Round 17 of the AFL season kicks off with a clash between last year’s grand finalists, before two further intriguing matchups between top eight sides. It’s all to play for. 

West Coast v Collingwood @ MCG

Friday 12th July, 20:10 (AEST)

West CoastCollingwood
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Hurn, Barrass, ColeBMaynard, Roughead, Greenwood
HBSheppard, McGovern, JettaHBCrisp, Moore, Quaynor
CSheed, Redden, GaffCPhillips, Pendlebury, Mayne
HFCameron, Darling, CrippsHFBrown, Cox, Hoskin-Elliott
FRyan, Kennedy, RioliFDe Goey, Mihocek, Elliott
FOLNaitanui, Yeo, ShueyFOLGrundy, Treloar, Sidebottom
I/CMasten, O. Allen, Hickey, NelsonI/CAish, Noble, Sier, Crocker


History:
Played 53: West Coast 28 v Collingwood 24 (1 draw).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 3, 2019: Collingwood 11.10 (76) lost to West Coast 15.8 (98).

Final Thoughts: Have the Pies reached at least a mini crisis point? Having scraped through some unconvincing wins in the past two months, they’ve now lost consecutive games to clubs outside the top eight. And all of a sudden, they’ve gone from $3.75 flag hopes to $7. And to make matters worse, there’s little respite for Nathan Buckley’s side in the next month. In facing West Coast at Optus Stadium on Friday night, they play a side chock full of confidence looking to inflict their fifth straight win over the black and white. Then, the next fortnight sees them up against GWS, then Richmond. Whatever the result in Perth, the Pies are desperate to send a signal to their fans that 2019 isn’t fizzling out. 

Tip: Line: Collingwood +17.5 @ $1.93

Sydney v Carlton @ SCG

Saturday 13th July, 13:45 (AEST)

SydneyCarlton
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
O’Riordan, Rampe, MelicanBThomas, Jones, Simpson
HBLloyd, McCartin, MillsHBPlowman, Casboult, Goddard
CJack, Kennedy, HeeneyCO’Brien, Petrevski-Seton, Setterfield
HFHayward, Reid, DawsonHFFisher, McKay, Silvagni
FPapley, Blakey, ParkerFGibbons, Kennedy, Lang
FOLAliir, Rowbottom, JonesFOLKreuzer, Cripps, Walsh
I/CHewett, Cunningham, Florent, RonkeI/CCurnow, Murhpy, Newman, Dow


History:
Played 228: Sydney 94 v Carlton 128 (6 draws).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 3, 2019: Carlton 10.14 (74) lost to Sydney 14.9 (93).

Final Thoughts: The Swans’ season is hanging by a thread after a luckless loss to Essendon last weekend. While their youngsters again shone, an inability to take chances in front of goal and some poor umpiring cost them a chance to go 7-8. Now, at 6-9, there’s very little margin for error for the rest of the season, and that starts on Saturday at the SCG. Carlton have rejuvenated themselves under David Teague, but will find it tough against a side that beat them at home earlier this season. Further, the Blues haven’t won at the SCG since 2011. The Swans are still without Callum Sinclair, however, and the patch job of Reid and Aliir may allow Kreuzer to have a field day in the ruck, and dictate things for the Carlton midfield.

Tip: Total score: +158.5 @ $1.90

Hawthorn v Fremantle @ UTAS Stadium

Saturday 13th July, 14:10 (AEST)

HawthornFremantle
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
O’Brien, Frawley, BurgoyneBWilson, Hamling, Ryan
HBStratton, Sicily, HardwickHBBlakely, Hughes, Conca
CHenderson, Howe, ShielsCHill, Fyfe, Langdon
HFBreust, Wingard, PuopoloHFTucker, Walters, Colyer
FNash, Lewis, ImpeyFMcCarthy, Lobb, Matera
FOLMcEvoy, O’Meara, SmithFOLDarcy, Cerra, Mundy
I/CBirchall, Scully, Worpel, HanrahanI/CNyhuis, Switkowski, Hill, Brayshaw


History:
Played 35: Hawthorn 27 v Fremantle 8.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 19, 2018: Fremantle 7.11 (53) lost to Hawthorn 17.10 (112).

Final Thoughts: The Hawks kept their slim finals hopes alive last week with a close win over Collingwood, but they’ll need an almost faultless season to remain in the hunt. Quite incredibly, Alastair Clarkson’s side is yet to win back-to-back games at any stage in 2019. However they’ll take confidence in the fact they’ve beaten the Dockers on each of the last five occasions. They’ll likely take even further confidence in the fact that Fremantle, all of a sudden, look shot this season. A 91-point thrashing in Derby 50 last week – their ninth consecutive loss to the Eagles – has seen them blow out from $2.60 to $8.05 chances to make the top eight with Palmerbet.

