Round 11 of the AFL season pits the top four as strong favourites against their respective opponents and with that, a chance to widen the gap at the top. AFL Tips and Preview below.
Friday 31st May, 19:50 (AEST)
|Williams, Thompson, Pittard||B||Garthwaite, Astbury, Grimes|
|HB||Atley, Tarrant, Macmillan||HB||Broad, Edwards, Houli|
|C||Dumont, Anderson, Polec||C||Ellis, Prestia, McIntosh|
|HF||Ziebell, Wood, Simpkin||HF||Higgins, Castagna, Butler|
|F||Larkey, Brown, Thomas||F||Martin, Lynch, Balta|
|FOL||Goldstein, Cunnington, Higgins||FOL||Soldo, Cotchin, Vlastuin|
|I/C||Davies-Uniacke, McDonald, Turner, Zurhaar||I/C||Stack, Baker, Bolton, Caddy|
History: Played 159: North Melbourne 72 v Richmond 85 (2 draws).
Last Meeting: Marvel Stadium, AFL round 8, 2018: North Melbourne 11.6 (72) lost to Richmond 12.10 (82).
Final Thoughts: What a week it’s been for North Melbourne. Nine-year coach Brad Scott said goodbye, and in comes the inexperienced Rhyce Shaw as ‘caretaker’ for over half the season. No pressure, Rhyce. And while the Roos were brilliant against the Dogs in an emotional game last weekend, this week represents a whole different kettle of fish. Down at Punt Road, the Tigers just keep on keeping on. A solid win over the Dons last week in the Dreamtime clash gave them their sixth win in seven games. Their form, combined with the fact they’ve won their last two encounters with the Roos, make them tough to look past in Round 11.
Saturday 1st June, 13:45 (AEST)
|Maynard, Roughead, Greenwood||B||Hamling, Pearce, Ryan|
|HB||Crisp, Moore, Howe||HB||Hughes, Wilson, Bewley|
|C||Phillips, Pendlebury, Mayne||C||Hill, Fyfe, Langdon|
|HF||Thomas, Reid, Hoskin-Elliott||HF||Cerra, Cox, Conca|
|F||Stephenson, Mihocek, De Goey||F||Walters, Hogan, Maters|
|FOL||Grundy, Sidebottom, Treloar||FOL||Lobb, Tucker, Mundy|
|I/C||Beams, Brown, Aish, Varcoe||I/C||Duncan, Brayshaw, Blakely, Switkowski|
History: Played 30: Collingwood 19 v Fremantle 11.
Last Meeting: Optus Stadium, AFL round 23, 2018: Fremantle 9.13 (67) lost to Collingwood 11.10 (76)
Final Thoughts: Both sides escaped with narrow wins last week, but the Dockers’ after-the-siren victory could prove far more critical in the context of their season. Staring down the barrel of 4-6, Michael Walters’ decisive poster from 50 squeezed Ross Lyon’s side into the eight. They face one of footy’s toughest tests this week, however, in their first trip to the MCG in 2019. The Dockers haven’t beaten the Pies at the home of footy in their last six goes, and were thumped to the tune of ten goals in this fixture last year. While they should put up a better fight this time around, it’s hard to see them edging Nathan Buckley’s troops for the four points. As they have done all season, expect the Pies to come home hard in Round 11.
Saturday 1st June, 13:45 (AEST)
|Kennedy, Haynes, Davis||B||Murdoch, Burgess, Ballard|
|HB||Shaw, Keeffe, Whitfield||HB||Joyce, Hombsch, Weller|
|C||Tomlinson, Hopper, Finlayson||C||Horlin-Smith, Martin, Powell|
|HF||Perryman, Cameron, Deledio||HF||Lukosius, Wright, Corbett|
|F||Greene, Himmelberg, Reid||F||MacPherson, Sexton, Holman|
|FOL||Mumford, Coniglio, Taranto||FOL||Witts, Swallow, Bowes|
|I/C||Daniels, Kelly, Cumming, de Boer||I/C||Fiorini, Miles, King, Schoenfeld|
History: Played 11: GWS 7 v Gold Coast 4.
Last Meeting: Giants Stadium, AFL round 12, 2018: GWS 20.14 (134) defeated Gold Coast 4.2 (26).
Final Thoughts: The Suns haven’t beaten the Giants since 2014, and the footy world would be staggered if that run of losses was broken this weekend. Like most of their games this season, Stuart Dew’s side were competitive last week against the Cats but, again, as we’ve seen before, lack the depth to get over the line. Conversely, the Giants are a well-oiled machine that look more promising by the week. Midfield jet Lachie Whitfield has incredible shortened from a $34 Brownlow hope into $4. His side beat the Suns by 108 points in this fixture last season, and will look to get another percentage-boosting win on Saturday afternoon. However, the Giants have won just five of 10 first quarters this season, compared to the Suns’ six. Can the visiting side start with a bang?
