Although there are just six games this weekend, there are crucial matches that could shape the rest of the season.

With teams on the rise, and others looking to bounce back, let's delve into the key statistic for each game.

Brisbane vs St Kilda – scores off turnover

The Lions and Saints play in near opposite styles. The Lions are full of attack, seen through an AFL-best 57.8 inside 50s per game. The Saints contrastingly play a heavy defensive style, and score through uncontested marking chains.

Scores off turnover has been vital for Brisbane in its last five weeks of action, with a scores off turnover differential of +27.6, the best in the comp. Whilst dominating this metric, the Lions have won three of their last five, losing one and playing out a draw too.

Against a high-scoring Brisbane outfit, the Saints will need to produce scores off turnover of their own. However, St Kilda are ranked 13th in the league for their rate of scores off turnover, at 45.2%. Even more worryingly, the Saints are unable to cause turnovers inside 50, with just 26.7% of their scores originating from a forward half turnover. This is an AFL-worst by almost five per cent, 17th being North Melbourne with 31.5%.

Brisbane is ranked fifth in this category, and if the Lions can pressure the ball carrier on Friday night, they'll cruise to a second consecutive win.

Western Bulldogs vs Fremantle – clearances

The midfield matchups in this clash are as blockbuster as it gets. Caleb Serong vs Marcus Bontempelli, Andrew Brayshaw vs Tom Liberatore, Nat Fyfe vs Adam Treloar. The midfields between the two sides are evenly skilled, indicating the importance of winning the clearance throughout the match.

In Fremantle's dominant 92-point win over Melbourne, the Dockers won the clearance count by 25, 48-23. Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson's combination in the ruck was critical, combining for 15 hitouts to advantage. The midfield domination led to Fremantle's largest score this season, with 31 scoring shots.

However, the Bulldogs are a formidable clearance team, ranked fourth by averaging 38.8 per game.

In Round 7 this year, the Dockers' four-goal win over the Bulldogs was clearly decided through the clearance. Fremantle recorded 17 more clearances than the Dogs. If Fremantle can continue their strong form in the middle, they'll be on track to take a second win over the Bulldogs.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: Sean Darcy of the Dockers celebrates a goal during the round 10 AFL match between Walyalup/Fremantle Dockers and Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium, on May 20, 2023, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Richmond vs Hawthorn – contested possessions

Despite Richmond ranking last, and Hawthorn tenth, contested possessions will be central in a high-emotions game this Saturday. In Dustin Martin's 300th, the Tigers will be physical in the contest in an effort to overrun the in-form Hawks.

Tim Taranto and Liam Baker will be crucial for the Tigers, two big-bodied midfielders averaging 12.3 and 8.5 contested possessions per game. Of course, watch for Dustin Martin too if he is given some midfield time.

The Hawks will be ready for the challenge however, boasting James Worpel and Jai Newcombe who average approximately 11 contested possessions each. The inclusion of Lloyd Meek is also significant for Hawthorn, as the sturdy ruck averages 8.4 contested possessions, three more than his injured teammate Ned Reeves.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 22: Dustin Martin of the Tigers kicks the ball during the round 19 AFL match between Richmond Tigers and Hawthorn Hawks at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on July 22, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Adelaide vs Sydney – scores off turnover

Sydney are the best scores off turnover side in the AFL, with 62.1% of their scores originating from turnovers. They also lead the league in scoring off turnovers in the forward half, as Isaac Heeney and Chad Warner have skilful forward craft, despite playing as midfielders.

Izak Rankine returns from injury this week however, and can provide the extra spark that's been lacking in the Crows attack recently.

Last time they met, the match was covered in controversy after the Crows' fourth-quarter comeback. The statistics for the match were relatively even throughout most categories, with differentials of just one for clearances, four for inside 50s, and four for tackles. The Swans ability to score off turnover in the early stages of the match is what provided them with a large enough buffer to hold off Adelaide's fourth quarter surge.

If the Crows are to avoid a repeat of last year's heartbreaker, and rebound from their Richmond loss, scoring off turnover will be fundamental in an upset victory.

North Melbourne vs Collingwood – tackles

Collingwood are one of the premier pressure sides in the competition, averaging an AFL-best 67.2 tackles per game. Regardless of an excess of injuries, the Magpies continue to apply defensive pressure to their opponents weekly, as they aim to maintain their top eight spot.

If North Melbourne are to continue their winning ways, following last week's win against West Coast, they will need to match the Magpies' tackling pressure. The Kangaroos are ranked 15th for tackles per game, averaging 57.9. However, they recorded an astounding 87 against the Eagles, with a differential of +25. A similar effort against a depleted Magpie team could give the Roos a chance against the reigning premier.

GWS vs Port Adelaide – stoppage clearances

In their semi-final last year, the Giants won away from home as they dominated the Power at the stoppage. The Giants doubled Port Adelaide's stoppage clearances, recording 34-17. A dip in form has changed GWS's dominance at the stoppage this year though, ranking 11th at 24.3 per game.

Port Adelaide are now one of the top sides to score from stoppage too, ranked fourth at a rate of 36.6%.

Zak Butters and Jason Horne-Francis against Tom Green and Finn Callaghan presents as an even matchup to watch. In a clash that places top four and top eight spots at stake, the midfield battle will be a physical contest, suggesting the significant impact stoppage clearances will have on the game.