And so the AFL’s mega-match bonanza begins!
Tuesday, August 18 is the next day on the calendar that won’t see an AFL game played. Well, the fixture hasn’t been done yet, so it’s actually just the next day that’s not guaranteed to have some footy.
Like we said last week, we’ll be publishing this column by weeks for the next little while, rather than strictly by round. This article will cover every match from tonight until next Wednesday, before we go back to publishing on Thursdays.
Last week saw Liam Salter move into a tie atop the The Roar’s AFL expert tipping ladder with myself, after he scored six and I scored five. Marnie Cohen also closed the gap with a score of six, while the Crowd continued to skip away with seven.
That means it’s 40 each for Liam and I, 36 for Marnie and 45 for you clever clogs.
Richmond, Port Adelaide, Carlton, Brisbane, Adelaide, St Kilda, West Coast, GWS Giants, Collingwood | Western Bulldogs, Richmond, Geelong, Melbourne
We begin with a Wednesday night blockbuster between the Bulldogs and the Tigers. Dogs-Tigers at Metricon – it’s on every footy fan’s bucket list.
The Bulldogs are in great nick and being held by the Suns last week says more about how good Gold Coast actually are, but the Tigers absolutely love playing in Queensland and I’ll back them to get into top gear with a win here and another against the injury-hit Lions on Tuesday.
Don’t worry Doggies fans, you’ll rebound in the opening match of Round 10 against the Power.
Carlton had to battle to see off the struggling Kangas last week, but I’m still bullish about them in 2020 and reckon they’ll give the old Hawks a touch-up. Watch for Hawthorn to get cruelled by a dud bounce and Alastair Clarkson savage the AFL for not using a round ball in his press conference.
Brisbane face one of their biggest tests navigating a mini-crisis on the injury front. I’d be tempted to tip against them if they were playing just about anyone other than the similarly-ravaged Bombers. Lions by three goals.
I have no faith in North to arrest their catastrophic collapse – improved performance last week aside, it’ll be two more losses the Roos against the Crows and Cats, so congratulations Adelaide fans, you’re breaking the duck this week up in Queensland. Just don’t count on making it two on the trot against the improving Demons next Wednesday.
St Kilda have a long losing streak against Sydney – ten straight since 2012 – but they’ll find another gear and give the Swans a bit of a bruising at the Gabba. Saturday night’s other match should see West Coast continue their white-hot form with another statement win over the hot-and-cold Cats.
Gold Coast look to be hitting the crossroads on their season, with an important month coming up. As much as I’d like to see them pull through, they’ll get dragged away from the finals race over the next few weeks – starting with a loss to the Giants.
I really hope they keep it close, but they’re probably not quite as good as they thought they were a month ago.
Collingwood will do just enough to get over the Dockers to close out Round 9, but their problems appear more glaring by the week and I wonder if they really are in the premiership race.
There aren’t any certainties in Round 9, so I’m going to cheat a bit and make the shoo-in of the ‘week’ Geelong to beat North Melbourne in Round 10.
Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, Carlton, Brisbane, North Melbourne, St Kilda, West Coast, GWS Giants, Collingwood | Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Geelong, Melbourne
Here we go! The footy marathon is finally here, just as the season really starts to take shape. It’s taken me a bit of time, but I’ve got some sort of grip on how the rest of this season is going to play out.
For Victorian clubs, it’s essentially survival of the fittest. Who is able to keep their best players on the park and, if they can’t, who is going to be able to cover their tracks? We saw Collingwood unravel against West Coast on the weekend as they went in without a handful of their best players and, while they should respond against a 16th-placed Fremantle, it may start proving tricky to keep up with the top sides as the season rolls on at a frantic pace.
Speaking of the Eagles, they and Brisbane are probably the teams to start watching closely. West Coast jumped into fifth on the weekend and, at this stage, don’t look likely to leave Western Australia for a while. If their game against the Pies was anything to go by, it looks like they’ll be pretty hard to stop at home.
