The Best of the Day preview bends it in from the boundary with AFL tips for a Thursday night showdown between Gold Coast Suns and St Kilda Saints.

AFL Tips – Gold Coast Suns V St Kilda Saints

20:10 (AEST), Thu 6th Aug @ Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

History: Played 13: St Kilda 9 V Gold Coast 4

Last meeting: Round 13, 2019: St Kilda 11.14 (80) d Gold Coast 11.10 (76) at Riverway Stadium

Final thoughts: The Best of the Day preview breaks down an AFL clash between two of 2020’s big improvers.

The 6-3 St Kilda Saints are on track for their first finals appearance since 2011. The Saints have won their last three, bookending a 29-point upset of ladder leaders Port Adelaide with comfortable victories over Adelaide and Sydney.

Nick Hind and impressive rookie Max King kicked three goals apiece in Saturday’s 53-point demolition of the Swans.

Jack Steele has been in dominant touch in the midfield all season for the Saints, who will reclaim third spot with a win tonight.

The 11th-placed Gold Coast Suns – bottom-four finishers for the past five seasons – have already exceeded their 2019 win tally. But after winning three of their first four, the Suns have lost four of their last five.

Last week’s 26-point loss to GWS was hampered by dismal efficiency in front of goal, kicking just 4.11. Izak Rankine has brilliantly stepped into the breach created by fellow rookie sensation Matt Rowell’s injury, but the Rising Star favourites was kept very quiet by the Giants.

The Saints have won four straight against the Suns, with the last three encounters decided by four points or less.

Last season Gold Coast gave up a two-goal three-quarter time lead in a one-point Round 1 loss. St Kilda inflicted more heartbreak in Round 13, holding on to win by four. Tim Membrey kicked five goals across the two games for the Saints.

The Suns are 3-3 at Metricon Stadium this season. The Saints lost their only match at the venue, a shock defeat to the Dockers.

St Kilda’s recent form is impossible to ignore, while Gold Coast’s rise has idled. Expect the Saints to grab a Best of the Day win and cover the line.

Tip: Handicap – Saints -11.5 @ $1.90