A Friday night blockbuster between in-form Geelong and ladder leaders Port Adelaide headlines a big Round 12 of AFL action.
The nine games are spread across five days, with triple-headers on Saturday and Sunday sure to entertain footy fans.
Read on for our full Round 12 preview!
Place a 3+ Leg same game multi bet on this weeks games of the AFL and if 1 leg fails, you will get up to $50 back in bonus bets. Terms and conditions apply.
AFL Tipping – Thursday August 13
Sydney Swans v GWS Giants
Optus Stadium | 8:10 PM (AEST)
Sydney Swans – Sydney entered the bye on the back of a nine-point loss to Collingwood, the club’s sixth defeat in seven matches. The Swans are down on star power this season, with Lance Franklin, Isaac Heeney and Josh Kennedy all sidelined, and are turning matches into ugly scraps to stay competitive. Three of the club’s last five matches have been decided by nine points or less, but the Giants have too much star quality for a repeat here. A low-scoring game would not surprise, but Sydney has lost its past three against its rivals.
Greater Western Sydney Giants – Phil Davis (knee) has joined Toby Greene (hamstring) on the GWS injury list, but Leon Cameron’s men should still be winning this comfortably. That is despite the club’s last match, an ugly four-point win over Essendon that cast doubt on the club’s premiership credentials. A strong win here would be a nice response after the bye. Giants midfielder Stephen Coniglio has kicked at least one goal in all of his last seven matches against the Swans and could be a nice option for multi bets.
AFL Tipping – Friday August 14
Geelong Cats v Port Adelaide
Metricon Stadium | 7:50 PM (AEST)
Geelong Cats – With six wins from their last eight, the Cats are travelling very nicely. This shapes as a massive test, though, and comes on the back of easy wins against North Melbourne and St Kilda. Midfielder Sam Menegola is in outstanding form and is averaging 22.4 disposals and one goal per match in his last 10 outings. Tom Hawkins is on fire up forward, too, while Gary Rohan returned to the side with a bang – and four goals – against the Saints. Geelong are also good at the back, and restricted St Kilda to just four goals in Round 11. That back six will be worked harder against the Power, but Geelong has the wood on its opponents, winning 14 of the past 16 clashes, a run that includes that famous 2007 Grand Final triumph.
Port Adelaide Power – The Power passed a big test with a 21-point win against Richmond in Round 11, a result that made the football world stand up and take notice of Ken Hinkley’s side. Port’s attack on the football in the first 15 minutes was simply ferocious and an array of star contributors helped the Power to a win that should have actually been much bigger. Port won the inside 50 count in a canter (55-24) and on another day, could have won by 10 goals. The Power do not have a good record against the Cats but won the only meeting last year by 11 points and enter this clash full of confidence. This should be a cracking contest.
AFL Tipping – Saturday August 15
North Melbourne v Brisbane Lions
Metricon Stadium | 2:35 PM (AEST)
North Melbourne Kangaroos – The Kangaroos are in all sorts, with eight losses in their past nine only made worse by the club’s crippling injury list. Jack Ziebell (hamstring), Ben Cunnington (back) and Ben Brown (knee) are the star names on that list, but Robbie Tarrant (calf), Jed Anderson (eye), Aiden Bonar (AC joint), Josh Walker (thigh) and Majak Daw (calf) will all be monitored after a demoralising 57-point defeat to Melbourne in Round 11. Luke McDonald is in terrific form and averages 28.6 disposals in his last three, while Shaun Higgins has a brilliant record against the Lions, averaging 33 disposals and one goal per game in his last four matches against Brisbane. Those two need far more support for this match to even be competitive.