Brisbane have really matured as a group and are still playing the majority of their football in Queensland, giving them a golden opportunity to push for a top-two spot for the second season in a row. I expect both sides to win their Round 9 (and Brisbane’s Round 10) matches. Same with the Giants, who could make it two in a row with a win against the Suns.
Not sure about Port Adelaide at the moment. They’re touch-and-go when playing at home, which is so disappointing for their fans. I’ll back them in when playing at the Gabba but not at Adelaide Oval. Confusing I know, but that’s just about been the theme of season 2020.
As for the most highly anticipated clash of Round 9? It’s got to be North vs Adelaide in a battle between 17th and 18th. The fact that this game is being played in Queensland is North Melbourne’s saving grace and I just hope they can keep Adelaide winless for one more round. Both sides looked a lot better over the weekend, despite falling short.
The rest of the games over the next week or so should be interesting and more so, I’m looking forward to seeing who can stand up to the pressures of this blockbuster fixture and who falls by the wayside.
Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, Carlton, Brisbane, North Melbourne, St Kilda, West Coast, GWS Giants, Collingwood | Western Bulldogs, Brisbane, Geelong, Adelaide
So. Much. Footy. I’m pumped.
Tonight’s Dogs-Tigers clash is a good one to get us started. Richmond’s injury woes are increasingly concerning, and the Bulldogs are bloody consistent of late. Expect Luke Beveridge’s side to secure victory – but it’ll be close. Both teams play early next week too after short breaks; the Dogs against the Power, Richmond against the Lions. It’s hard this far out, but I’m going to tip the Dogs again, while the Tigers could go 0-2 with a loss against the Queenslanders.
Clashes later in the week should see Carlton and Port secure easy wins over the Hawks and Melbourne – though both have upset potential – with Brisbane also my tip to secure a win over the Dons on the Gold Coast on Friday night. North and the Crows clash on Saturday afternoon, with the two lowest-ranked teams playing at Metricon. Adelaide has seen some good form of late, albeit in their home city, meaning I can’t be swayed to tip them for the upset.
St Kilda and West Coast are coming off superb wins and should defeat Sydney and an undermanned Geelong, respectively. The Eagles’ West Aussie counterparts play a day later, clashing with Collingwood. After Monday night, my confidence in Freo is not high, but the Pies were similarly woeful last week. Flip a coin, I’ll go the Magpies.
The battle of the expansion clubs – Suns versus Giants – also entices on Sunday. The former has had the better season, but the latter bounced back with a win last weekend. A genuinely difficult tip, I’ll have to go the Giants. The Suns are 1-3 from their last four, and they’re looking a little less enticing a tip than earlier this year.
Next Wednesday has a doubleheader: Geelong hosting North, Adelaide back on home soil, clashing with Melbourne. Geelong – despite their recent woes – have a strong record against the Roos and won’t lose this. The Crows will be back on home soil, and this is an upset I’m going to risk tipping a week out.
Note: You’ll notice below that you’re only able to enter your tips for Round 9’s matches – don’t fret, you don’t need to put your tips in for Round 10 until Monday. Check back on this article on then for an updated list or, if you want to get a head start, click on this link to head to our AFL tipping hub and get your tips in early.
|Rounds 9/10||Stirling||Marnie||Liam||The Crowd|
|WB vs RCH||RCH||WB||WB||WB|
|MEL vs PA||PA||PA||PA||PA|
|CAR vs HAW||CAR||CAR||CAR||CAR|
|ESS vs BL||BL||BL||BL||BL|
|NM vs ADE||ADE||NM||NM||NM|
|STK vs SYD||STK||STK||STK||STK|
|WCE vs GEE||WCE||WCE||WCE||WCE|
|GCS vs GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS|
|FRE vs COL||COL||COL||COL||COL|
|PA vs WB||WB||WB||WB||PA|
|RCH vs BL||RCH||BL||BL||BL|
|GEE vs NM||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE|
|ADE vs MEL||MEL||MEL||ADE||MEL|