Saturday 1st June, 16:35 (AEST)
|Kolodjashnij, Tuohy, Stewart||B||Melican, Rampe, Mills|
|HB||Blicavs, Taylor, O’Connor||HB||McVeigh, Aliir, Lloyd|
|C||Dangerfield, Kelly, Duncan||C||Heeney, Hewett, Florent|
|HF||Rohan, Ratugolea, Hawkins||HF||Papley, Reid, Blakey|
|F||Atkins, Dahlhaus, Miers||F||McCartin, Franklin, Hayward|
|FOL||Stanley, C. Guthrie, Selwood||FOL||Sinclair, Parker, Dawson|
|I/C||Henry, Clark, Parsons, Parfitt||I/C||Fox, O’Riordan, Clarke, Menzel|
History: Played 223: Geelong 122 v Sydney 101.
Last Meeting: SCG, AFL round 16, 2018: Sydney 9.5 (59) lost to Geelong 8.23 (71).
Final Thoughts: At 9-1, the Cats are absolutely flying. And while they’ll be without Gary Ablett this week – finally suspended for the first time in his illustrious career – they should prove too strong for the Swans. John Longmire’s side have been impressive in recent weeks, and almost pulled off an upset win against the Pies last week. Despite sitting in the bottom four, there’s renewed hope around the SCG that, indeed, the Swans are tracking in the right direction. Their young kids are playing well and the rebuild will take patience, something Bloods fans aren’t overly used to. They caused an upset win at the Cattery last year, but were they to do it again it would be an even more famous win.
Saturday 1st June, 19:25 (AEST)
|Hodge, Andrews, Rich||B||O’Brien, Frawley, Burgoyne|
|HB||Witherden, Gardiner, Answerth||HB||Stratton, Sicily, Hardwick|
|C||Robinson, Neale, McCluggage||C||Scully, Shiels, Henderson|
|HF||Rayner, Hipwood, McCarthy||HF||Breust, Gunston, Puopolo|
|F||Cameron, McStay, Taylor||F||Wingard, Ceglar, Impey|
|FOL||Martin, Zorko, Lyons||FOL||Pittonet, Worpel, O’Meara|
|I/C||Keays, Robertson, Mathieson, Smith||I/C||Glass, Cousins, Lewis, Smith|
History: Played 32: Brisbane 15 v Hawthorn 17.
Last Meeting: University of Tasmania Stadium, AFL round 17, 2018: Brisbane 15.8 (98) d Hawthorn 9.11 (65).
Final Thoughts: The Lion’s admitted on Tuesday they were still getting over their last-gasp loss to the Dockers on Sunday, undone by a kick after the siren. Still, things could be worse for Chris Fagan, and his young troops are still inside the top eight. And in facing the Hawks – as a pure contest – this is the match of the round. Hawthorn are coming off the back of a brilliant 31-point win over the Power in Tassie, and are looking for their first consecutive wins of the season. But they’ll have to do it against a side that beat them at both opportunities last season. A Saturday night special in Round 11, indeed.
Saturday 1st June, 19:40 (AEST)
|Hibberd, Frost, Wagner||B||Brown, Talia, Hartigan|
|HB||Hore, O. McDonald, Hunt||HB||Smith, Keath, Laird|
|C||Brayshaw, Viney, Baker||C||Milera, B. Crouch, Atkins|
|HF||Jones, T. McDonald, Petracca||HF||Seedsman, Walker, Lynch|
|F||Garlett, Smith, Harmes||F||Murphy, Jenkins, Betts|
|FOL||Gawn, Hannan, Oliver||FOL||O’Brien, Gibbs, Sloane|
|I/C||Salem, Spargo, Stretch, Fritsch||I/C||Greenwood, Gallucci, Kelly, Ellis-Yolmen|
History: Played 39: Melbourne 15 v Adelaide 24
Last Meeting: Adelaide Oval, AFL round 19, 2018: Adelaide 10.17 (77) lost to Melbourne 13.12 (90)
Final Thoughts: Both sides are coming off the back of losses but in truth, the Dees’ predicament is much worse than the Crows. Completely outclassed at home to the Giants on Sunday, Simon Goodwin’s side are desperate for a win in the Top End. While they won’t get Jake Lever back quite yet (he’ll play in the VFL this week), they welcome back the likes of Christian Salem, Michael Hibberd and Mitch Hannan. The Crows are looking to arrest two-straight losses but should they play to their potential, Don Pyke’s side will walk away with the points in Round 11.