Brisbane Lions – The Lions have the best attack in the competition and Eric Hipwood will be licking his lips ahead of a match-up against the Kangaroos. Hipwood kicked five goals against the Bulldogs in a 24-point Round 11 win and may not have the support of Charlie Cameron (knee) to rely on this week. Cameron is in doubt, so watch for updates on his fitness. Lachie Neale continues to win big numbers of the ball, and Jarryd Lyons, Dayne Zorko and Hugh McCluggage are all enjoying strong seasons. Brisbane won both meetings against the Kangaroos in 2019 and should win this very comfortably.
Melbourne v Collingwood
Gabba | 5:10 PM (AEST)
Melbourne Demons – Back-to-back wins against Adelaide and North Melbourne has the Demons back in the mix in 2020, but this will be a tougher test. A feature of Melbourne’s last two wins has been strong finishes, the Demons initially piling on seven goals to one against the Crows in the last quarter. Melbourne then followed that up with six goals to none in the final term against the Kangaroos, with both wins being by more than 50 points. Melbourne skipper Max Gawn (shoulder/knee) and tough midfielder Jack Viney (concussion) could return, too, and the Demons face an out-of-form Magpies outfit in this. Winning this is very possible – a sentence that did not seem plausible four weeks ago.
Collingwood Magpies – A win is a win, eh? Successive triumphs against Sydney and Adelaide have been utterly unconvincing but there is no point playing your best football in the middle of the season. The worry for Magpies fans is the nagging question: Can they get back to their 2018 form? There is a real lack of cohesion in Collingwood’s play in 2020, and without Taylor Adams and Brayden Maynard, they would be further down the ladder. Collingwood’s attack has not clicked and this now looms as a danger game. Watch for Collingwood’s selection news – it could swing your tip on this game. The inclusions of skipper Scott Pendlebury, Darcy Moore, Jamie Elliott and Co would make a big difference …
Fremantle v Carlton
Optus Stadium | 8:10 PM (AEST)
Fremantle Dockers – Back-to-back home wins have Fremantle fans excited about the future – and rightly so. In Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong and Adam Cerra, the Dockers have a midfield brimming with potential. Throw in Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters in the prime of their careers and it is easy to see the Dockers on the rise. Forward Matt Taberner is enjoying a career-best season, too, and if Walters can return from a hamstring problem, it would be a huge boost for the Dockers. Jesse Hogan (calf) is in the mix, too, as Freo go for three in a row on home soil. That home ground advantage swings this in favour of Justin Longmuir and the Dockers.
Carlton Blues – Carlton’s knack of playing in spurts was on full display again in Round 11, as they coughed up a 19-point lead in the third quarter and let West Coast storm home to a 22-point win. It will worry coach David Teague and he knows another fadeout could end Carlton’s slim chances of featuring in finals football. The Blues are a puzzling side, because their best is terrific, and Zac Fisher starred on return against the Eagles, kicking a career-high four goals. Carlton won its only meeting against the Dockers in 2019 by four points, and it was at Optus Stadium, too. Fremantle has won six of the last eight against the Blues, though.
AFL Tipping – Sunday August 16
Western Bulldogs v Adelaide Crows
Metricon Stadium | 1:05 PM (AEST)
Western Bulldogs – Mark this down as a confidence-boosting win for a Bulldogs side who have been tough to catch for punters in 2020. Many of the club’s losses have been bad, but Luke Beveridge’s men have showed enough in successive defeats to Port Adelaide and Brisbane that they will easily account for the winless Crows. Jack Macrae is averaging 34.6 disposals in his last three matches, and he should combine with the likes of Josh Dunkley, Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore to give the club’s forwards plenty of scoring opportunities. Ex-Lion Josh Schache is a chance of returning from a groin issue, but if he does not play, look for Josh Bruce to kick a bag.
Adelaide Crows – The Crows were gallant once again in Round 11, going down by four goals against Collingwood. Matthew Nicks’ side struggle to score, though, and are 0-11 for the season. Adelaide has lost 14 in a row, too, and has problems at both ends of the field. The Crows have the competition’s worst attack and defence and captain Rory Sloane (hand) and Brad Crouch (hamstring) are still sidelined. The likes of Tyson Stengle and Shane McAdam are showing some potential up forward, but it will not be enough here. The last three meetings between the Bulldogs and the Crows have been decided by 30 points or more and that trend should continue here.
