The second footy frenzy is well underway.
See who we are tipping for the remaining Round 15 matches below.
All times AEST
Wednesday, 7:10pm, Metricon Stadium
Richmond heads into this Wednesday night encounter in fairly strong form having accounted for West Coast last week to push themselves back into the top four.
Fremantle on the other hand struggled against GWS, conceding their biggest score against for the season (91) in a 38-point defeat. Prior to that, the Dockers had been extremely to difficult to score on, while the Tigers had battled a little bit with forward 50 entries but put all of that right with a clinical showing against the Eagles.
The reigning premiers have had the wood over Freo of late, winning four of their past five encounters, including a 25-point win at Optus Stadium in Round 8 last season. This time they meet at a neutral venue where this year the Tigers have won four from four with an average margin of 40.75 points while the Dockers are 2-2 at the ground in 2020.
The style in which Richmond plays gives them an edge against the defensive-centric Fremantle and if they can get as much ball inside 50 as they have been doing in recent weeks, then the scoring opportunities will be plentiful. Not to discount the way the Dockers go about it. Apart from the Giants loss they’ve been hard to break down so this will be no easy task for the Tigers.
In saying that, expect a fairly comfortable win for the yellow and black who are humming along nicely ahead of their bye this coming weekend. Freo will be more than competitive but Richmond should kick away in the second half.
Tip: Richmond by 23 points
Thursday, 4:40pm, Cazaly's Stadium (Cairns)
Thursday evening screams danger game for the Demons, when they take on Sydney up in Cairns. The Swans sit 16th on the ladder, but are a competitive team that is defensively sound and will make you pay if you’re off your game – ask GWS.
On top of that, the Swans have won four of their last five against Melbourne, indicating that they match up well. The issue for Sydney is their lack of a settled forward structure, meaning if the Dees can put on any scoreboard pressure they should win comfortably.
Melbourne is finishing the year well, knocking off St Kilda in Alice Springs last week, but has had a heavy travel load – something that has tripped up a few teams this year.
Max Gawn looms as the key in the middle as the Swans have struggled to deal with opposition ruckmen and if the Dees get on top in the middle, it’s hard to see Sydney getting over the top of them.
Tip: Melbourne by 11.
Thursday, 7:10pm, Metricon Stadium
This is it for Carlton. The loss to Collingwood means they must win at least three of their next four to remain in the finals hunt and if you’re assuming they beat Sydney and Adelaide, this is the game they’ll be setting themselves for.
The Blues will likely be stronger on paper, with Mitch McGovern, Sam Petrevksi-Seton and David Cuningham expected to be available, while the Giants will be without midfielder Josh Kelly.
GWS is a hard team to read, with their win over Fremantle looking like the circuit breaker after a year struggling to move the ball from one end to the other. They looked a confident team and carved a well-structured Dockers line-up apart. If they move the ball like that against Carlton, they will win comfortably.
The Blues have struggled to defend the corridor this year, especially on transition, and were killed by Collingwood in the second half last round. If Lachie Whitfield, Zac Williams and the Giants’ primary ball movers are given the freedom they enjoyed last week, Jeremy Cameron will enjoy silver service.
Something to watch is GWS relocating from Perth back to Queensland off a five-day break. Other teams have had a down week following the cross-country move. Despite that, looking at what we saw last week and their recent dominance of Carlton, the Giants should get the crucial four points.
Tip: GWS by 15
Friday, 7:50pm, Gabba
Collingwood come into this clash against the Brisbane Lions with a renewed sense of optimism about their finals chances after a dominant second half display against the Blues on Sunday.
The Pies have played more games at Brisbane’s home ground than the Lions have over the last month, but the extra rest could be the difference – the actual home side come in fresh off the bye while Collingwood have a five-day break between matches, which is albeit generous by 2020 standards.
Lions coach Chris Fagan will be hoping the week off results in improved goalkicking accuracy, with the issue that plagued Brisbane’s 2019 finals series still rearing its head in recent weeks.
Brisbane hasn’t defeated Collingwood since Round 21, 2014 and it’s a mental hurdle Fagan’s side must conquer if they are to take that next big step towards a premiership.
While the Pies managed to overcome the loss of Steele Sidebottom against a young Blues outfit, the class of Brisbane should prove too much for a team that is probably only running at 75% strength.
Tip: Brisbane by 21 points.