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Who will win and why? The tips and predictions for AFL Round 10


Round 10 of the 2024 AFL season is upon us and several sides are facing banana peel games.

While we only have one pre-round top-eight matchup with Sydney and Carlton facing off on Friday night, we could be looking at plenty of upsets taking place.

We kick off in Darwin where the Suns host the Cats, before we head to the SCG for the Friday blockbuster. Saturday hosts four intriguing games before Sunday returns to its normal format with a 3:20 pm (AEST) fixture for the first time in weeks.

With all of that in mind, see our tips and predictions for Round 10 below.

Gold Coast v Geelong

Thursday - 7:30pm AEST – TIO Stadium

Prime time footy heads to Darwin on Thursday night and both the Gold Coast Suns and Geelong are looking to make a statement.

After playing at TIO Stadium last week, Damien Harwick’s Suns have remained in Darwin and have flown in extra troops to battle the difficult conditions.

Although, they are conditions Gold Coast handled with aplomb when earning its biggest win of the year against North Melbourne last weekend. Hardwick’s men have won their last five games in the Top End and have proven time and time again that the slippery conditions prove no hindrance.

Compare that with the Cats, who have never played for premiership points in Darwin, and a clear gap begins to emerge.

Add in the facts that Geelong will rest Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron is concussed, and the Cats are facing a significant uphill battle.

Since Cameron’s first season at the Cattery in 2021, Chris Scott has had at least one of the former Giant and Hawkins play each week. Round 10, 2024 presents the first time both will miss.

Whoever the Cats call in reinforcement will have to deal with a dynamic Suns backline, given Sam Collins and Mac Andrew are both in the top three for average intercepts in the competition, while teammate Sam Flanders picked up 10 of his own last week.

Geelong’s midfield was also belted last week – especially early on – against Port Adelaide and is vulnerable to the powerful combination that is Touk Miller, Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson.

Yet Scott is long odds to be beaten by what he knows is his side’s weakness twice in a row and the Cats held up brilliantly in the wet against Brisbane in Round 6. They’ll be right in the contest.

Tip: Geelong by 10 points.

Seb Mottram

Sydney v Carlton

Friday - 7:40pm AEST – SCG

Carlton and Sydney will meet on Friday night in a rematch of last year’s Elimination Final.

Can the Blues head to the SCG and stop the rampaging Swans or will the current number one seed continue their strong season?

Sydney is currently the number one team in the competition at scoring from turnover, something that will trouble a Carlton side that has struggled to move the ball out of their backline in the last fortnight.

In the Elimination Final last year it was Errol Gulden, Nick Blakey, Jake Lloyd and Chad Warner who cut the Blues open and nearly swung the game in the second half. Can Carlton’s half forwards and wingmen quell their influence?

The Swans will be without Tom McCartin once again and given he won the battle with Charlie Curnow last year, that is a big loss.

On the Carlton side, they lose Adam Cerra, Matt Cottrell and Marc Pittonet as their injury list once again swells into the double digits.

Carlton has faired well in recent years against the Swans, having won four of their last six matchups and in part it has been thanks to the Blues’ big-bodied midfielders getting on top at the centre bounce.

Matt Kennedy successfully tagged Christian Petracca early in Round 9, forcing the Melbourne star to move forward. Will Kennedy now get the job on Isaac Heeney?

This feels like a straight up 50-50 game. If Pittonet doesn’t play, it will be an enormous night for Tom De Koning given Carlton will need to win this game in the middle.

It’s hard to tip against the Swans, though.

Tip: Sydney by 8 points.

Nic Negrepontis

Collingwood v Adelaide

Saturday - 1:45pm AEST – MCG

Can Collingwood keep the ball rolling or will injuries finally catch up to them?

Those are the big questions facing the home side in this game as they look to keep their six-game unbeaten streak alive.

While they may regain a Jordan De Goey or Tom Mitchell for the clash, their casualty ward grew even bigger after their win against the Eagles with all of Jeremy Howe, Harvey Harrison and Jack Bytel going down.

If they keep getting the performances that Nick Daicos is putting in though, they’ll keep winning, he’s been that good across the last handful of games as a clearance-winning, goal-kicking midfielder.

As for Adelaide, they haven’t beaten Collingwood since 2016 but definitely won’t fear the Magpies having only gone down to them by a goal or less in all of their last three attempts.

Their form is also quietly building having beaten Port Adelaide and North Melbourne in their last three weeks as well as drawing with Brisbane.

