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Who will win? Round 13 tips and predictions


After what seems a lifetime of a three-night lay-off following the constant action of the frenzy, footy returns on Friday night.

Round 13 kicks off with the Suns taking on the Blues in Darwin and finishes up on Monday night at the Gabba when the Magpies 'host' the Kangaroos.

We have a full book of nine fixtures to get us through!

See who we are tipping below.

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All times AEST


Friday, 7:50pm, TIO Stadium (Darwin)

Carlton versus Gold Coast under Friday night lights with the winner still being a shot at making the top eight. Who had that on their 2020 bingo sheet?

This looms as a fascinating clash between two offensively focused teams. The Blues will be full of confidence following not only their last-second heroics against Fremantle, but their overall control of that game after quarter time. Gold Coast took it up to Richmond, but ultimately has not won a game since Round 7.

That aside, the Suns have been in good form and taken it up to strong opposition and this is very much a 50-50 clash on neutral turf up at TIO Stadium. The match-ups will be important and Ben King may prove a problem for the Blues, given their struggles with Max earlier in the year.

Both teams will have an excuse up their sleeve to play if things go awry - the Suns coming off a four-day break and the Blues making the trek from Western Australia to Darwin on game day. Assuming Carlton gets their preparations right, you’d imagine Gold Coast is worse off there.

Tip: Carlton by 2 points

Nic Negrepontis


Saturday, 1:45pm, Metricon Stadium

It’s a big game for Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs in their quest to make the finals.

The eighth-placed Demons and 10th-placed Bulldogs are locked on 24 points and are both coming off big wins in Round 12.

Melbourne hit the 100-point mark in their 10-goal crushing of Collingwood that moved them into the top eight for the first time this season.

The Dees are playing fluent football under coach Simon Goodwin who looks to have addressed the disconnect forward of centre with his side kicking scores of 88, 92 and 100 in their three straight victories.

Goodwin will hope Braydon Preuss (hip) can take his place with captain Max Gawn (knee) and youngster Luke Jackson (hamstring) stretching Melbourne’s ruck stocks.

The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak thanks to a morale-boosting 57-point win over cellar-dwellers Adelaide with fit-again Aaron Naughton kicking a career-best six goals.

Captain Marcus Bontempelli (33 disposals and two goals) and young gun Bailey Smith (37 and 813 metres gained) had a field day while Lachie Hunter’s successful return would have pleased coach Luke Beveridge.

The midfield battle will go a long way to deciding the match with Bontempelli, Smith, Hunter and Jack Macrae going up against the in-form Demons quartet of Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw and Jack Viney.

This one could go either way.

Tip: Melbourne by 6 points

Alex Zaia


Saturday, 4:35pm, Adelaide Oval

Both Port Adelaide and Hawthorn head into this clash off big losses and have big points to prove to the AFL world.

Port’s premiership credentials took a huge hit with their 60-point defeat to Geelong last Friday night. With a favourable percentage and run home the Power still look likely to land the double chance, but their pride has been damaged and a win over the Hawks is a good way to begin restoring it.

Hawthorn has had one win since Round 5 and are staring down the barrel of their first rebuild in over a decade. A big loss to the Eagles wasn’t unexpected but it was the performances of senior players that raised questions as to whether the Hawks had already given up on 2020.

Their task won’t be made any easier with the loss of James Sicily to an ACL and Jaegar O’Meara with a broken hand.

The Hawks have won their last two clashes with Port, both of which were in Launceston, but it’s hard to see them leaving Adelaide with the four points on Saturday.

If Port’s barometer Charlie Dixon clunks a few marks early, it could be another big loss for Hawthorn.

Tip: Port Adelaide by 36 points

Sam Mills


Saturday, 7:45pm, TIO Stadium (Darwin)

The annual Dreamtime match has a little bit of a different look and feel to it in 2020.

The Indigenous celebration event will take place at TIO Stadium with the red dust of Darwin providing a very apt and iconic backdrop.

Essendon heads into the match without a win from their last four outings and knowing that they need to end a nine-game losing run to Richmond to get back on the winners’ list.

Last Monday night, the Tigers bounced back from their disappointing defeat to Port Adelaide by grinding out a victory over the Gold Coast Suns, making it three wins from their last four matches.

The reigning premiers will have All-Australian half-back and former Bomber Bachar Houli back in action in what is a major boost while the Dons will be sweating on the fitness of Jake Stringer who has been sidelined with a syndesmosis injury since Round 5. Devon Smith is also expected to return for the red and black.

Based on 2020 form and the overall head-to-head numbers, the Tigers deserve to be heavy favourites for this. They’ve been at times underwhelming in getting the job done and at other times we’ve seen glimpses of their very best. The defensive system has been solid of late which is likely to be make life difficult for the Bombers who are struggling to kick decent scores regularly.

It will be highly a competitive affair in the Top End but Richmond should be good enough to see it out.

Tip: Richmond by 19 points

Andrew Slevison


Saturday, 8:10pm, Optus Stadium

Fremantle and Sydney are two teams in the bottom half of the ladder playing good footy right now. The Dockers’ defensive structures make life very difficult for opposition sides, while the Swans picked apart GWS last round.