Tip: Winning Margin: Fremantle by 1-39pts @ $3.30

Essendon v North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium

Saturday 13th July, 16:35 (AEST)

EssendonNorth Melbourne
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Redman, Hooker, GleesonBWilliams, Thompson, Macmillan
HBGuelfi, Hurley, SaadHBPittard, Tarrant, Atley
CMcKenna, Merrett, ZaharakisCDumont, Anderson, Polec
HFMcGrath, Laverde, McDonald-TipungwutiHFThomas, Larkey, Ziebell
FFantasia, Brown, ClarkeFZurhaar, Brown, Turner
FOLMcKernan, Shiel, ParishFOLGoldstein, Cunnington, Simpkin
I/CClarke, Stringer, Francis, LangfordI/CMcDonald, Ahern, Wood, Taylor

 

History: Played 157: Essendon 99 v North Melbourne 57 (1 draw).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 5, 2019: North Melbourne 7.16 (58) lost to Essendon 17.14 (116).

Final Thoughts: With four wins in their last five, the Bombers have hit form – and you can tell. Signs of the free-flowing football has returned, and all of a sudden they are showing the hallmarks of a finals side. Their purple patch has seen them shorten from $3 chances to make the eight, now into $1.85 with Palmerbet. Similarly, North Melbourne have won four in five and like the Dons, are giving supporters reasons to smile. And when you consider where the Roos were in the wake of Brad Scott’s sacking, the North faithful are in fact beaming. Interim coach Rhyce Shaw has instilled a certain hardness and fluidity. A win here (depending on percentage) could even see them overtake Essendon. All to play for.

Tip: Head-to-head: North Melbourne @ $2.05

Gold Coast Suns v Adelaide @ Metricon Stadium

Saturday 13th July, 19:25 (AEST)

Gold CoastAdelaide
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Lukosius, Hombsch, HarbrowBSmith, Talia, Keath
HBJoyce, Hanley, HeronHBKelly, Luke Brown, Laird
CWeller, Brodie, FioriniCAtkins, B.Crouch, Mackay
HFSexton, Corbett, MillerHFGreenwood, Walker, Knight
FLemmens, Day, KingFJenkins, Betts, Murphy
FOLWitts, Swallow, MacPhersonFOLO’Brien, M.Crouch, Sloane
I/CBallard, Miles, Rischitelli, ScheerI/CSeedsman, Hartigan, Stengle, Milera


History:
Played 12: Gold Coast 0 v Adelaide 12.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 5, 2019: Adelaide 18.11 (119) defeated Gold Coast 6.10 (46).

Final Thoughts: After their 11th straight loss against Richmond last weekend, the Suns are now $1.15 to finish with the least wins in 2019 with Palmerbet. In conceding 100 points in the first half, Stuart Dew’s side were unravelled by the Tigers, and things could get ugly should they fail to win another game in 2019. To make matters worse, Gold Coast have never won against Adelaide in 12 opportunities – the only team they haven’t beaten in their history. But the Crows are far from impressing at the moment, either. A poor loss in the showdown last weekend has asked questions of their 2019 credentials. A confidence-boosting win, however, is very much expected here.

Tip: To get 30+ disposals: Rory Laird (Adelaide) @ $2.37

Geelong v St Kilda @ GMHBA Stadium

Saturday 13th July, 19:25 (AEST)

GeelongSt Kilda
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Tuohy, Kolodjashnij, TaylorBCoffield, Brown, Savage
HBDangerfield, Blicavs, StewartHBWilkie, Carlisle, Clark
CGuthrie, Kelly, DuncanCBillings, Ross, Newnes
HFDahlhaus, Ratugolea, RohanHFHind, Bruce, Sinclair
FAblett, Hawkins, AtkinsFMcKenzie, Membrey Long
FOLStanley, Clark, J. SelwoodFOLMarshall, Gresham, Steele
I/CBews, Parfitt, Miers, O’ConnorI/CDunstan, Acres, Lonie, Paton

 

History: Played 214: Geelong 129 v St Kilda 84 (1 draw).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 4, 2018: Geelong 15.13 (103) defeated St Kilda 7.14 (56).

Final Thoughts: Despite a loss last week to the Dogs, Geelong remains a game clear on top of the AFL ladder. But a lacklustre final term was probably cause for concern for Chris Scott, who will welcome a return home to GMHBA Stadium this weekend. In truth, it’s difficult to see the Saints getting near the ladder leaders. Coach Alan Richardson remains on thin ice to maintain his position beyond this season, having lead his side to just one win in the last five. Further, it’s been 20 years since the Saints pulled off a win down the highway, having lost the last eight in a row. Their likely hope (and tip below) is preventing a blowout.

