Round 13 the 2021 AFL season kicks off with a big clash between two flag fancies, ahead of a Queens Birthday encounter like we’ve never seen.

Port Adelaide v Geelong @ Adelaide Oval

Thursday 10th June, 19:40 (AEST)

Port AdelaideGeelong
Burton, McKenzie, AliirBBews, Henderson, Henry
HBJones, Jonas, Byrne-JonesHBTuohy, Stewart, Kolodjashnij
CHouston, Wines, AmonCSmith, Dangerfield, Menegola
HFGeorgiades, Marshall, MotlopHFParfitt, Cameron, Atkins
FRozee, Dixon, GrayFDalhaus, Hawkins, Rohan
FOLLadhams, Boak, Powell-PepperFOLRatugolea, Duncan, Selwood
I/CBonner, Farrell, Drew, BergmanI/CO’Connor, Higgins, Blicavs, Close

Played 35: Port Adelaide 11 v Geelong 23 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Qualifying Final, 2020: Port Adelaide (58) def Geelong (42)

Final Thoughts: Port have failed to grab a ‘big scalp’ at the last two times of asking. Clashes against Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs in the last five rounds have seen the Power outclassed by sides expected to go deep into September. This week, however, they have a chance to rectify that — at the same venue and against the same opponent they edged past in last year’s final series.

The Cats, by contrast, have prevailed in their last two games over ‘contenders’ (Richmond and West Coast), both in dominant fashion. Chris Scott’s side haven’t set the world on fire in recent rounds, but are still four wins on the trot. They’ll be looking to buck the trend in recent encounters between these two clubs that has seen the home side win four of the last five. Brownlow Medalist Patrick Dangerfield is an outside chance to return.

Tip: Line, Port Adelaide -1.5 @ $1.90

Sydney Swans v Hawthorn @ SCG

Friday 11th June, 19:50 (AEST)

Fox, McCartin, HewettBHardwick, Frost, Impey
HBLloyd, Rampe, DawsonHBDay, Jiath, O’Brien
CMcInerney, Mills, CunninghamCMorrison, O’Meara, Phillips
HFPapley. Heeney, HaywardHFWorpel, Breust, Wingard
FWicks, Franklin, AmarteyFMoore, Reeves, Koschitzke
FOLHickey, Rowbottom, KennedyFOLMcEvoy, Mitchell, Burgoyne
I/CFlorent, Bell, Parker, McDonaldI/CScrimshaw, Howe, Shiels, Newcombe

Played 168: Sydney 73 v Hawthorn 93 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 8, 2020: Sydney (60) def Hawthorn (53)

Final Thoughts: At 8-4 and shorter than $1.30 to make the 2021 AFL Finals, life is good for the Swans. And they’re a huge chance to make it 9-4 against the lowly Hawks, who they have the recent wood over (winning three of the last four). Just three of Sydney’s last 10 games this season are against Top 8 clubs, meaning John Longmire’s men could even push for the double-chance if things fall their way. After a few bruising encounters, however, the 31.5-point line might prove difficult against a rested Hawthorn outfit. Further, six of the last seven games between these two clubs have been decided by less than two goals. Jaeger O’Meara should return for Alastair Clarkson’s side in the Friday night clash.

Tip: Total Game Points, Under 155.5 @ $1.88

Fremantle v Gold Coast Suns @ Optus Stadium

Saturday 12th June, 16:15 (AEST)

FremantleGold Coast
Conca, Pearce, DumanBPowell, Collins, Lemmens
HBAish, Ryan, TuckerHBLukosius, Ballard, Bowes
CAcres, Mundy, BrayshawCEllis, Rowell, Greenwood
HFColyer, Lobb, CrowdenHFSwallow, Burgess, Holman
FSchultz, Treacy, HenryFRankine, King, Sexton
FOLDarcy, Cerra, WaltersFOLSmith, Weller, Miller
I/CBewley, Serong, Western, WalkerI/CAnderson, Flanders, Markov, Rosas

Played 11: Fremantle 7 v Gold Coast 4

Last Meeting: AFL Round 4, 2020: Gold Coast (64) def Fremantle (51)

Final Thoughts: Both of these clubs have won just one of their last four games. And for Freo, things became even worse last week with a raft of injuries to key players. This, in essence, will determine the outcome of this clash. That is, the way Justin Longmuir’s side can deal with key outs, including Fyfe, Cox, Darcy, Logue and Crowden. Matt Taberner, however, should return. Playing at home also helps — the Dockers’ record at Optus Stadium is far superior to their away form in 2021.

The Suns have the recent wood over Fremantle, winning their last two games albeit in close encounters. They should finally — FINALLY — get young midfield star Matt Rowell back, in a big boost for the club.

Tip: Margin, Fremantle 1-39 @ $2.37

St Kilda v Adelaide @ Cazaly’s Stadium

Saturday 12th June, 19:25 (AEST)

St KildaAdelaide
Long, Wilkie, HowardBDoedee, Butts, Jones
HBWebster, Sinclair, CoffieldHBSmith, Kelly, Worrell
CHill, Steele, BillingsCMackay, Keays, Seedsman
HFButler, Battle, HigginsHFMcHenry, Walker, Berry
FWood, King, LonieFMcAdam, Thilthorpe, Rowe
FOLRyder, Crouch, DunstanFOLO’Brien, Laird, Sloane
I/CHighmore, Clark, Byrnes, HunterI/CFogarty, Hamill, Schoenberg, McPherson


History: Played 45: St Kilda 16 v Adelaide 28 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 7, 2020: Adelaide (55) def by St Kilda (78)

Final Thoughts: The Saints could and should have claimed their first Top 8 scalp in some time last week but butchered late chances against the Swans. There’s been a lot of heat thrown the way of Jack Higgins (1.6 in that clash), but the fact is he remained a dangerous threat all day and can cause damage on Saturday night up North. Brett Ratten is likely to ring the changes, with Jarryn Geary (shoulder) and Mason Wood (hamstring) definite outs, and the potential for more still.

