Round 18 AFL Preview

Thursday, September 17
North Melbourne vs West Coast @ Metricon Stadium - 19:10
As North Melbourne comes up against West Coast on Thursday night, there will be only one thing on each of the teams' minds! For the Kangaroos it will be finishing the season off on a positive note to not risk being Season 2020's Wooden Spoon recipients. As they are on a totally different path going into the last round, the Eagles will be firmly focused on getting a win here to do all they can to snag a Top 4 finish, getting them a double chance heading in to the finals. While the Roos motivation should definitely be there, the Eagles have so much more to play for in this one.
West Coast Eagles by 37 points

Friday, September 18
St. Kilda vs GWS Giants @ The Gabba - 19:50

In an exciting end to the AFL's 2020 season, we have another game that has a lot of bearing on how the home and away season's ladder will pan out, and which of these clubs will finish in the Top 8. With their good percentage, the Saints are looking like they should be back in the finals race after missing it since 2011. The Giants were being pegged as a Top 4 team for 2020 but in a fair fall from grace, they find themselves having to fight to fill the bottom spot of the Top 8. Across their last four meetings, the Giants have a solid three-to-one lead over their opponents, but this is a new season and St Kilda is playing better footy!
St Kilda by 11 points

Saturday, September 19
Essendon vs Melbourne @ Metricon Stadium - 14:10

As they are sitting in thirteenth place, and have no chance at the finals, the Bombers ruckman, Tom Bellchambers has announced his retirement from AFL, so the team will be wanting to send him off on a high in the last match of the season. For the Demons things are a bit different! By having a better percentage than the team above them (the Bulldogs) they still have a realistic chance of scraping into the Top 8, and being a part of the finals. The Demons will be looking to their midfield to get on top early, while their spread of goal-kickers can make it hard to stop if they get a run on. With so much on the line, Melbourne just has to win.
Melbourne by 19 points

Adelaide vs Richmond @ Adelaide Oval - 17:10

To start with a bit of interesting history for this match, the Crows have a three-games-to-two lead over the Tigers across their last five meetings; and then there was the Grand Final belting that Richmond handed out to an Adelaide team that did their best Power Rangers impersonation at the start of the match. Let's just say there won't be any love lost between these two teams! Just a few rounds ago this would have been an easy match to pick, but with Adelaide's much improved form, and the Tigers losing their number one ruckman and number one forward in the same match, things just got a whole lot trickier!
Richmond by 7 points

Brisbane vs Carlton @ The Gabba - 19:40

After their 32-point win over the Swans last round, the Brisbane Lions have sewn up second-place on the ladder for Season 2020. Unfortunately for Carlton fans their team became the Crow's third victim in a row and have dropped down to find themselves in twelfth spot entering their last match. Will Kade Simpson's retirement announcement give them a spark? As the Lions could still finish in the top position, they should have a good amount of motivation to get the win over their opponents in this match. But then, who would they prefer to play in the first round of the finals? So many permutations to be gone over by the Lion's coaching staff for this one!
Brisbane by 21 points

Sunday, September 20
Hawthorn vs Gold Coast @ Adelaide Oval - 13:05

In this fixture on Sunday afternoon, the 16th placed Hawks will face off against the 14th placed Suns. With the Hawks not having won a match since their Round 9 fixture against Carlton, their fans have certainly had a lean season! While the Suns haven't been much better, they did get a win against North Melbourne in Round 14, and a draw with Essendon in Round 11. If either team has some extra motivation to push for a win in this match it has to be Hawthorn! With both Ben Sratton and Paul Puopolo letting their teammates know this will be their last match with them, they should get carried off the ground with a win.
Hawthorn by 14 points

Sydney vs Geelong @ Metricon Stadium - 15:35

The fifteenth placed Swans come up against a Geelong team looking to improve their ladder position, and absolutely not drop below the Eagles, in this match-up on Sunday afternoon. Adding winning four of the past five matches between these two teams, to what should be Geelong's already high motivation levels and it is hard seeing the Swans having any ways to get past the Catters! While the results from other matches will play a big part in where they finish, the Cat's high percentage score is putting them in a good position to take advantage of a slip by the Tigers or to hold off the Eagles, even if the Coasters get a win.
Geelong by 31 points

Fremantle vs W. Bulldogs @ Cazaly's Stadium - 18:10

On the back of winning four of their past five matches, the Bulldogs will go into the match against Fremantle having to get the win if they are to secure their place in the Top 8, and the chance to make a run deep into the finals of 2020. While Fremantle has no chance at the finals, they have been playing better football over the past couple of rounds, beating Melbourne and the Kangaroos while making life tough for the Tigers, in the process. There is no doubt the Dockers young-guns are starting to get up to speed with playing at the top level, but in this important match for the Doggies I can't see it being enough to get them over the line.
Western Bulldogs by 28 points

Monday, September 21
Collingwood vs Port Adelaide @ The Gabba - 19:15

Oh what a difference getting two of the competitions better players back into the team makes! With the return of Adam Treloar and Jordan DeGoey for Collingwood's match last round, the Pies were able to get a 22-point win over the Suns; DeGoes kicked four of his team's ten goals. While Collingwood weren't up against the toughest opponents, they did what they needed to get the win. Port Adelaide has been one of the form teams across the entire 2020 season, and go into this match looking to secure the minor premiership. While the lowest the Power can end up is second. Who wants to be second? Against the Pies, it won't be easy...
Port Adelaide by 16 points


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