This will be a bigger test for them though, as they also haven’t won at the MCG since 2017.

Their key to victory is their potent forward line kicking at least 85 points. Win here, and they’re back in the hunt for finals.

For the Pies, they’re deserved favourites and will win if they continue getting a good spread from their forward line.

With so many out though, can they keep backing their system over talent? We think so, but we’re not as sold as we would be if they had a few more available.

Tip: Collingwood by 19 points.

Lachlan Geleit

GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs

Saturday - 4:35pm AEST – Giants Stadium

Hostilities resume between the Giants and the Bulldogs in western Sydney on Saturday.

It’s the first game back at Engie Stadium since Round 2 for the Giants and they’ll be desperate to again step on their home turf where they’ve won five of their last six.

They enter this after a disappointing 20-point defeat to Essendon which just so happened to be a third defeat in four games. Are they in a little slump? Or is this about where they belong, just outside the top four?

The Doggies had a fill-up of colossal proportions against Richmond last week, kicking their biggest score of the season (133) to win by 91 points.

But beware a Bulldogs side in form. They’re 0-6 after wins of 50 or more points.

From personnel point of view, the Giants lose Josh Kelly and Lachie Ash who have both succumbed to calf injuries. Kelly in particular is a massive loss. The Dogs only have one fresh injury concern with Laitham Vandermeer carrying a shin issue out of the Tigers win.

It sets up as a very tricky affair to assess, with the Giants down on form and the Dogs coming to town after a dominant performance.

But we cannot simply forget the Dogs losing to Hawthorn and Fremantle prior and after failing to back it up after hefty wins, the Giants should not be discounted.

They are rightful favourites and although the Dogs have won five of the last six clashes, we just want to see them beat a top eight team before we can trust them.

Toby Greene, who has been fairly quiet this season, loves playing the Doggies with bags of five, seven and four goals in the last three meetings. He is due to have an influence.

It will be a tough old battle but the Giants should get up at home.

Tip: GWS by 9 points.

Andrew Slevison

St Kilda v Fremantle

Saturday - 7:30 AEST – Marvel Stadium

One thing is for certain, this clash isn’t going to be pretty.

Neither the Saints nor Dockers would be happy with their performance last week, collectively scoring 11.26 as they both fell in underwhelming fashion.

Having now lost four of their last five, St Kilda is desperate to end their slide, however it won’t come easy against a side that is just as staunch defensively as the Saints are.

The Dockers concede the third-least points per game in the competition but haven’t had much luck on the offensive side of the ball this season.

Fremantle has been improving that aspect as they become more free-flowing with their ball movement, yet Ross Lyon’s lauded defensive structure could shut that down quickly.

With both clubs focused on controlling possession and limiting momentum, a low-scoring affair is all but guaranteed.

This will result in an increased reliance on the clearance and contested possession games, and with Fremantle and St Kilda having the on-paper advantage in each of those respective areas, it’s shaping up to be a genuine 50/50.

The Dockers have had their fair share of trouble at Marvel in recent years, and while St Kilda hasn’t exactly turned their home turf into a fortress, it’s enough to give the Saints the edge.

Tip: St Kilda by 7 points.

Jack Makeham

Brisbane v Richmond

Saturday - 7:30pm AEST – GABBA

Richmond visits the Gabba in the second of a Saturday night double header in what might be the Lions’ best opportunity to kickstart their 2024 season.

Brisbane travelled to Adelaide last Sunday for what was potentially the most entertaining game for the season, battling out a 90-all draw with the Crows following a thrilling eight-goal final term.

They now sit on 14 points through nine rounds, with just three wins for the season and only one coming against a top eight side in Melbourne.

In their draw over the weekend, the Lions and Crows entered the game as the first and third best clearance teams in the AFL, and in what proved an intense clash at the centre of the park, the Lions lost out, finishing -19 in hit outs and -6 in clearances.

Despite this, they dominated around the ground, with +36 in total kicks, +42 in marks, +8 inside 50s and most importantly +22 in scores from stoppage. The Lions remain the number one clearance team in the competition.

Against a team like the Tigers, who rank dead last in clearances, the Lions are set to do significant damage from stoppage.

As for Richmond, there is not a whole lot of positive to take from their Saturday night clash with the Bulldogs.

-116 in disposals, -36 in inside 50’s, -105 in uncontested possessions, -13 in marks inside 50 and -9 in tackles, it was an utter capitulation from Adem Yze’s men.

