Round 10 the 2021 AFL season kicks off with a blockbuster Friday night clash, while the Dees look almost certain of going 10-0. 

Brisbane Lions v Richmond @ Gabba

Friday 21st May, 19:50 (AEST)

BrisbaneRichmond
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Coleman, Andrews, StarcevichBBroad, Balta, Grimes
HBRich, Adams, BirchallHBShort, Vlastuin, Ralphsmith
CZorko, Bailey, McCluggageCMcIntosh, Collier-Dawkins, Pickett
HFAh Chee, Daniher, McCarthyHFRioli, Naish, Castagna
FMcStay, Hipwood, CameronFLynch, Martin, Riewoldt
FOLMcInerney, Lyons, RobinsonFOLNankervis, Baker, Graham
I/CRobertson, Prior, Mathieson, MaddenI/CRoss, Houli, Aarts, Astbury


History:
Played 50: Brisbane 17 v Richmond 32 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Qualifying Final, 2020: Brisbane (69) def Richmond (54)

Final Thoughts: The Lions go into this one strong favourites after five wins in a row. The last time these two played, in last year’s qualifying final, Brisbane overpowered eventual the eventual premiers. The Lions’ scoring output has been huge in recent weeks. In the opening four rounds they averaged 75 points per game. Since then, however, they’ve averaged over 103 points per round. The resurgence has seen them shorten from $3.50 into $2 Top 4 hopes with Palmerbet.

The Tigers have been inconsistent in the last month — their head-to-head price in this one ($3.03) perhaps reflective of that. Wins over the Dogs and Giants have been interspersed with defeats to Melbourne and Geelong. While this is a crunch game, a host of stars (Bolton, Cotchin, Edwards, Prestia) won’t get up this week, and Damien Hardwick will again rely on some lesser lights at the Gabba.

Tip: Line, Richmond +16.5 @ $1.90

Carlton v Hawthorn @ MCG

Saturday 22nd May, 13:45 (AEST)

CarltonHawthorn
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Saad, Jones, PlowmanBHardwick, Hartigan, Frost
HBWilliams, Weitering, DochertyHBGreaves, Jiath, Impey
CCottrell, Cripps, SetterfieldCShiels, Cousins, Phillips
HFMurphy, De Koning, SetterfieldHFWorpel, Breust, Wingard
FGibbons, McKay, OwiesFMoore, Lewis, Koschitzke
FOLPittonet, Walsh, CurnowFOLMcEvoy, Mitchell, O’Meara
I/CBetts, Stocker, Newman, SilvagniI/CScrimshaw, Morrison, Hanrahan, Reeves


History:
Played 168: Carlton 103 v Hawthorn 65

Last Meeting: AFL Round 9, 2020: Carlton (58) def Hawthorn (89)

Final Thoughts: It’s been a poor, at times confusing last month at IKON Park as the Blues have slipped to 3-6 after losing four of their last five games. It goes without saying that David Teague’s side need a result this week. Any last hope of making the AFL Finals this season (the Blues are already out to $5) could lengthen considerably should they fail to grab the four points. Teague is likely to regain Jack Silvagni for Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks grabbed the unwanted tag of becoming the first team to lose to the (previously winless) North Melbourne in Round 9. Four-time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson has won just one of his last eight games (a three-point comeback win over the lowly Crows) and things are looking bleak at Waverley. They do, however, face a slightly easier run in the coming weeks, with Sydney the only Top 8 side they’re due to face in the next five rounds.

Tip: Margin/Total Points Double, Carlton 40+/Over 172.5 @ $5.00

Geelong v Gold Coast Suns @ GMHBA Stadium

Saturday 22nd May, 14:10 (AEST)

GeelongGold Coast
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Henderson, Blicavs, HenryBPowell, Collins, Lemmens
HBAtkins, Stewart, BewesHBLukosius, Ballard, Markov
CSmith, C.Guthrie, MenegolaCEllis, Greenwood, Atkins
HFHiggins, Cameron, NarkleHFWeller, Burgess, Holman
FClose, Hawkins, RohanFRankine, King, Sexton
FOLRatugolea, Duncan, SelwoodFOLSmith, Swallow, Miller
I/CKolodjashnij, Tuohy, Parfitt, DahlhausI/CAnderson, Corbett, Flanders, Graham


History:
Played 12: Geelong 10 v Gold Coast 2

Last Meeting: AFL Round 5, 2020: Geelong (89) def Gold Coast (52)

Final Thoughts: Premiership favourites Geelong ($4.80) just keep on keeping on, and should hold onto their Top 4 spot with a win on Saturday afternoon. The Cats were by no means brilliant in Round 9 against the Saints, but like all good, seasoned sides, got the job done. Kolodjashnij and Dahlhaus are pushing to play, but whether they get up is unsure.

For all the promise of the Suns, they are without doubt one of the most inconsistent clubs in the AFL. One week they bring incredible heat around the footy, the next they are almost entirely ineffective. Stuart Dew prides himself on competitiveness, and last week’s 73-point loss in the Q-clash would have hurt. Expect a response. Touk Miller will return.