St Kilda v Essendon
Gabba | 3:35 PM (AEST)
St Kilda Saints – The Saints have a point to prove in this after being thumped by Geelong in Round 11. St Kilda kicked just four goals against the Cats, and none after half time, in a 59-point loss that brought a four-game winning streak to a halt. Not convinced the Saints are top-four material, but this looks like a game they should win if they are to feature in the finals. Look for responses from Dan Butler and Max King in this clash. Butler went goalless against the Cats, the first time that has happened since Round 1, and it was similar for King, who had not missed out on a goal since Round 4. St Kilda won its only meeting against Essendon in 2019 by 11 points.
Essendon Bombers – The Bombers came from three goals down in the last quarter to get a draw on the Gold Coast in Round 11, a good result when you consider the Bombers were on the road and scrapping for the result until the very last second. Essendon’s form since going 4-1 has been very patchy, though, and the Bombers have now won just one of their last five matches. That win? A three-point triumph over winless Adelaide. Six of the club’s 11 matches have been decided by six points or less, and another close match would be no great surprise. Winning this looks a little too tough for the Bombers, though, particularly given their lengthy injury list.
West Coast Eagles v Hawthorn
Optus Stadium | 6:10 PM (AEST)
West Coast Eagles – The Eagles do not have happy memories of their last home match against the Hawks, losing in Round 23 2019 to pass up a top-four spot and a double chance. That was a major roadblock in West Coast’s bid to go back to back, and they eventually dropped out of the premiership race in the semi-finals. West Coast has won six in a row heading into this, though, and a repeat of that 38-point loss looks very unlikely. Josh Kennedy has kicked 17 goals in his past four matches while midfielder Dom Sheed is in terrific form. Jeremy McGovern (thumb) could return, too, and this looks like an easy home win for the Eagles.
Hawthorn Hawks – It was interesting to hear Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson acknowledge he intends to play more younger players following a Round 11 loss to Fremantle that saw Hawthorn slump to a 4-6 record. Five of those losses have come in the club’s last six matches, and back-to-back road fixtures against West Coast and the Power look like ending in defeats. The Hawks still have some star quality on their list, but a change in focus should see them well off the pace in games like this. Veteran Shaun Burgoyne could return from a hamstring problem, but Isaac Smith (shoulder) is in doubt.
AFL Tipping – Monday August 17
Richmond v Gold Coast Suns
Gabba | 7:10 PM (AEST)
Richmond Tigers – Tigers fans should not be too disheartened by what they saw at the Adelaide Oval. Richmond were heavily undermanned, beaten to the football and hammered in the inside 50 count, yet led ladder-leaders Port Adelaide at three-quarter time and only lost by 21 points. The Tigers still have a huge amount of upside in them – can Port Adelaide play any better than it did? The return of skipper Trent Cotchin (managed) will boost the reigning premiers here. Richmond has won its last five against the Suns, with four of them by 33 points or more. The Tigers kicked 23 goals in a 92-point demolition of the Suns last year, too, and Jack Riewoldt averages three goals per game against Gold Coast. The Suns, of course, have improved on their form of recent years, but Richmond should still be far too good here.
Gold Coast Suns – Three times in four matches the Suns have just fallen short, losing by five points to the Western Bulldogs in Round 8 and by four points to the Saints in Round 10. A draw against Essendon followed in Round 11, showing the Suns are not far off being a genuine top-eight challenger. Brandon Ellis, Lachie Weller, Hugh Greenwood and David Swallow have all been consistent this season, while Max King and Izak Rankine continue to show exciting glimpses. Expect to see a few more of those glimpses here, but this is simply too early in the Suns’ development to see them winning this.