Round 19 of the AFL season features a high-stakes Friday night clash, plus two Saturday blockbusters that will shape the top eight.

Collingwood v Richmond @ MCG

Friday 26th July, 19:50 (AEST)

CollingwoodRichmond
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Maynard, Roughead, HoweBAstbury Broad, Grimes
HBQuaynor, Scharenberg, CrispHBHouli, Vlastuin, Edwards
CPhillips, Pendlebury, SidebottomCShort, Prestia, Bolton
HFBrown, Cox, Hoskin-ElliottHFRioli, Castagna, Lambert
FDe Goey, Mihocek, ElliottFStack, Riewoldt, Lynch
FOLGrundy, Treloar, AdamsFOLSoldo, Cotchin, Martin
I/CMayne, Thomas, Varcoe, DaicosI/CGraham, Baker, Ellis, Chol


History:
Played 210: Collingwood 119 v Richmond 90 (1 draw).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 2, 2019: Richmond 10.6 (66) lost to Collingwood 17.8 (110).

Final Thoughts: Friday night serves up one of the biggest home-and-away clashes in weeks, in what could be a pre-cursor to September action. In truth, these sides have gone in opposite direction in recent weeks. The Tigers are on a roll, four wins on the trot and into $5 in Palmerbet’s premiership market. The Pies, on the other hand, have huge worries. With just one win in their last four, Nathan Buckley’s troops are now out to $7. The good news for them, however, is their recent record over Richmond at the MCG, having won their last two clashes by 39 and 44 points respectively.

Tip: Margin: Richmond by 1-39 pts @ $2.10

Hawthorn v Brisbane Lions @ University of Tasmania Stadium

Saturday 27th July, 13:45 (AEST)

HawthornBrisbane
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Birchall, Frawley, StrattonBHodge, Adams, Bailey
HBBurgoyne, Sicily, HardwickHBWitherden, Gardiner, Rich
CScully, Howe, HendersonCMcCarthy, Neale, Robinson
HFBreust, O’Brien, PuopoloHFRayner, Hipwood, McCluggage
FHanrahan, Lewis, ShielsFCameron, McStay, Zorko
FOLMcEvoy, O’Meara, WorpelFOLMartin, Berry, Lyons
I/CWingard, Gunston, Nash, SmithI/CChristensen, Walker, Answerth, McInerney


History:
Played 33: Hawthorn 17 v Brisbane 16.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 11, 2019: Brisbane Lions 12.13 (85) defeated Hawthorn 10.6 (66).

Final Thoughts: Both the Hawks and Lions are hot to trot, having won their last three and five respectively. The Lions were lucky to get out of jail against North Melbourne last week, but aren’t too worried given their current predicament. A game inside the top four, Chris Fagan’s young side (who now also lay claim to the Brownlow Medal favourite) are beaming. The Hawks have somehow wrestled their 2019 season back, after their recent run culminated in an incredible win over the ladder-leading Cats last weekend. At $4.50 to finish in the top eight with Palmerbet, however, they don’t have much margin for error. They go in with confidence though, having won six of their last seven at The University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.

Tip: To get 25+ disposals: Mitch Robinson (Bri) @ $3.00

Carlton v Adelaide @ MCG

Saturday 27th July, 14:10 (AEST)

CarltonAdelaide
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Plowman, Jones, NewmanBBrown, Talia, Hartigan
HBThomas, Weitering, SimpsonHBSmith, Kelly, Laird
CSetterfield, Cripps, O’BrienCKnight, Sloane, Milera
HFGibbons, Casboult, DelucaHFB.Crouch, Walker, Lynch
FFisher, McKay, SilvagniFMurphy, Jenkins, Stengle
FOLPhillips, E.Curnow, WalshFOLO’Brien, M.Crouch, Wilson
I/CPetrevski-Seton, Murphy, Lang, KennedyI/CSeedsman, Mackay, Atkins, Otten


History:
Played 38: Carlton 18 v Adelaide 20.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 23, 2018: Carlton 8.13 (61) lost to Adelaide 26.9 (165).

Final Thoughts: Quite incredibly, the 16th-placed Blues have won three of their last four matches. Under interim coach David Teague, they’ve rebranded themselves and are playing uncompromising footy. And as the jungle drums beat louder for his long-term appointment, could he go another step to sealing a contract offer with a win over Adelaide? The Crows have lost three of their last four and desperately need to gather some momentum before September. At $1.55 to make the finals with Palmerbet, they’re still considered a strong chance but won’t want to drop points yet again on Saturday afternoon. Ominously, they’ve also lost their last three at the MCG, by an average of 50 points.