Tip: Line: St Kilda +45.5 @ $1.87

Richmond v Greater Western Sydney @ MCG

Sunday 14th July, 13:10 (AEST)

RichmondGWS
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Astbury, Broad, GrimesBDavis, Taylor, Williams
HBHouli, Vlastuin, ShortHBReid, Haynes, Deledio
CMcIntosh, Prestia, BoltonCKennedy, Coniglio, Greene
HFRioli, Castagna, LambertHFTaranto, Cameron, Daniels
FRiewoldt, Edwards, LynchFTomlinson, Himmelberg, Hill
FOLSoldo, Cotchi, MartinFOLSimpson, Perryman, Hopper
I/CEggmolesse-Smith, Graham, Ellis, Chol, Higgins, Stack, Caddy, BakerI/CShaw, Lloyd, Buntine, Hately, Flynn, Finlayson, Stein, Whitfield


History:
Played 11: Richmond 7 v GWS 4.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 3, 2019: GWS 19.11 (125) defeated Richmond 10.16 (76).

Final Thoughts: Every time the Giants threaten to blow the season open, they go and lose a game they shouldn’t have. Last week, at home to the Lions, Leon Cameron’s side were poor, and allowed the young Lions to dictate proceedings despite being on home turf. The loss further highlighted questions of whether they can be counted as a true premiership hopeful. The Tigers, on the other hand, waltzed in over 100 points by half time against the Suns and had a bruise-free win. With key players back in the last fortnight, they could begin to time their run for another tilt at premiership success with a win on Sunday. They’re yet to beat a side ahead of them in 2019. Could they snap that at the ‘G?

Tip: Margin: Richmond by 1-24pts @ $3.20

Western Bulldogs v Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium

Sunday 14th July, 15:20 (AEST)

Western BulldogsMelbourne
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Johannisen, Trengove, CrozierBLever, May, Jetta
HBDuryea, Cordy, WoodHBHibberd, Frost, Salem
CHunter, Smith, LipinskiCHunt, Lewis, Jones
HFSuckling, Schache, LloydHFHarmes, Weideman, Fritsch
FNaughton, Bontempelli, DicksonFHannan, Preuss, Brayshaw
FOLEnglish, Dunkley, MacraeFOLGawn, Viney, Oliver
I/CWilliams, Smith, Morris, Young, West, McLean, Richards, DaleI/CPetracca, O. McDonald, Neal-Bullen, Petty, C. Wagner, Lockhart, J. Wagner, Dunkley


History:
Played 165: Western Bulldogs 76 v Melbourne 88 (1 draw).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 17, 2018: Melbourne 18.11 (119) defeated Western Bulldogs 10.9 (69).

Final Thoughts: The Dogs caused one of the upsets of the season last weekend by knocking off the ladder-leading Cats at Marvel. With two big wins in a row, they’re now an outside chance to make the finals in 2019. They couldn’t, could they? Melbourne were far less convincing in overcoming the Blues, but avoided further embarrassment with a last-gasp win. Their last quarter fizzle was in stark contrast with the Dogs’ dare and dash. In fact, the Dees have won just five of 15 last quarters in season 2019. And for that, amongst a host of other reasons, it’s difficult to see a Dees side playing for mere pride getting up in this one.

Tip: Total score: Over 167.5 @ $1.90

Port Adelaide v Brisbane Lions @ Adelaide Oval

Sunday 14th July, 16:40 (AEST)

Port AdelaideBrisbane
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Burton, Clurey, HoustonBLester, Andrews, Answerth
HBHartlett, Jonas, Byrne-JonesHBWitherden, Gardiner, Rich
CEbert, Rockliff, AmonCZorko, Neale, Robinson
HFGray, Howard, MotlopHFRayner, Adams, McCluggage
FWesthoff, Dixon, RozeeFCameron, McStay, McCarthy
FOLLycett, Wines, BoakFOLMartin, Berry, Lyons
I/CBonner, Duursma, Gray, Butters, McKenzie, Ryder, Sutcliffe, Powell-PepperI/CKeays, Christensen, Walker, Bailey, Mathieson, Payne, Smith, McInerney


History:
Played 36: Port Adelaide 18 v Brisbane 16 (2 draws).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 3, 2019: Brisbane 16.11 (107) defeated Port Adelaide 13.12 (90).

Final Thoughts: The match of the round is saved for last, with a Sunday evening cracker in the City of Churches. Both sides are coming off the back of perhaps their best respective wins of the season – Port Adelaide a season-defining effort in the Showdown, and the Lions a win over the fancied Giants in Sydney. Chris Fagan’s side haven’t beaten the Power in Adelaide since 2012, but with the dangling carrot of four points to maintain their shock top-four position, they’ll be rapid in their hunt for back-to-back wins. At 8-7, Ken Hinkley equally needs the win to maintain their quest for September action.

Tip: Margin: Brisbane by 1-39pts @ $2.88