MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 22: Dan Hannebery of the Saints looks dejected after losing the round 14 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Brisbane Lions at Marvel Stadium on June 22, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The 2021 AFL Fixture is here, with fans scrambling to see whether they’ve gotten off easy or been hard-done by as the relatively unpredictable calendar is announced.

With every season providing winners and losers from the fixture despite a single ball being bounced, we’ve decided to name who has been handed a favourable draw and who has not.

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Winners

Melbourne

The Demons face little travel in their opening nine rounds, with their only interstate trips coming against the Giants in Canberra and the Kangaroos in Tasmania.

Across their entire 22 games, Melbourne will play 12 games at the MCG on top of two games at Marvel Stadium, one at Kardinia Park and a home match in Alice Springs in Round 12 against the Lions.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 14: Nathan Jones and Jack Viney of the Demons celebrate winning the AFL Semi Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Melbourne Demons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 14, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Simon Goodwin’s hopes of breaking into the top eight have been dealt a promising hand, with his side only having to play one finalist from 2020 on two occasions, with the Demons drawing Adelaide, Carlton, GWS Giants, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs twice.

West Coast

The Eagles have dodged the proverbial bullet in not having to face any of the top four sides on multiple occasions, with the Perth giants facing the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, Collingwood, Fremantle and Adelaide twice.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 05: Scott Lycett of the Eagles and Sean Darcy of the Dockers contest the ruck during the round 20 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium on August 5, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Following their Round 13 bye, the Eagles will play six of their next nine matches at Optus Stadium, a run that will bode strongly with their push for a top-eight finish.

Greater Western Sydney

The Giants have been blessed with only having to play one top-eight side from the 2020 season twice, unfortunately that one side is the reigning premiers.

While the Tigers will be a tough task twice, GWS will be happy to have the likes of Carlton, Essendon, Melbourne and Sydney as their other double matchups.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 10: Shane Mumford (left) and Callan Ward of the Giants celebrate as the final siren sounds during the 2016 AFL First Qualifying Final match between the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants at ANZ Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The Giants will have a seven game run between rounds 13-19 following their bye where they face bottom 10 sides from last year, coming up against the Kangaroos, Blues, Hawks, Dees, Suns, Swans and Bombers in consecutive rounds.

Western Bulldogs

The Doggies have been handed 16 of their 22 games in Victoria, with two home games in Ballarat, 10 at Marvel Stadium, three at the MCG and one trip down the highway to Kardinia Park.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 06: Marcus Bontempelli and his teammates celebrate at the final siren after winning the round 16 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Geelong Cats at Marvel Stadium on July 06, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Their six interstate games will be against both Western Australian clubs, the Giants in Canberra, the Power in Adelaide, the Suns in Queensland and the Hawks in Tasmania.

The Bulldogs won’t leave Victoria until Round 6 and will only have one match outside of the state in their last five.

Losers

St Kilda

Despite having nine of their opening 13 fixtures prior to the bye at their beloved Marvel Stadium, the Saints will hand up a number of their home games to several premiership contenders, including 2020 grand finalists Richmond and Geelong.

Not only will the Tigers and Cats head to the Docklands to face the Saints, but the boys in the red, white and black will also have to play arguably the two best sides twice, at both the MCG and GMHBA.

Adding to those headaches, the Saints will also face the Eagles, Power and Swans on two occasions and will have a hard path to prove their premiership worth.

St Kilda Saints Training Session & Media Opportunity
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 18: Brett Ratten, Senior Coach of the Saints speaks with players during a St Kilda Saints AFL Pre-Season Training Session & Media Opportunity at Moorabbin Athletics Track on November 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

St Kilda showed some improvement in their interstate travels this season and will need to do the same in 2021, with seven trips outside of Victoria.

Hawthorn

Unfortunately for Hawks fans, their dream days are fading and so is their prime-time television viewing.

With the times and dates released for the opening six rounds, Hawthorn have been handed a glimpse of what’s to come, playing no Friday games and just one Saturday fixture in their opening half-a-dozen matches.

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 28: Jaeger O’Meara of the Hawks is chased by Matthew Kreuzer of the Blues during the 2019 AFL round 06 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Carlton Blues at UTAS Stadium on April 28, 2019 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

The Hawks will hold onto their annual Easter Monday clash with Geelong however, a fixture sandwiched between a clash against Richmond and a trip to Perth.

CarltonĀ 

The Blues have been touted to make the top-eight in 2021 and to do so will need to be conquering the sides that finished above them this year.

Carlton will face Richmond, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Brisbane and the Bulldogs in their opening eight rounds and with a tough start, could struggle to claw their way back into contention.

The Baggers faithful will be hoping to replicate their 2020 efforts away to Fremantle next year, a game that will kick-off a tough July that will consist of matches against Collingwood, Geelong, St Kilda and North Melbourne.

AFL Rd 12 - Fremantle v Carlton
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 15: Jack Newnes of the Blues celebrates kicking a goal after the siren to win the round 12 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Carlton Blues at Optus Stadium on August 15, 2020 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Who your club is playing twice in 2021:Ā 

ADELAIDE

North Melbourne, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, West Coast, Melbourne

BRISBANE LIONS

Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Gold Coast, Richmond

CARLTON

Collingwood, Fremantle, Gold Coast, GWS Giants, Port Adelaide

COLLINGWOOD

Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Essendon, Port Adelaide, West Coast

ESSENDON

Collingwood, GWS Giants, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Sydney

FREMANTLE

Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Hawthorn, Sydney, West Coast

GEELONG

Brisbane Lions, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda

GOLD COAST

Brisbane Lions, Carlton, North Melbourne, Sydney, Western Bulldogs

GWS GIANTS

Carlton, Essendon, Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney

HAWTHORN

Adelaide, Essendon, Fremantle, Melbourne, Richmond

MELBOURNE

Adelaide, Carlton, GWS Giants, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs

NORTH MELBOURNE

Gold Coast, Western Bulldogs, Adelaide, Essendon, Geelong

PORT ADELAIDE

St Kilda, Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, Carlton and Adelaide

RICHMOND

Hawthorn, St Kilda, Geelong, GWS, Brisbane

ST KILDA

West Coast, Richmond, Port Adelaide, Geelong, Sydney

SYDNEY

Essendon, GWS, Gold Coast, Fremantle, St Kilda

WEST COAST

Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, Collingwood, Fremantle, Adelaide