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

West Coast v North Melbourne @ Optus Stadium

Saturday 27th July, 16:35 (AEST)

West CoastNorth Melbourne
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Sheppard, Barrass, SchofieldBWilliams, Durdin, Macmillan
HBJetta, McGovern, WatsonHBPittard, Tarrant, Atley
CGaff, Redden, MastenCDumont, Ziebell, Polec
HFRioli, Darling, RyanHFWood, Larkey, Thomas
FCameron, Kennedy, AllenFZurhaar, Brown, Simpkin
FOLHickey, Yeo, ShueyFOLGoldstein, Higgins, Cunnington
I/CWaterman, Sheed, Petruccelle, NelsonI/CAnderson, Garner, Davies-Uniacke, Ahern

 

History: Played 49: West Coast 27 v North Melbourne 22.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 19, 2018: North Melbourne 12.9 (81) defeated West Coast 6.5 (41).

Final Thoughts: North Melbourne were desperately unlucky in their last-gasp loss to the Lions last weekend. And to make matters worse, it’s put their outside hopes at finals footy under intense pressure. Two games (and percentage) outside the top eight, a loss to the Eagles in the west would all but spell curtains on their season. A win for Adam Simpson’s side would go a long way to sealing a top-four berth and continue their charge for back-to-back premiership success. Jack Darling has kicked 16 goals in his last four games – is he due another bag?

Tip: Total score: Over 165.5 @ $1.90

St Kilda v Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium

Saturday 27th July, 19:25 (AEST)

St KildaMelbourne
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Coffield, Brown, SavageBHibberd, Lever, Jetta
HBWilkie, Carlisle, ClarkHBLewis, Frost, Salem
CBillings, Ross, NewnesCJones, Oliver, Baker
HFSinclair, Bruce, LongHFHarmes, Petty, Hunt
FLonie, Membrey, LanglandsFPetracca, T.Smith, Fritsch
FOLMarshall, Acres, GreshamFOLGawn, Viney, Brayshaw
I/CDunstan, Steele, Paton, HindI/CO.McDonald, Neal-Bullen, C.Wagner, J.Wagner


History:
Played 215: St Kilda 93 v Melbourne 212 (1 draw).

Last Meeting: AFL Round 5, 2019: Melbourne 7.13 (55) lost to St Kilda 15.5 (95).

Final Thoughts: The new-coach-bounce struck again last week, with St Kilda interim boss Brett Ratten registering a win in his first game in charge. It was the first time the Saints had hit triple figures in over a year. Like Rhyce Shaw at North Melbourne and David Teague at Carlton, Ratten is considered the front-runner for the full-time role and a second win would put him further into the box seat. His opposite number, Simon Goodwin, is under huge scrutiny after the season from hell for the Dees. His side start as slight favourites in this one, and can expect considerable backlash if they register what will be an eighth loss in 10 games.

Tip: Head to head: St Kilda @ $2.08

Port Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney @ Adelaide Oval

Saturday 27th July, 19:40 (AEST)

Port AdelaideGWS
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Houston, Clurey, BonnerBShaw, Davis, Tomlinson
HBHartlett, Jonas, Byrne-JonesHBWhitfield, Haynes, Taylor
CDuursma, Rockliff, AmonCWilliams, Reid, Kennedy
HFR.Gray, Howard, S.GrayHFHately, Cameron, Lloyd
FWesthoff, Ryder, RozeeFDaniels, Himmelberg, Hill
FOLLycett, Powell-Pepper, BoakFOLMumford, Greene, Taranto
I/CBroadbent, Butters, Garner, SutcliffeI/CPerryman, Hopper, Finlayson, Simpson

 

History: Played 9: Port Adelaide 4 v GWS 5.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 18, 2018: Port Adelaide 8.10 (58) lost to GWS 11.14 (80).

Final Thoughts: Which Port Adelaide side will turn up this week? The one that smashed the Crows in the Showdown a fortnight ago, or the one humbled by the Tigers last weekend? Ken Hinkley’s side are a picture of inconsistency, causing punters to tear their hair out this season. The Giants, too, have struggled with consistency issues but go into this clash on the back of a big win over the Pies. At 10-7 Leon Cameron’s side need a win to maintain their top four aspirations. They’ve won the last four encounters with the Power, and go in as favourites in what is Heath Shaw’s 300th game.