While the Tigers were without Dylan Grimes and Liam Baker, the returns of Noah Balta, Dion Prestia and Jack Graham proved insignificant.

In terms of effort and intent, their clash with the Dogs was an abnormality. The Tigers still have a strong core group and have experienced moments of dominance in games all across 2024.

Yze’s start has not been ideal, but there are certainly things that the Tigers can revert to from previous weeks that can aid them in sucking the most out of the season that they possibly can.

As for their clash against the Lions, play the kids, hope to go injury free and compete from start to finish.

Tip: Brisbane by 54 points.

Jaiden Sciberras

Essendon v North Melbourne

Sunday - 1:10pm AEST – Marvel Stadium

The Bombers proved that they’re a legit finals contender with last week’s win over GWS and they should keep that momentum rolling here against North Melbourne.

The Roos are the only winless team remaining in 2024 and they haven’t got within four goals of any of their opponents this campaign. That’s how far they are off the pace.

Simply put, they won’t be good enough against an Essendon team that’s really finding their brand of footy.

The main question from this game could be, ‘By how much?’, given that Essendon’s percentage is only 98.3 - the sixth worst in the competition despite them sitting third on the ladder.

Win here by a big margin and the Dons go 7-2-1 and begin getting comfortable in a top-four spot.

At least North fans will be able to vent their frustrations on former club stalwarts Brad Scott, Todd Goldstein and Ben McKay who now represent the Dons.

We get the feeling it’ll be that trio who are smiling post-game, though.

Tip: Essendon by 49 points.

Lachlan Geleit

Port Adelaide v Hawthorn

Sunday - 3:20pm AEST – Adelaide Oval

Two teams entering the round after massive wins; the Hawks travel south to take on the Power at Adelaide Oval.

Port Adelaide entered Round 9 off the back of a disappointing 30-point defeat to the Crows in the Showdown. They were without their captain Connor Rozee, and they had failed to beat a true contender since their Round 22 clash with the Giants in 2023.

With all that being said, they travelled to the hardest fixture in the modern game, Geelong at Kardinia Park, and booted eight goals in the first quarter, followed by another four in the second to find themselves 41 points up at half time.

It was Port Adelaide’s best performance in some time, defying the odds and claiming victory in phenomenal fashion.

The Power finished the game +53 in disposals, +9 in clearances and +23 in marks, controlling the tempo despite Geelong’s nine goal second half. Ken Hinkley’s men did enough to hold off the Cats.

They return home with six wins from nine, just out of the top four on percentage, and with this win under their belt, the confidence amongst the changeroom will be hitting record highs.

The Hawks have won three of their last four games, putting away the Bulldogs and the Saints in very strong back-to-back victories for Sam Mitchell’s men.

Against the Saints, Hawthorn did not give up the lead at any point despite being -8 in inside 50s.

Without captain and All-Australian James Sicily, the Hawks’ back half held firm, holding the Saints to just three goals in the final half despite the Saints running home with momentum.

While the Hawks are in some commendable form, it will be tough to overcome a confident Port Adelaide side.

Tip: Port Adelaide by 33 points.

Jaiden Sciberras

West Coast v Melbourne

Sunday - 4:00pm AEST – Optus Stadium

A Sunday twilight clash with the West Coast Eagles presents as a banana peel game for Melbourne in a fly-in, fly-out mission for four points.

The last three games the Eagles played at Optus Stadium saw resounding victories against Richmond and Fremantle before pushing Essendon all the way and now Melbourne cross the nullabor in hope.

While not the easy beats they have been in the past two years, there’s still a clear pathway to beating West Coast. Win contest and dominate territory, and the Eagles are no hope.

When winning against the Tigers and Dockers, Adam Simpson’s men smashed both sides in inside 50s and contested footy. Contest and clearance against Essendon were relatively even in a six-point loss.

But against Collingwood on Sunday the Eagles were smashed to smithereens in all of territory, clearance and contest.

Plenty of that was done to Elliot Yeo’s absence with a groin injury, and he’s a test to return this weekend.

But Melbourne’s profile isn’t strong in territory and ranks 9th in contested footy differential. If Christian Petracca plays forward again, there’s plenty to suggest the Eagles are in this clash up to their eyeballs.

But after squandering a good look last week, don’t expect Melbourne to make the same mistake twice if the game is on the line late.

A win, and potentially a big one, is likely needed to keep the Demons in the top four beyond Round 10.

Tip: Melbourne by 17 points.

Seb Mottram

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