This makes for a fascinating contest between two teams out of the finals mix and full of young stars. You could argue these two sides have the most talent of players aged 24 or under in the competition and how they line up will be interesting.

Expect a low scoring game, with Fremantle ranked 17th for points scored this season and Sydney 16th. The Swans have started to find structure with their forward mix as Sam Reid and Tom McCartin find their feet after injuries, but Luke Ryan and Brennan Cox have been in strong form in the Freo defence all season.

Given this game is in Perth and given the Dockers have been so hard to score on in recent weeks, we’ll give them the edge in what should be a tight, low scoring affair.

Tip: Fremantle by 5 points

Nic Negrepontis


Sunday, 1:05pm, Adelaide Oval

This game presents two sides at ether end of the form scale.

The Crows are desperately seeking a first win of 2020 while the Cats are in superb nick on the back of three straight victories of 33, 59 and 60 points - the most recent against ladder leaders Port Adelaide.

While Adelaide gets to play at home, there will be no creature comforts as they run into the form team in the competition who have beaten them in the past two meetings including a victory at the Adelaide Oval early last year.

The Crows have no significant changes to make but Geelong will get to choose if they recall some quality senior players with Cam Guthrie (soreness), Esava Ratugolea (adductor) and Luke Dahlhaus (foot) all likely to be available.

While a win is ideal, Matthew Nicks will be hoping his players can simply be competitive while Chris Scott will no doubt be eyeing off another percentage booster.

Following a tough match-up with Aaron Naughton, who kicked a bag of six goals last weekend, key Crows defender Daniel Talia will be intent on bouncing back but it gets no easier as he bumps into Tom Hawkins, fresh off half a dozen of his own and 11 in his last two outings.

Unless there’s a miracle, the Cats should be winning this comfortably. The Crows have lost three of their past four games by 51 points or more and that trend could well continue here.

Tip: Cats by 55 points

Andrew Slevison


Sunday, 3:35pm, Gabba

Brisbane and St Kilda have their sights set on a top-four finish when they do battle in what shapes as an intriguing match-up.

The Lions were below their best in their scrappy win over North Melbourne last time out but another four points banked saw them consolidate second spot on the ladder.

It didn’t stop Chris Fagan from unleashing a half-time spray on his players following a flat display against the lowly Kangaroos.

Fagan will demand an improved showing when they meet the fifth-placed Saints who easily accounted for Essendon to move closer to sealing a finals spot.

After falling well short against perennial finalists Geelong in Round 11, Brett Ratten’s men will get another chance to test themselves against another premiership contender.

One player St Kilda will be putting time into is Charlie Cameron.

Cameron dominated with five goals in Brisbane’s dominant win over the Saints in Round 14 last year but the star small forward looked hampered by a knee problem last weekend.

It’s hard to go past the Lions at the Gabba but St Kilda will push them all the way.

Tip: Brisbane by 10 points

Alex Zaia


Sunday, 6:10pm, Optus Stadium

West Coast and GWS are two teams that came into 2020 in premiership contention, but have had polar opposite seasons.

While the Giants started the year strongly, the Eagles floundered under the Queensland hub strain. In the second block, things flipped and now West Coast looms as the competition’s dominant team and GWS appear to be hanging on by a thread following a patch of unconvincing football.

Where does the truth lie? We’ll find out on Sunday.

The Giants started their existence with a poor record against every team, but years of competence have seen them get back to level pegging against the vast majority … but not the Eagles. In fact, GWS has only beaten West Coast three times ever and all three of those games came in 2017, including a semi-final.

So outside of a one-year dominance, the Giants have not landed a single blow on West Coast, which makes it hard to see them winning this one given where both teams are at and the fact that the game is in Perth.

GWS will be hoping to have Toby Greene back, who will make the world of difference, while the Eagles will once again be without Elliot Yeo.

Expect a better performance by the Giants coming off their crushing Sydney defeat, but West Coast should be too strong.

Tip: West Coast by 17 points

Nic Negrepontis


Monday, 7:10pm, Gabba

Collingwood was humiliated to the tune of 56 points against Melbourne in Round 12 and while Monday night’s clash against North Melbourne may look to be routine on paper, the Pies are going to have to be wary.

The Roos frustrated Brisbane for four quarters last weekend and came within a bound of snatching an unlikely win against the Lions. They would be targeting this game to cause an almighty upset.

These sides last met in Round 15 last year at Marvel Stadium and it was North Melbourne were victorious by 44 points that night, with Jack Ziebell and Ben Cunnington in their best form. They’ll have to make do without the star midfield pairing in this clash as they continue their respective stints on the sidelines through injury.

Collingwood is undoubtedly favourites for this one but there’s no shying away from the fact that this promises to be a competitive tussle against a dogged North Melbourne side.

Lose this and playing finals in 2020 suddenly becomes a tricky proposition for Nathan Buckley’s side.

Tip: Collingwood by 8 points

Laurence Rosen

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St Kilda Western Bulldogs Adelaide Essendon Hawthorn West Coast Eagles Richmond Gold Coast Brisbane Lions Carlton Collingwood Fremantle Geelong Greater Western Sydney Melbourne North Melbourne Port Adelaide Sydney Swans

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