The Crows will be looking to bounce back after a thoroughly disappointing loss in Round 12 to the lowly Pies. Everything pointed to an Adelaide victory, from their recent competitiveness combined Collingwood’s various issues. But they couldn’t get it done at home, and underlines that Matthew Nicks’ side is still very much a work in progress despite some (small) steps forward this year.

Tip: H2H, St Kilda @ $1.85

North Melbourne v GWS Giants @ Blundstone Arena

Sunday 13th June, 15:20 (AEST)

North MelbourneGWS Giants
Atley, McKay, TurnerBBuckley, Haynes, Reid
HBZiebell, Tarrant, HallHBIdun, Cumming, Ash
CDumont, Cunnington, YoungCKelly, Ward, Whitfield
HFStephenson, Walker, ZurhaarHFHill, Finlayson, Green
FThomas, Larkey, GarnerFGreene, Himmelberg, Lloyd
FOLGoldstein, Davies-Uniacke, SimpkinFOLMumford, Taranto, Hopper
I/CMahony, Taylor, Scott, Bosenavulagi, Powell, Phillips, Xerri, CampbellI/CKennedy, Stein, Flynn, O’Halloran, Brown, Sproule, de Boer, Bruhn

Played 10: North Melbourne 7 v GWS Giants 3

Last Meeting: AFL Round 2, 2020: GWS Giants (60) def by North Melbourne (80)

Final Thoughts: Are the Giants the best shot at making the Finals of all clubs currently outside the 8? The markets suggest so. While they’re a considerable eight-point gap between the haves (Top 8) and have-nots in 2021 as it stands, the Giants ($3 to make the Finals) are considered the best of the outsiders. That is on the proviso that they get the job done here. Which they should do; besides boasting a superior list, Leon Cameron’s men have won two of the last three clashes against North at Blundstone Arena. Phil Davis and Matt de Boer are both reportedly available, while they sweat on the fitness of Toby Greene.

North should have Jaidyn Stephenson back this week, as they search for a second win of the season.

Tip: Line, North Melbourne +24.5 @ $1.90

West Coast v Richmond @ Optus Stadium

Sunday 13th June, 19:20 (AEST)

West CoastRichmond
Hurn, Barrass, ColeBBroad, Balta, Grimes
HBRotham, Edwards, DugganHBBaker, Short, Vlastuin
CRedden, Sheed, NelsonCMcIntosh, Cotchin, Pickett
HFCripps, Darling, PetruccelleHFCastagna, Edwards, Graham
FAllen, Kennedy, RyanFColeman-Jones, Martin, Riewoldt
FOLNaitanui, Yeo, GaffFOLChol, Prestia, Lambert
I/C Waterman, Langdon, Brander, Edwards, Vardy, O’Neill, Foley, JonesI/C Houli, Bolton, Aarts, Caddy, Rioli, Martyn, Ralphsmith, Miller


History: Played 45: West Coast 26 v Richmond 19

Last Meeting: AFL Round 14, 2020: Richmond (88) def West Coast (61)

Final Thoughts: There’s a few contenders for match-of-the-round status in Round 13, but this may just take the cake. Both sides are coming off brilliant wins; Richmond showcasing their finishing prowess against the Bombers, while backs-to-the-wall West Coast shrugged off a raft of injuries to win at the SCG for the first time since 1999. This, however, is a far more difficult proposition for Adam Simpson, despite being at home. While the Eagles have lost three of their last four against the Tigers, they have however won their last two clashes in Perth.

Kane Lambert should return for the Tigers, while a couple of big ins — star forward Josh Kennedy and young gun Oscar Allen —  should be confirmed by the Eagles.

Tip: Margin, Richmond 1-39 @ $2.20

Melbourne v Collingwood @ SCG

Monday 14th June, 15:20 (AEST)

Melbourne Collingwood
Hibberd, May, LeverBNoble, Roughead, Maynard
HBHunt, Petty, SalemHBQuaynor, Moore, Mayne
CBrayshaw, Petracca, JordonCHoskin-Elliott, Sidebottom, Poulter
HFHarmes, McDonald, Neal-BullenHFMcCreery, Cameron, Bianco
FSpargo, Weideman, FritschFDe Goey, Mihocek, Elliott
FOLGawn, Oliver, PickettFOLLynch, Pendlebury, Crisp
I/C Jackson, Langdon, Melksham, Rivers, Sparrow, Baker, Chandler, BrownI/C Brown, Cox, Daicos, Madgen, Murphy, Rantall, Thomas, Wilson


History: Played 239: Melbourne 84 v Collingwood 150 (5 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL Round 12, 2020: Melbourne (100) def Collingwood (44)

Final Thoughts: It’s been a momentous week at Collingwood, with favourite son Nathan Buckley ending an almost 30-year association with the club. Monday’s Queens Birthday clash — relocated to Sydney for Covid reasons — represents Buckley’s final game in charge. From a matchup perspective it’s difficult to know how the players will respond. As an almost universally-loved personality within the club, there’s likely to be additional effort. But the fact remains that Melbourne are a far superior on-field outfit at present, and emotions likely won’t be enough to drag the black and white over the line.

They are likely to welcome back Chris Mayne, while the Dees should also name Ed Langdon after his 12-day concussion absence has elapsed.

Tip: H2H/Total Points double, Melb/Over 153.5 @ $2.20