Tip: Line, Gold Coast + 44.5 @ $1.90

Adelaide v Melbourne @ Adelaide Oval

Saturday 22nd May, 16:35 (AEST)

AdelaideMelbourne
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Doedee, Butts, MurrayBHibberd, May, Lever
HBSmith, Jones, BrownHBSalem, Petty, Hunt
CSholl, Keays, SeedsmanCBrayshaw, Petracca, Langdon
HFMcHenry, Walker, BerryHFJordon, McDonald, Neal-Bullen
FRowe, Thilthorpe, FogartyFSpargo, Jackson, Fritsch
FOLO’Brien, Laird, SloaneFOLGawn, Oliver, Pickett
I/CSchoenberg, Kelly, McAdam, MackayI/CHarmes, Melksham, Rivers, Weideman

 

History: Played 41: Adelaide 25 v Melbourne 16

Last Meeting: AFL Round 10, 2020: Adelaide (37) def by Melbourne (88)

Final Thoughts: The Crows are the competition’s only club to be winless in the last five weeks, and the heat is set to be turned right up on Matthew Nicks. After surging to 3-1, Adelaide were $3.60 AFL Finals hopes with Palmerbet. But any remaining Top 8 hopes would appear extinguished, now out to $26. First and foremost they need to be competitive in this one — covering the line (31.5) would be a good start.

While the Crows are languishing, the Dees are on cloud nine. Going 9-0 for the first times since 1956, Simon Goodwin’s side have proven in the last month that they can win with both style (against Richmond) and grunt (Sydney, Carlton). With Luke Jackson appearing available, the Dees face a selection headache. Goodwin can’t pick Sam Weideman, Ben Brown, Tom McDonald AND Jackson, so will need to make a tough call at selection.

Tip: To score 3+ goals, Tom McDonald (Melb) @ $2.80

Western Bulldogs v St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium

Saturday 22nd May, 19:25 (AEST)

Western BulldogsSt Kilda
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Hunter, R.Smith, WeightmanBFrawley, Wilkie, Geary
HBJohannisen, Hannan, McNeilHBWebster, Howard, Sinclair
CScott, Liberatore, B.SmithCBillings, Crouch, Hill
HFKeath, Bruce, CordyHFButler, Battle, Higgins
FDale, Bontempelli, NaughtonFLonie, Membrey, King
FOLSweet, Macrae, TreloarFOLRyder, Steele, Ross
I/CDuryea, Daniel, Williams, CrozierI/CClark, Bytel, Byrnes, McKernan


History:
Played 163: Western Bulldogs 76 v St Kilda 84 (3 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL Elimination Final, 2020: St Kilda (67) def Western Bulldogs (64)

Final Thoughts: If Melbourne are the competition’s darling side right now, then the Dogs aren’t far behind. Luke Beveridge’s men did their premiership credentials no harm with an away win over Port Adelaide in Round 9. At $5 for the flag, they’re only *just* behind favourites Geelong ($4.80). A win here will keep them two games (and percentage) clear in second, while (naturally) bodes really well for this exciting side.

The Saints were significantly improved all over the park in Round 9 — except in front of goal. A horror display in front of the big sticks (typified by Max King’s 1.5) cost them a shot at victory against the Cats, and undoubtedly would have been addressed this week. Despite a rollercoaster start to the season, the Saints’ predicament (4-5) in salvageable, and an easier run awaits after this week (North Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide). But they simply must be competitive here.

Tip: Margin, Western Bulldogs 1-39 @ $2.10

Fremantle v Sydney @ Optus Stadium

Saturday 22nd May, 19:40 (AEST)

FremantleSydney
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Aish, Logue, RyanBMcCartin, Rampe, Lloyd
HBWilson, Cox, TuckerHBHewett, Fox, Cunningham
CAcres, Mundy, ColyerCMills, Kennedy, Blakey
HFCrowden, Lobb, SwitkowskiHFWicks, McLean, Hayward
FSchultz, Taberner, WaltersFPapley, Franklin, Heeney
FOLDarcy, Fyfe, CerraFOLHickey, Parker, Rowbottom
I/C Treacy, Henry, Serong, WatsonI/C Dawson, Florent, Warner, Stephens

 

History: Played 36: Fremantle 16 v Sydney 19 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 13, 2020: Fremantle (50) def Sydney (19)

Final Thoughts: Saturday night’s clash is a huge one for the beleaguered Dockers. After a strong start to the season, Justin Longmuir’s side have lost their last three and are desperate to return to the winners circle. They come into it with strong recent form against the Swans at Optus Stadium, however, claiming victory in both 2020 and 2019 in low-scoring encounters.

The larger surface in Perth should suit the Swans, however some forecast rain could wreck havoc with their short kicking, keepings off game they’ve employed successfully in 2021 to date. Precipitation won’t worry John Longmire, though, after the Swans showed in Round 8 against the Dees that they’re still ultra-competitive in the wet. Both Errol Gulden (at one stage $3 Rising Star favourite) and Braeden Campbell have sustained stress-related foot and shin injuries respectively and won’t feature until after the mid-season bye.