Tip: Line: GWS -5.5 @ $1.93

Western Bulldogs v Fremantle @ Marvel Stadium

Sunday 28th July, 13:10 (AEST)

Western BulldogsFremantle
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Morris, Trengove, CrozierBWilson, Hamling, Ryan
HBDaniel, Cordy, WoodHBConca, Logue, Cerra
CHunter, Liberatore, JohannisenCB.Hill, Fyfe, Langdon
HFDale, Naughton, LloydHFTucker, Walters, Bewley
FSmith, Bontempelli, DicksonFMatera, Lobb, Darcy
FOLEnglish, Dunkley, MacraeFOLSandilands, Blakely, Mundy
I/CWest, Duryea, Richards, Lipinski, Hayes, Williams, Smith, SweetI/CBrayshaw, Hughes, Duman, Switkowski, Ballantyne, Banfield, Crowden, Schultz


History:
Played 31: Western Bulldogs 15 v Fremantle 16.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 6, 2019: Fremantle 13.10 (88) defeated Western Bulldogs 9.15 (69).

Final Thoughts: This is a huge clash in the context of the top eight. Both sides are locked on 32 points and separated by a few percentage points. Four points keeps the victor in with a chance of securing September action, while the loser will find it exceedingly difficult to crack the eight by the end of round 23. The Dogs have won four of their last six but missed a huge chance against the Saints last week. They welcome back veteran Dale Morris this week, while announcing first-gamer (and son of legend Scott West) Rhylee West. The Dockers meanwhile welcome back skipper Nat Fyfe.

Tip: To get 30+ disposals: Josh Dunkley (WB) @ $1.91

Sydney v Geelong @ SCG

Sunday 28th July, 15:20 (AEST)

SydneyGeelong
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Aliir, Melican, RampeBBews, Taylor, Kolodjashnij
HBDawson, Mills, LloydHBDuncan, Blicavs, Stewart
CFlorent, Heeney, JonesCClark, Miers, Dangerfield
HFHewett, McCartin, PapleyHFDahlhaus, Parsons, Atkins
FBlakey, Reid, RowbottomFAblett, Hawkins, C.Guthrie
FOLMcLean, Kennedy, ParkerFOLRatugolea, J.Selwood, Kelly
I/CClarke, Stoddart, O’Riordan, Fox, Menzel, Jack, Ronke, RoseI/CStanley, Smith, Henry, Narkle, O’Connor, Henderson, S.Selwood, Simpson


History:
Played 224: Sydney 101 v Geelong 123.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 11, 2019: Geelong 13.7 (85) defeated Sydney 8.15 (63).

Final Thoughts: These two faced off only eight rounds ago, the Cats the victors against a spirited Swans. The ladder-leaders (naturally) start favourites again, but could find things slightly tougher in the tight confines of the SCG. The Swans have covered the line in eight of their last 12 games as the underdog, something punters might look into. The Cats need to snap their post-bye slump, and begin gathering momentum before September. A loss here could even see their top-two spot in danger – something no one would have predicted mere weeks ago. Oddly, after 224 encounters between Sydney/South Melbourne and Geelong, the two clubs have never drawn.

Tip: Line: Sydney +13.5 @ $1.90

Gold Coast v Essendon @ Metricon Stadium

Sunday 28th July, 16:40 (AEST)

Gold CoastEssendon
PosPlayerPosPlayer
B
Lukosius, Hombsch, HarbrowBGuelfi, Hooker, Gleeson
HBJoyce, Hanley, EllisHBAmbrose, Francis, Saad
CWeller, Miles, FioriniCRedman, Merrett, Zaharakis
HFSexton, Wright, MillerHFShiel, Stringer, McDonald-Tipungwuti
FLemmens, Day, KingFSnelling, Brown, Langford
FOLWitts, Swallow, MacPhersonFOLMcKernan, Parish, D.Clarke
I/CBallard, Burgess, Dawson, Horlin-Smith, Heron, Leslie, McLennan, RischitelliI/CZ.Clarke, McGrath, Myers, Laverde, Hartley, Baguley, McNiece, Begley


History:
Played 9: Gold Coast 2 v Essendon 7.

Last Meeting: AFL Round 17, 2018: Gold Coast 6.15 (51) defeated Essendon 13.17 (95).

Final Thoughts: The Dons are one of the in-form teams in the competition, with eight wins in their last nine. And nothing suggests they won’t make it nine wins this weekend, up against a Suns side who’ve lost their last 13 straight. It’s a dire stat, and no man needs a win more than Stuart Dew. It’s been some time since these two have played. Their last encounter was over a year ago in Round 17 last season, where the Bombers saluted by 44 points. In fact, the Dons have won their last four at Metricon.

Tip: Margin: Essendon by 40+ points @ $1.91