With all Victorian clubs heading interstate, not one AFL team will play a genuine home game in a bizarre-looking Round 6.
Get the lowdown on every match in our comprehensive Betting Preview!
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AFL Tipping – Thursday July 9
Geelong v Brisbane
Venue: SCG, NSW | Start: 7:40 PM
Geelong Cats – The Cats sit third on the ladder and boast the competition’s best attack but the jury is still out on whether Chris Scott’s men can seriously contend in 2020. A good home record always helps and Geelong broke an unwanted drought last week, winning two games in a row for the first time in more than a year. Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan will keep fronting up but it is the likes of Esava Ratugolea, Sam Menegola, Gryan Miers, Brandan Parfitt and Quinton Narkle who need to have big seasons if Geelong are to achieve success. This looks like a real test of Geelong’s ability.
Brisbane Lions – After a first-up loss to Hawthorn, the Lions have hit back superbly to win four in a row. All four have been at the Gabba, though, and this looks the hardest test, even if they did account for ladder leaders Port Adelaide comfortably last week. Lachie Neale is having another outstanding year in the midfield and Hugh McCluggage is really catching the eye. Winning this would be huge for Brisbane and Harris Andrews has a big job on Tom Hawkins. The Lions have the ability to win this but might just fall short.
AFL Tipping – Friday July 10
Collingwood v Hawthorn
Venue: Giants Stadium, NSW | Start: 7:50 PM
Collingwood Magpies – Life has been tough since the re-start for Collingwood, with just one win in four. There are off-field problems, too, and the Magpies have a poor record against the Hawks in recent times, winning just one of the last 13. Suspect we will learn plenty about Collingwood in this clash. Adam Treloar was strong in his return against Essendon but the Magpies just went missing for far too long. Nathan Buckley needs one of his forwards to step up and kick a bag and his small forward line could wreak havoc in this clash.
Hawthorn Hawks – Hard to know what to make of Hawthorn in 2020 but the Round 5 defeat to GWS was a bit of a reality check. The Hawks look so much better with Ben McEvoy in ruck, as opposed to defence, and the forward line set-up just is not working. Mitch Lewis’ injury will force a re-shuffle and it is much needed. Can Jonathon Patton make a difference? He needs to have an impact if the Hawks are to win this.
AFL Tipping – Saturday July 11
Fremantle v St Kilda
Venue: Metricon Stadium, QLD | Start: 3:05 PM
Fremantle Dockers – Wouldn’t read much into Fremantle’s Round 5 win against the Crows in what was simply a dreadful game of footy. Having a fit Nat Fyfe would help the Dockers significantly in this but it still looks beyond them. This Fremantle team turns the ball over too much and a side of St Kilda’s quality will hurt them. Both meetings between the Dockers and Saints last year were decided by less than a goal. A repeat would be surprising.
St Kilda Saints – There is a quiet optimism building at St Kilda and rightly so. Brett Ratten’s side, at their best, play an exciting, attacking brand of football, and their ability to maximise on opposition turnovers spells trouble for Fremantle here. Will be interesting to see if the Dockers tag ex-Freo speedster Brad Hill, but even if they do, the Saints look to have too much quality in this clash.
West Coast v Adelaide
Venue: Gabba, QLD | Start: 3:05 PM
West Coast Eagles – The Eagles went tall in the forward line in Round 5, bringing youngsters Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman in and the pair combined for five goals in an encouraging performance. Throw in Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling and Adelaide’s defence should be in for a long afternoon. Luke Shuey’s absence is a blow but Elliot Yeo showed plenty of promising signs in the Eagles’ win over Sydney. If he returns to his best, Adam Simpson will be delighted. A morale-boosting win looks on the cards here.
Adelaide Crows – The Crows shot themselves in the foot repeatedly against the Dockers in Round 5 and if they could not win that, they cannot win this. Adelaide has won just one of its last five against West Coast, too. New coach Matthew Nicks is in for a long, tough season and at the moment, it is hard to see where the club’s next win is coming from.
Melbourne v Gold Coast
Venue: Giants Stadium, NSW | Start: 6:05 PM
Melbourne Demons – The Demons simply could not match Richmond’s intensity in Round 5, despite the best efforts of Christian Petracca. Petracca looks like he has gone to another level in 2020 and Max Gawn is still in good form, but there is a huge gap from there. Clayton Oliver looks out of confidence but had 38 disposals in this clash last year. Can he convert his possessions this week into genuine impact on the game? The Dees have won their last seven against the Suns but Gold Coast are a different proposition in 2020.
