19:50 (AEST) @ Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
History: Played 175: Hawthorn 97 V North Melbourne 76 (2 Draws)
Last meeting: Round 3, 2019: Hawthorn 13.9 (87) d North Melbourne 10.11 (71) at MCG
Final Thoughts: The Best of the Day preview highlights archrivals the North Melbourne Kangaroos’ and Hawthorn Hawks’ bid to stay in the finals race with four rounds of the AFL regular season remaining.
The Hawthorn-North Melbourne rivalry has had a bit of everything. 👊
Epic grand finals, fierce clashes and important trades.
How well do you know the clubs' history? 🤔
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) August 1, 2019
The 8-10 Hawks sit in 11th but are just one win off eighth place. After a mid-season slump, the Hawks turned things around with three straight wins over the Magpies, Dockers and Cats.
But Hawthorn’s momentum was halted via a 27-point home loss to the surging Lions in Round 19. Although the conditions were a factor – and there were positives on the ground – kicking seven goals and 18 behinds was an unacceptable ratio for the Hawks.
Despite the wayward kicking, there were still some strong signs in yesterday's match. 💫
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 28, 2019
The 7-11 Kangaroos are back in 14th but can stay in the mix with a victory here. North initially enjoyed a purple patch when Rhyce Shaw took over as interim coach in Round 10, winning five of their first six games.
Shaw now officially has the head coach role, but North are on a three-game losing streak. They were hammered by 49 points away to the Eagles last weekend.
"Since Rhyce took over as interim coach two months ago, we saw a transformation and a response from the entire football department, that encouraged us, inspired us and reassured us." – Chairman Ben Buckley. #North150
— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) August 1, 2019
In a tough loss, Paul Ahern was impressive in a new role, collecting 27 disposals off half-back.
— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) July 27, 2019
Tim O’Brien returns from injury at Jon Ceglar’s expense for the Hawks. Scott Thompson and Kayne Turner come into the Kangaroos’ line-up.
Hawthorn have a strong recent record against North Melbourne, winning nine of the last 11 encounters. The Hawks prevailed by 16 points at the MCG in Round 3, with Luke Breust’s five-goal haul proving crucial.
But the Kangaroos have won two of the last four clashes with the Hawks at Marvel Stadium, including a 28-point victory last season.
Despite last week’s loss, the Hawks’ form over the past month has been excellent. North appear to be on a bit of a late-season slide. The Hawks are great value at even money head-to-head.
But just two of the teams’ last 13 meetings were decided by more than 39 points. This Best of the Day showdown shapes as another tight affair.