simon Goodwin’s masterstrokes, and the Tigers will undoubtedly be up against it in this one.
TIP: Demons to win @ $1.51
Eagles vs. Kangaroos
30th July 4:40PM
The cellar-dwellers will go head-to-head for the second time this season after North saluted by five points in the season’s opening round. It’s been a tough slog for both since then, but the Roos will welcome co-captain Jy Simpkin back in place of the injured Liam Shiels (calf). Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern will strengthen up the Eagles’ defense, but they still need to find goals and improve their 59.5ppg.
TIP: North Melbourne (-4.5) @ $1.90