With Round 12 approaching, the 2024 AFL season is now halfway through, and the bye rounds have arrived.

With 14 teams still taking the field this week, let's dive into the key statistics that could define the result of your club's match.

Port Adelaide vs Carlton – tackles inside 50

Port Adelaide and Carlton are the two best forward 50 tackling teams in the competition, averaging 14.5 and 13.6 respectively. The ability to apply defensive pressure in a dangerous part of the ground is a strong cause for why both sides sit in the top eight halfway through the season.

In Port Adelaide's latest game at Adelaide Oval, the Power recorded 15 tackles inside 50 to storm home against Hawthorn, including a crucial tackle in the dying stages by Jed McEntee that allowed for Darcy Byrne-Jones' soccer goal.

Carlton was similarly impressive in their latest Adelaide Oval win, where they applied 24 tackles inside 50 in a win against Fremantle earlier this season.

Tackles inside 50 are key indicators of both the Blues and Power's success, so whichever team dominates this metric will be primed for a win on Thursday night.

Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs – intercept possessions

The Western Bulldogs are ranked first in uncontested possessions (243.3) and disposals (380.5), highlighting their desire to control the tempo. Last week against Sydney, the Bulldogs' inaccuracy cost them an upset victory, as they recorded 39 more disposals than the Swans.

If Collingwood are to restrict the Bulldogs' possession on Friday night, they should aim to create turnover from the Dogs' disposals. Collingwood are ranked fourth for intercepts in the AFL, averaging 70.1 per game. The Pies are also unsurprisingly ranked second and third in tackles per game and tackles inside 50 per game – key factors that create turnovers and intercepting opportunities.

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - MAY 27: Liam Jones of the Bulldogs in action during the 2023 AFL Round 11 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Western Bulldogs at TIO Stadium on May 27, 2023 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

However, with tall stocks of Tim English, Rory Lobb and Liam Jones, the Bulldogs are the fourth best intercept marking team this season. Both teams will head into this game with the ability to counterattack off intercepts, in what could be a quick-moving game.

Hawthorn vs Adelaide – clearances

Amidst Hawthorn's streak of form, their young midfield bulls have been going to work. James Worpel and Jai Newcombe have increased their clearance numbers to over five-and-a-half per game, whilst Will Day's return has been instantly impactful.

However, they will be challenged in the middle against a formidable Adelaide side. Adelaide is ranked fourth in the league for clearances at 38.6 per game, and are especially dominant in stoppage situations, averaging 26.8 clearances at stoppages.

With both teams on the rise in recent weeks, the midfield battle will be a significant factor for the winner on Saturday afternoon.

West Coast vs St Kilda – scores off turnover

St Kilda's struggles have come under heavy scrutiny as of late, as the 2023 finals side has dropped to a 3-8 record this year. Struggling to create attacking ball movement, the Saints have been prone to turnover, contributing to their low-scoring outings. The Saints average the second-most turnovers in the AFL at 70.5 per game.

West Coast's ability to score off turnover was significant in their win against Melbourne. The Eagles forced 69 turnovers by the Demons, as the Eagles managed to score over 100 points for just the third time this season. Counterattacking off turnover provides the Eagles with a confident attacking play style, allowing for forwards Jake Waterman and Jamie Cripps to find space. With St Kilda's high turnover rate, the Eagles have every chance to win a fourth game this season.

Contrastingly for the Saints, their chance to counterattack on the Eagles could be minimal, as West Coast average an AFL-best 61.3 turnovers per game.

Geelong vs Richmond – stoppage clearances

In Richmond's defiant effort against Essendon, the Tigers attack was centralised around their stoppage clearance, as they won the metric by seven. In their 119-point loss to Brisbane however, they lost the stoppage clearances despite winning the overall clearance count in that game, highlighting how critical this statistic is to their performance.

The Tigers face Geelong however, who are the fourth best stoppage clearance team in the league, averaging 26.7 per game. Geelong, coming off their fourth-consecutive loss, will be reliant on Brandan Parfitt and Tanner Bruhn, who average three stoppage clearances per game.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Zach Tuohy and Max Holmes of the Cats celebrate a goal during the round five AFL match between Geelong Cats and North Melbourne Kangaroos at GMHBA Stadium, on April 14, 2024, in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

In unfamiliar territory, the Tigers' midfielders will be vital to challenge the Cats, as they travel to Kardinia Park for the first time in seven years.

Melbourne vs Fremantle – uncontested possessions

Fremantle are a side that love to control the possession of the footy, picking holes in the defence in a deliberate manner. This play style could be vital in beating Melbourne, as kicks down the line are likely to be intercepted by Max Gawn and Steven May.

Ranked equal-first for uncontested possessions, Fremantle average 243.3 per game. In their win against Melbourne in Round 7 last year, the Dockers had 62 more uncontested possessions than the Demons.

As the Dockers make the trip to the MCG again, they'll be looking to replicate last year's performance that halted Melbourne's attack.

Melbourne can similarly utilise uncontested possessions to their advantage. Swift counterattacking ball movement can catch Fremantle players out of position, allowing for an uncontested attack towards goal. Against St Kilda, another team that aims to control possession, the Demons won this metric by 21. A likewise performance could see the Demons triumph on Sunday.

Gold Coast vs Essendon – inside 50s

With star-studded midfields, it is no shock that the Suns and Bombers are ranked first and fourth respectively for inside 50s per game (57.9 and 56.1). Gold Coast's Noah Anderson has been significant in creating scoring opportunities, averaging the third-most inside 50s in the entire league, at 6.7 a game.

Meanwhile, a cohesive unit of Zach Merrett, Archie Perkins and Jade Gresham all average 4.5 a game at the Dons.

An evenly matched game, forcing repeated forward 50 entries will be crucial for either side. The dangerous forwards of Jake Stringer and Kyle Langford, as well as Ben King and Jed Walter could set this game up to be a high-scoring thriller.