St Kilda vs Richmond

Thursday April 15th, Marvel Stadium, 7:20pm AEST

Team News: The Saints may have saved their season last week against the Eagles, from 33 points down they came from behind and kicked the last eight goals of the game to keep their campaign alive.

The Tigers, while sharing the same win-loss record as the Saints, have assured fans there is no need to panic. A close loss to the Power away from home was nothing to be ashamed of. Kamdyn McIntosh is set to return after suffering a nasty concussion a fortnight ago.

The Saints’ season is still hanging by a thread due to their tough draw ahead and they can’t afford to replicate their performance against Essendon two weeks ago. Rowan Marshall may miss again after hurting his foot last week, while Zak Jones is also in doubt.

Prediction: The Tigers know how to get it done when they need to and they’ll be looking to avoid a 2-3 start. Richmond by 21 points. 

West Coast vs Collingwood

Friday April 16th, Optus Stadium, 8:10pm AEST

Team News: Collingwood are the living adage of “it’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems”. The Pies were down and out after Round 1 and then when they beat the Blues in Round 2 all was fixed.

Since then they have fallen back to their old ways and look lost for ideas. A poor loss to GWS was compounded by the loss of 2020 best and fairest Taylor Adams, who will be out for at least half the season.

The Eagles seem to be a different team at home as opposed to on the road. They were dominant last week before they run out of steam almost at once and failed to put a fight up as the Saints marched over the top of them.

Prediction: Both sides have a point to prove this week, and while Collingwood beat the Eagles in Perth in last year’s finals series, the Eagles will be too good here. West Coast by 15 points.

Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Suns

Saturday April 17th, Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm AEST

Team News: The Dogs look the realest of deals at the moment. 4-0 and they are showing no signs of slowing down. They are playing high quality football with ball in-hand – as has become expected – and without, placing immense flows of pressure on opponents.

The Suns competed well against Carlton last week, but their poor skills cost them and they’re left languishing and in need of wins. They still await the return of Zac Smith as their ruck duties continue to be carried by Chris Burgess. Sean Lemmens was subbed out with concussion last week so he will miss.

There’s a danger if the young Suns don’t start well here the Bulldogs could run away with the game.

Prediction: The Bulldogs have given us no reason not to trust them and the ruck pairing of Stef Martin and Tim English could be set to rip this game apart. Western Bulldogs 45 points.

Sydney Swans vs GWS GIANTS

Saturday April 17th, SCG, 4:35pm AEST

Team News: The Swans held off a tough Essendon side to continue their perfect start to the season. The Swans have been on a remarkable rise in 2021 and will be keen to roll through their nearest neighbours.

Dane Rampe and Isaac Heeney will be absent for the Battle of the Bridge. Heeney is set for a fair-stint on the sidelines after breaking his hand last weekend.

The Giants were very good in a huge win over Collingwood at the MCG, led by fill-in skipper Toby Greene. GWS are suffering from a wretched injury list, but they managed to show the fight resemblant of the team that made the 2019 grand final.

Is sure to be a tight affair in the Harbour City, with the Swans tipped to extend their undefeated run. Sydney by 5 points.

Carlton vs Port Adelaide

Saturday April 17th, MCG, 7:25pm AEST

Team News: The Blues will be hopeful of welcoming Zac Williams back after he missed last weekend’s win with illness and a calf complaint. He may be joined by fellow speedster David Cunningham, who was sidelined last week through concussion.

Jack Silvagni will miss again, with Mitch McGovern looking a likely replacement after booting six goals in two weeks at VFL level.

Port had a terrific win over the Tigers but weren’t without their own injury issues. Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma will both be sidelined for sometime. Charlie Dixon has been out of form this season but dominated this game last year and he will likely be matched against the in-form Liam Jones.

Prediction: A huge test for the Blues who have found winning form, but the Power are playing too well. Port Adelaide by 15 points.

Brisbane Lions vs Essendon

Saturday April 17th, The Gabba, 7:25pm AEST

Team News: The Bombers have found their brand. They have been tough to play against over the last fortnight and will need to harness that to be any chance in this one. Speedster Mason Redman is a chance to return this week for the Dons.

The Lions need a win. Despite the fact they have played promisingly in the opening month, they are 1-3, and that one win saw them behind at the final siren. Joe Daniher will be up to face his old club and that could be the tonic he needs to launch his season.

The Lions could be set to welcome back Daniel McStay, which would stretch the Bombers’ backline.

Prediction: Get the feeling the Dons are set for a drop off and the Lions are desperate for a win. Brisbane by 49 points.

Adelaide vs Fremantle

Sunday April 18th, Adelaide Oval, 1:10pm AEST

Team News: The Crows have been a beacon of light this season. Many had them doomed for the lower parts of the ladder, and while that may be where they end up, it won’t be without some highs.

The resurgence of Taylor Walker has been fun to watch and after watching Harry McKay have 12 shots on goal against Freo two weeks ago, the Coleman Medal leader will fancy his chances this week.

AFL Rd 3 - Adelaide v Gold Coast
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 02: Taylor Walker of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 03 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Gold Coast Suns at Adelaide Oval on April 02, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Fremantle have been a different team away from home this year and it’s hard to trust them outside of Optus Stadium. Lachie Schultz will likely return from concussion in a much-needed boost.

Prediction: The Crows will be too strong at home and the ‘Big Texan’ is in for a big day. Adelaide by 26 points.

Hawthorn vs Melbourne

Sunday April 18th, MCG, 3:20pm AEST

Team News: The Dees have risen and are looking like a real threat in 2021. 4-0 is hard to knock but their wins have been against some questionable and arguably out of form opposition.

Melbourne will be without Steven May after his gruesome eye injury last week, while forward dup Ben Brown and Sam Weideman remained sidelined.

The Hawks have found a way to be competitive and stay in most games but have struggled to get over the line. They will need to find another gear to compete with the up-and-about Demons.

Prediction: It’s hard to see Melbourne not going 5-0, and after that it will be hard to see them not making finals. Melbourne by 34 points.

Geelong vs North Melbourne

Sunday April 18th, GMHBA Stadium, 4:40pm AEST

Team News: The Cats are in more trouble than it seems. Their ball movement looks out of date and they look to have been somewhat exposed by the new rules. Their ageing list likes to move the ball methodically by foot and the modern game just isn’t being played that way.

Superstar midfielder Patrick Dangerfield and forward Gary Rohan return from suspension, while questions remain over the selection of Jeremy Cameron.

AFL Practice Match - Geelong v Collingwood
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 26: Jeremy Cameron of the Cats handballs during the AFL Practice Match between the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies at GMHBA Stadium on February 26, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

The Kangaroos however, have been poor in the opening month of the season and look miles away from a win. Cameron Zurhaar will miss with concussion, while they also lose Luke McDonald and Jared Polec.

The Cats need to make a statement and they get the perfect opportunity to bully a young North Melbourne side at home.

Prediction: The Cats will demolish the Roos, but let’s not read too much into one win. Geelong by 73 points.