*Pony plays in the background*
Let’s take a look ahead to this weekend’s AFL action.
Starting on Friday night (2 August), North Melbourne face Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium. While finals might be a stretch for a rejuvenated North side under Rhyce Shaw, the Hawks are just one game outside the eight. An enticing Friday night match up appears to be on the cards.
Back at Marvel the following day (3 August) Essendon take on Port Adelaide at 1.45pm in one of the games of the round. Both sides are desperate for finals action, and right on the cusp – Essendon sitting at seventh, with Port at tenth. Five wins on the bounce for Essendon suddenly sees them as one of the competition’s most in-form sides, while Port Adelaide have come under fire of late and need to break a three-game losing streak.
How Port handle an in-form Dons forward line is the big question, with Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Jake Stringer, and Shaun McKernan firing on all cylinders and providing several avenues to goal.
Jake Stringer has been brilliant of late
The Sydney derby will take place on Saturday (3 August) also, with GWS GIANTS hosting Sydney at GIANTS Stadium at 2.10pm.
With two on the trot, GWS are back after a dip in form and sit just a game outside the four. Toby Greene has been majestic, stepping up with several big guns out, alongside youngsters Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper. The return of Lachie Whitfield is a massive boost as well, managing 27 touches in his first game back last week.
Also on Saturday (3 August), Fremantle take on Geelong at Optus Stadium at 2.35pm. Another side fighting for a top-eight berth, Freo have their work cut out for them against ladder-leaders Geelong, although their recent form has been inconsistent.
Heading to Sunday (4 August), the Blues have won three in a row and their fans are clearly excited. Taking on West Coast at Marvel Stadium from 3.20pm, Carlton suddenly head into the clash with renewed confidence under David Teague and will be a serious test to see where the side really sits under their new coach against a second-placed Eagles outfit.
Superstar Patrick Cripps will again be difficult to stop, but it’s the Blues older brigade who are leading the way for the young side, with Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson, and Ed Curnow all starring alongside Cripps last week and throughout Teague’s tenure.
The final game of the round sees Brisbane – 6 wins on the bounce – back at their fortress, The Gabba, taking on another top form side in the Western Bulldogs. The Dogs sit ninth and have everything to play for in a miracle run towards the eight, sitting outside only on percentage.
But the Lions themselves would love a home final, and will need to jump over West Coast or Geelong to do so. Victory is essential.
This one is our match of the week and should be a tense and tight affair at The Gabba, first bounce is at 4.40pm.
Find your tickets to this weekend’s AFL action and for the remainder of the season at Ticketmaster.com.au.