Gold Coast Suns – The loss of Matt Rowell hurts but Gold Coast are not a one-man team and should still be good enough to account for a Demons side who still struggle forward of centre. Ben King is in terrific form and has kicked 10 goals in five games this year, suggesting he has a major future in the game. Some of his Suns teammates show similar signs and in Rowell’s absence, maybe Noah Anderson can step up? Like the Suns in this clash.
Essendon v North Melbourne
Venue: Metricon Stadium, QLD | Start: 7:40 PM
Essendon Bombers – The Bombers would have a 100 per cent record in 2020 if Jacob Townsend’s late shot on goal against Carlton carried just a little further. The club’s win over Collingwood in Round 5 was its best in some time, but it was majorly soured by the ankle injury suffered by Jake Stringer. He is set to miss at least a month and his absence will be felt in a forward line without Joe Daniher. Dylan Shiel is in great form for the Dons.
North Melbourne Kangaroos – The Roos have dropped their last four against Essendon and have also lost three in a row in 2020 after a fast start. Ben Cunnington seems doubtful to play in this after battling through the Round 5 loss to the Western Bulldogs but Rhyce Shaw’s side are full of character and are rarely beaten well two weeks in a row. Can see a response coming in this, especially if Shaun Higgins, Jy Simpkin and Ben Brown can fire. There is a genuine rivalry between these two sides and expect Shaw’s men to come out firing.
AFL Tipping – Sunday July 12
Port Adelaide v GWS
Venue: Metricon Stadium, QLD | Start: 1:05 PM
Port Adelaide Power – After four straight wins, successive clashes against Brisbane and GWS was always going to test the Power. This should provide a great indication about Ken Hinkley’s side – are they the real deal? Charlie Dixon was held goalless against the Lions for just the second time since 2018 and he needs to play well against an in-form GWS backline. Think this could be beyond the Power.
Greater Western Sydney Giants – The Giants’ win over Hawthorn in Round 5 was very encouraging, with Leon Cameron’s men looking like they were back close to their best. Successive wins over the Magpies and the Hawks have raised confidence and knocking off the table-toppers would be some sort of statement. Jeremy Finlayson, Jeremy Cameron and Harry Himmelberg kicked 10 of GWS’ 13 goals against Hawthorn and Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield, Harry Perryman and Nick Haynes were all terrific.
Richmond v Sydney
Venue: Gabba, QLD | Start: 3:35 PM
Richmond Tigers – Richmond’s depth will be tested in this clash with a host of stars not playing. Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards did not travel to the club’s Queensland hub due to personal reasons, while Dion Prestia and Toby Nankervis (both ankle), Trent Cotchin (hamstring) and David Astbury (knee) are all sidelined. Tom Lynch (hand) is in doubt, too, meaning a vastly different Tigers could face the Swans in this clash. What was pleasing for Tiger fans was the way Damien Hardwick’s men bounced back from a challenging run of form in Round 5. The win over Melbourne was full of Richmond trademarks and they should still be too good here.
Sydney Swans – The Swans love being the underdogs and have the ability to push the Tigers here, even if they will probably come up short. Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Isaac Heeney need to fire if the Swans are to cause an upset, while Tom Papley will hope to bounce back from a quiet week by his standards.
Carlton v Western Bulldogs
Venue: Metricon Stadium, QLD | Start: 6:45 PM
Carlton Blues – After successive wins against Geelong and Essendon, the Blues were a little disappointing against the Saints in Round 5. This looks much tougher, too, against an in-form Bulldogs outfit. Carlton has lost six of its last seven against Luke Beveridge’s side and needs more from forwards Mitch McGovern, Harry McKay and Levi Casboult, who were all goalless against St Kilda. This task looks beyond the Blues.
Western Bulldogs – Dogs fans will be delighted with their team’s response in 2020, with a trio of wins following back-to-back disappointing losses to start the season. Recruit Josh Bruce hit form in Round 5, kicking six goals against North Melbourne, and the Dogs have conceded just 14 goals in their last three matches. That statistic suggests things are ticking along just fine at the Kennel, and the return of Lachie Hunter from a club-enforced suspension helps even further. Expecting a comfortable Bulldogs win here.