Tip: Margin, Sydney 1-39 @ $2.25

GWS Giants v West Coast Eagles @ Giants Stadium

Sunday 23rd May, 13:10 (AEST)

GWSWest Coast
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Buckley, Taylor, HaynesBEdwards, Barrass, Sheppard
HBBuntine, Cumming, ReidHBHurn, Rotham, Cole
CWhitfield, Ward, AshCRedden, Sheed, Cripps
HFHill, Finlayson, KellyHFBrander, Darling, Petruccelle
FLloyd, Hogan, HimmelbergFAllen, Kennedy, Ryan
FOLFlynn, Taranto, HopperFOLNaitanui, Kelly, Gaff
I/C (from)Idun, O’Halloran, Briggs, Mumford, Bruhn, Green, Sproule, RiccardiI/C (from)Waterman, Langdon, Witherden, O’Neill, Nelson, Jones, Williams, Ah Chee

 

History: Played 12: GWS 3 v West Coast 9

Last Meeting: AFL Round 13, 2020: West Coast (61) def GWS Giants (49)

Final Thoughts: The Giants could, and arguably should, be inside the Top 8 heading into Round 10, but fell at the final hurdle against Richmond last weekend. The loss has hurt all the more with the news that 2021 talisman Toby Greene is set to spend a month on the sidelines.

The Eagles have bounced back nicely from their 97-point humbling by Geelong, with three straight wins by 59, 38 and 30 points respectively. But none of these were against Top 8 sides, and the scepticism will remain whether they can get it done on the bigger stage in 2021. Both Shannon Hurn and Liam Ryan trained earlier this week and would be huge ins if both can get up for this one.

Tip: Line, West Coast -7.5 @ $1.90

Collingwood v Port Adelaide @ MCG

Sunday 23rd May, 15:20 (AEST)

CollingwoodPort Adelaide
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Mayne, Roughead, MaynardBBurton, McKenzie, Aliir
HBQuaynor, Moore, NobleHBHarlett, Jonas, Byrne-Jones
CHoskin-Elliott, Adams, PoulterCHouston, Wines, Amon
HFSidebottom, Cameron, T.BrownHFGeorgiades, Marshall, Motlop
FThomas, De Goey, MihocekFRozee, Dixon, Gray
FOLGrundy, Pendlebury, CrispFOLLadhams, Boak, Powell-Pepper
I/C (from)Bianco, C.Brown, Daicos, Keane, Madgen, McCreery, Murphy, WilsonI/C (from)Bergman, Drew, Bonner, Farrell, Woodcock, Lienert, Jones, Mayes

 

History: Played 32: Collingwood 16 v Port Adelaide 16

Last Meeting: AFL Round 18, 2020: Collingwood (45) def by Port Adelaide (61)

Final Thoughts: Given the off-field back-and-forth between these two clubs in 2021 surrounding the controversial prison bars jumper, they finally get the chance to get one over each other on the field. And make no mistake, the Power will come out firing. Not just because of the heritage guernsey, but coming off a poor performance against the Dogs, Ken Hinkley will demand an improvement. And they’ll relish the chance to again play on the MCG, having played there just once since July 2019.

The Pies (2-7) are vulnerable in this one, and their distinct lack of confidence was exposed in a Round 9 loss to the Swans. After taking a three-goal quarter time lead, Nathan Buckley’s men kicked just one goal beyond that. Supporters are after competitiveness in this one, and they’d do well to cover the +19.5 line. Jordan Roughead and Nathan Murphy should return.

Tip: To score 2+ goals, Robbie Gray (Port) @ $2.80

Essendon v North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium

Sunday 23rd May, 16:40 (AEST)

EssendonNorth Melbourne
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Laverde, Stewart, FrancisBHall, McKay, Atley
HBHeppell, Ridley, RedmanHBZiebell, Walker, Menadue
CMcGrath, Merrett, CoxCDumont, Cunnington, La.Young
HFWaterman, Jones, SnellingHFTurner, Larkey, Zurhaar
FHooker, Wright, McDonald-TipungwutiFTaylor, Campbell, Thoas
FOLPhillips, Parish, LangfordFOLGoldstein, Davies-Uniacke, Simpkin
I/C (from)Hind, Guelfi, Perkins, Zaharakis, Ambrose, Cahill, Bryan, HamI/C (from)Mahony, Garner, Scott, Bosenavulagi, Powell, Phillips, Lazzaro, Xerri

 

History: Played 159: Essendon 101 v North Melbourne 57 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 6, 2020: Essendon (67) def North Melbourne (53)

Final Thoughts: Most of the football world celebrated with North Melbourne last week, snapping their winless streak to get on the board for the first time in 2021. And they’ve got a chance to make it two from two on Sunday evening against one of their fiercest (modern) rivals. But while on paper Essendon are struggling (3-6), they pose a far greater threat than what Hawthorn did last weekend, and Ben Rutten’s men should get the chocolates here. The Dons also have the wood over the Kangaroos in recent times, winning their last five clashes.

Tip: Margin, Essendon 1-39 @ $2.10