Ladder-leaders Port Adelaide kick off a peculiar Round 10, Ken Hinkley’s side hosting the Western Bulldogs on Monday in a midweek round featuring seven matches in five days.
The clash between reigning premiers Richmond and the second-placed Brisbane Lions on Tuesday should be a beauty, too, while St Kilda’s top-four credentials face an examination on the Gold Coast two nights later.
Carlton, Hawthorn, Fremantle and West Coast might all have the bye but there’s still plenty of footy to watch, so read on for our full Round 10 preview!
Bookmakers have not released all betting markets for each game. Check back for updates for games tips and odds for games later in the week.
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AFL Tipping – Monday August 3
Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs
Adelaide Oval | 7:10 PM AEST (AEST)
Port Adelaide Power – Had some minor queries on the Power but they were answered in a 51-point thumping of Melbourne in Round 9. The midfield bats deep, and young forward Mitch Georgiades looks a very likely type, kicking three goals and marking well in just his third game. His arrival will lessen the blow of Todd Marshall’s injury-enforced absence, and if he can give Charlie Dixon good support on a regular basis, the Power are even more threatening. Tom Rockliff made an impact on his return to the side, winning 21 disposals and producing 10 tackles. Travis Boak, Robbie Gray, Ollie Wines and Rockliff are reliable contributors, but it is the improvement from the likes of Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma, Darcy Byrne-Jones and Dan Houston that has Power fans really excited. Back on home soil, the Power should prove too good, especially given they have won three of their past four against the Bulldogs.
Western Bulldogs – The Bulldogs are proving tough to catch for punters this season, given the massive difference between their good and bad. All four losses suffered by Luke Beveridge’s side have been by 39 points or more, and that inconsistency is extremely frustrating for supporters. There is no question that the Dogs would benefit from the return of Aaron Naughton (ankle), while Lachie Hunter, Lin Jong, Taylor Duryea and Bailey Dale are all on the sidelines, too. Those absences mean the club’s depth is being tested and the 41-point loss to Richmond on Wednesday was not a great sign. Richmond did play very well, though, and the Bulldogs should get much closer in this. There is some good news, too, with midfielder Josh Dunkley set to return. Will it be enough to topple the Power? Probably not. The Dogs could do with a huge performance from skipper Marcus Bontempelli, while Jack Macrae looks back in form. This looks too difficult, though.
AFL Tipping – Tuesday August 4
Richmond Tigers vs Brisbane Lions
Metricon Stadium | 7.10pm (AEST) (AEST)
Richmond Tigers – The reigning premiers were super impressive in Round 9, with that big win over the Bulldogs featuring 10 players with 30 games or less of experience. The likes of Noah Balta, Liam Baker and Jake Aarts are in terrific form and suggest the Tigers will be going nowhere in 2020 – even if the club’s massive injury list remains. Dustin Martin is in great form and had 26 disposals and booted three goals against the Bulldogs, something that will worry Lions fans. Martin has kicked 14 goals in his last three matches against the Lions, including two bags of six, one of which came in last year’s qualifying final. The Tigers went up to Queensland and beat Brisbane by 47 points on that day, making it 14 straight wins against the Lions. The Lions are in terrific form themselves, meaning this should be a great game to watch, but Brisbane have not got within 20 points of the Tigers since 2010. Richmond – in a close one.
Brisbane Lions – Chris Fagan’s side have won seven of eight games since the competition’s resumption, the latest triumph being a 63-point thrashing of Essendon. Charlie Cameron celebrated a new four-year contract extension with four goals, while Lachie Neale won 33 disposals and added two goals of his own. Neale should be leading the Brownlow Medal by now and has a track record of excellence against Richmond, averaging 36.6 disposals in his last five matches against the Tigers. It seems unlikely the Tigers will send a tagger to him, meaning Neale could enjoy another day out. Like Richmond, Brisbane’s depth is being tested a little at the minute, with five new faces featuring in the demolition of the Bombers. This shapes as the match of the round.
AFL Tipping – Wednesday August 5
Geelong Cats vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Gabba | 5.40pm (AEST) (AEST)
Geelong Cats – The Cats were beaten by West Coast in Round 9 but won plenty of admirers for their impressive and gutsy performance. The returns of midfielder Mitch Duncan and defender Tom Stewart make Geelong a much better side, and captain Joel Selwood could come back from a hamstring injury. That would add even further weight to Geelong’s already very impressive claims in this. Chris Scott’s side have a good record against the Kangaroos, winning their last five meetings against North Melbourne, four of them by 24 points or more. Patrick Dangerfield was quiet against the Eagles, restricted to 18 disposals, but don’t be surprised if he hits back strongly. Dangerfield averages 33.8 disposals and 1.4 goals per game against North Melbourne in Geelong colours.
North Melbourne Kangaroos – The Kangaroos snapped a six-game losing streak in style in Round 9, thrashing the winless Crows by 69 points. That the Kangaroos won so well without captain Jack Ziebell (hamstring), Ben Cunnington (back) and Ben Brown (omitted), was particularly pleasing for coach Rhyce Shaw. In Brown’s absence, North had a host of others step up, with seven players kicking multiple goals for the Kangaroos. Cam Zurhaar led the way with three, while Luke McDonald had a field day, winning 35 disposals. North’s 19.5 (119) is the highest score of 2020 so far, so the Roos will enter this clash with some optimism. It is bound to be much tougher against the Cats, though, and the likes of McDonald, Jed Anderson, Trent Dumont, Aaron Hall and Shaun Higgins will all need to fire if the Kangaroos are to push the Cats.