Sunday 2nd June, 14:20 (AEST)
|St Kilda||Port Adelaide|
|McKenzie, Brown, Savage||B||Burton, Clurey, Houston|
|HB||Wilkie, Battle, Geary||HB||Jonas, Howard, Byrne-Jones|
|C||Long, Ross, Newnes||C||Duursma, R. Gray, Amon|
|HF||Billings, Bruce, Sinclair||HF||Farrell, Westhoff, Motlop|
|F||Kent, Membrey, Parker||F||S. Gray, Ryder, Rozee|
|FOL||Marshall, Steele, Gresham||FOL||Lycett, Powell-Pepper, Boak|
|I/C||Coffield, Dunstan, Acres, Clark, Phillips, Joyce, Young, Marsh||I/C||Lienert, Rockliff, Butters, Frampton, Bonner, Hartlett, Drew, Broadbent|
History: Played 29: St Kilda 10 v Port Adelaide 19.
Last Meeting: Adelaide Oval, AFL round 16, 2018: Port Adelaide 12.14 (86) beat St Kilda 7.8 (50).
Final Thoughts: The AFL’s only game played outside Australian shores again pits the Saints against the Power, at Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai. Both previous crashes between these sides in China have resulted in wins to Port, but this year things could be different. After a tiring and unsuccessful trip to Tasmania, the Power slumped to a third loss in four games. And while they start as favourites against the Saints, will need to bring their best to squeezed back into the eight. The Saints are buoyed by the news Dan Hannebery is making his return via the VFL. At 5-5 they’re still outsiders to make the finals, but funnier things have happened…
Sunday 2nd June, 15:20 (AEST)
|Francis, Hooker, Hurley||B||Marchbank, Casboult, Stocker|
|HB||McKenna, Ambrose, Saad||HB||Plowman, Weitering, Newman|
|C||Redman, Merrett, McDonald-Tipungwuti||C||Gibbons, Cripps, Cuningham|
|HF||Zaharakis, Laverde, Begley||HF||Silvagni, McKay, Walsh|
|F||Parish, McKernan, McGrath||F||S. Petrevski-Seton, C. Curnow, Fisher|
|FOL||Bellchambers, Langford, Heppell||FOL||Kreuzer, Kennedy, E. Curnow|
|I/C||McNiece, Guelfi, Clarke, Baguley, Ridley, Clarke, Brown, Mosquito||I/C||Garlett, Kerr, Schumacher, Polson, Fasolo, Lang, Dow, Setterfield|
History: Played 247: Essendon 117 v Carlton 124 (6 draws).
Last Meeting: MCG, AFL round 8, 2018: Carlton 14.7 (91) defeated Essendon 10.18 (78).
Final Thoughts: The wheels are really beginning to fall off at Carlton. Senior player Dale Thomas was involved in a drinking incident before last weekend’s game and has been dropped to the VFL . More importantly, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see where there next win comes from. Good in patches against the Saints last week, they never truly looked like getting the four points. The Bombers meanwhile are clinging onto their 2019 season at 4-6 and nothing short of a win is good enough for John Worsfold in Round 11. They were embarrassingly beaten by the Blues in this fixture last year, and will come out hard on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday 2nd June, 17:20 (AEST)
|West Coast||Western Bulldogs|
|Hurn, Schofield, Duggan||B||Johannisen, Trengove, Williams|
|HB||Sheppard, McGovern, Jetta||HB||Daniel, Cordy, Wood|
|C||Cripps, Shuey, Gaff||C||Hunter, Liberatore, Smith|
|HF||Petruccelle, Darling, Sheed||HF||Suckling, Gardner, Lloyd|
|F||Ryan, Kennedy, Rioli||F||Bontempelli, Naughton, Gowers|
|FOL||Vardy, Yeo, Redden||FOL||English, Dunkley, Macrae|
|I/C||Waterman, Allen, Cole, Nelson, Ainsworth, Hutchings, Ah Chee, Smith||I/C||Schache, West, McLean, Lipinski, Dickson, Dale, Smith, La. Young|
History: Played 54: West Coast 35 v Western Bulldogs 18 (1 draw).
Last Meeting: Optus Stadium, AFL round 18, 2018: West Coast 14.16 (100) defeated Western Bulldogs 6.10 (46).
Final Thoughts: The premiers are officially hitting their straps. The Eagles registered their best win of the season last weekend – a comeback effort from 33 points down at the cauldron of Adelaide Oval. On the surface they look far too strong for the Dogs. Lacking firepower up forward, Luke Beveridge’s side will rely on young gun Aaron Naughton to do something special should they wish to walk away with four points. In fact, the Dogs have won just one of their last 13 games in the West. And with the Eagles gunning for their fifth-straight win, it’s hard to see the visitors registering their second.