Adelaide Crows vs Melbourne Demons
Adelaide Oval | 8.10pm (AEST) (AEST)
Adelaide Crows – What do you say about the Crows? After getting within three points of Essendon, Adelaide were belted by the Kangaroos, a side who had lost six matches in a row and were without a host of their big-name stars. Adelaide’s losing streak is at a club record 12 matches and coach Matthew Nicks will be hopeful key forward Taylor Walker has recovered from a bout of gastro. Walker, skipper Rory Sloane (hand) and stand-in captain Tom Doedee (hamstring) all missed the clash against the Kangaroos, and Doedee could return for this, too. Adelaide should improve at home and are playing a Melbourne side down on confidence, but a Crows victory looks too much of a stretch.
Melbourne Demons – Just when the Demons looked to have turned the corner, they produced an insipid performance against the Power. Coach Simon Goodwin pulled no punches, claiming it was “unacceptable” and, as a result, expect some change at the selection table this week. The Demons continue to fall down forward of centre and atrocious ball use restricted them to four goals against Port Adelaide. The good news is that this clash looms as extremely winnable, given the struggles faced by the Crows in 2020. Melbourne has history on its side, too, triumphing in its past two matches against the Crows at the Adelaide Oval. Midfielder Clayton Oliver is free to play despite being placed on report for striking Peter Ladhams and he could do with a big game. Oliver, facing some heat for his ball use, averages 30.6 disposals against Adelaide over the course of his career. Melbourne should win this but punters will have no confidence in them doing so.
AFL Tipping – Thursday August 6
Collingwood Magpies vs Sydney Swans
Gabba | 5.40pm (AEST) (AEST)
Collingwood Magpies – Successive losses to West Coast and Fremantle means the jury is still out on Collingwood in 2020. Nathan Buckley’s side have lost four of their past six matches and are really missing Scott Pendlebury (quad), Jordan De Goey (finger) and Jeremy Howe (knee). De Goey and Howe are not returning anytime soon, though, and Buckley needs a significant improvement from his forward line. Collingwood have not kicked more than nine goals since Round 3 and forwards Brody Mihocek and Jaidyn Stephenson are down on form. Both players have kicked just one goal in their past three matches. Steele Sidebottom made a strong contribution on his return against Fremantle and he should link up with Adam Treloar to ensure the Magpies win the midfield battle against the Swans. That should be enough for Collingwood, particularly against a young Sydney side.
Sydney Swans – Sydney has lost five of its last six matches and the Round 9 capitulation to St Kilda was the club’s worst defeat of the season, the Saints winning by 53 points. Coach John Longmire is continuing to trust in his youngsters, giving them valuable games in the continued injury absence of Lance Franklin (hamstring), Josh Kennedy (knee) and Isaac Heeney (season). A host of other Swans are sidelined, too, and that means an upset here is unlikely. History suggests it will be close, with the last three matches between the two sides decided by seven points or less. A repeat looks unlikely. Watch out for Jake Lloyd, though. The defender averages 32.75 disposals in his last four matches against the Magpies. He could really challenge Treloar in the most disposals market.
Gold Coast Suns vs St Kilda Saints
Metricon Stadium | 8.10pm (AEST) (AEST)
Gold Coast Suns – The Suns appear on the slide with just one win from their last five matches. They looked out of sync in Sunday’s loss to Greater Western Sydney and kicked just four goals in the 26-point loss. David Swallow and Touk Miller struggled to have their usual impact, with just three Suns winning more than 15 disposals. Stuart Dew’s side will find it tough to return to winning ways against an in-form St Kilda, too, who the Suns have not beaten since 2016. Gold Coast has won three of its last five against the Saints at Metricon Stadium, though.
St Kilda Saints – Brett Ratten’s Saints are up and about, with five wins from six leaving them third on the ladder. The club’s new recruits continue to impress, but it is the form of Jack Steele that is really eye-catching in 2020. Steele is having a brilliant season in midfield, while Max King continues to look the goods in the forward 50. From this point, it is hard to see the Saints missing out on finals action, but if they are to be a genuine contender, this is the sort of game they need to win – and without too much drama. St Kilda has won its last three matches against the Gold Coast, but all of them were by four points or less. This should be a much more comfortable win. Tim Membrey has caused the Suns problems in the past and has booted at least two goals in his last five matches against Gold Coast.
AFL Tipping – Friday August 7
Essendon Bombers vs Greater Western Sydney Giants
Metricon Stadium | 7.50pm (AEST) (AEST)
Essendon Bombers – Major concerns linger over Essendon’s depth and the club’s injury list is not reducing. Some of the names sidelined at the moment include captain Dyson Heppell (ankle), forwards Jake Stringer (ankle), Orazio Fantasia (calf), Joe Daniher (groin) and Jayden Laverde (ankle) and utility Cale Hooker (calf). The Bombers were very ordinary against Brisbane on Friday night, kicking just three goals, and it is extremely difficult to see them upsetting the Giants in this clash. Essendon has at least won two of its past three against the Giants, but another victory seems beyond them. Andrew McGrath played a lone hand in midfield against the Lions and could do with more help from the likes of Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel, Devon Smith.
Greater Western Sydney Giants – The Giants are warming into the season and four wins from six leaves them seventh on the ladder at the conclusion of Round 9. The injuries to Toby Greene and Matt de Boer (both hamstring) clouded Sunday’s win over the Gold Coast Suns, but even if that pair miss this, the Giants should prove far too good for a struggling Essendon outfit. Most pleasing in the win over the Suns was the spread of contributors. Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly, Jacob Hopper, the returning Zac Williams, Tim Taranto, Stephen Coniglio and Harry Perryman all had 20 disposals or more, a good sign for coach Leon Cameron. Key forward Jeremy Cameron was more subdued, but still managed two goals from 10 disposals. Cameron averages three goals per game against Essendon and it would not surprise to see him get off the chain here.