Richmond vs Western Bulldogs
Friday April 30th, MCG, 7:50 AEST
Team News: Some very big outs for both teams this week with the Tigers losing superstar Dustin Martin, who suffered a concussion last week. Meanwhile the Bulldogs will be without Josh Dunkley, who has a shoulder issue which is expected to see him miss a couple of months.
The Tigers needs a response after they failed to deal with the Demons last week, they can't afford too many more losses if they want to make top 4 and beating the Dogs would be a statement that the champions are going no where.
The Tigers will unveil debutant Riley Collier-Dawkins in the Friday night blockbuster.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick confirms Riley Collier-Dawkins will make his debut on Friday against the Bulldogs @zerohanger
— Mitchell Keating (@MitchKeat) April 27, 2021
The Bulldogs are humming along and look a genuine contender, this is another great chance for them to put their hand up as 100% real deal. The Dogs will be keen to bring in number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Haden in replacement of Tim English but may hold off.
Prediction: Both teams need to make a statement against a fellow contender, hard to imagine the Tigers let another one slip. Richmond by 13 points.
Collingwood vs Gold Coast
Saturday May 1st, MCG, 1:45pm AEST
Team News: The Pies will welcome back Jordan De Goey in a much needed boost, Nathan Buckley has confirmed Mark Keane will also come back in allowing Darcy Moore to stay up forward, with Caleb Poulter making his debut.
Collingwood are struggling on most lines at the moment and will need an immediate response, Ben King was unbelievable last weekend and it seems odd the Pies wouldn't send Moore back but it looks like Mark Keane may get the job.
The Suns have Alex Sexton who was an unused substitute last week and it seems unlikely he'd play VFL this weekend but that has been the pattern from most clubs. Will Brodie had 31 disposals and kicked 2 goals in the VFL last weekend.
Prediction: The Suns have to get on the road and there best footy has been exclusive to Metricon Stadium, Pies may sneak over the line here. Collingwood by 26 points.
Adelaide Crows vs GWS GIANTS
Saturday May 1st, Adelaide Oval, 2:10pm AEST
Team News: The Giants have seemingly found their new style, gone is the fast-flowing football. The Giants are now a tough, gritty contested side. They have found a brand but it's not pretty to watch.
They were clearly outclassed by the Bulldogs on Friday night but many will be throughout the year.
The Crows will rue missed opportunities against the Hawks, which is hard to say considering they kicked incredibly straight throughout the day. But they wasted the footy late and blew a 32-point lead against the Hawks. Riley Thilthorpe was a highlight with five goals on debut
One minute of pure FILTH.#weflyasone pic.twitter.com/RCroeXpl1z
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) April 27, 2021
Prediction: Arguably the hardest game to pick this weekend, home ground advantage sits with the Crows while the GIANTS have found their style. Giants by 3 points.
St Kilda vs Hawthorn
Saturday May 1st, Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm AEST
Team News: The Saints are a rabble at the moment and they are vulnerable this weekend, they have lost their profile and look without a brand. Ben Long looks a likely out, while medical sub Jack Bytel simply has to be in the 22.
Brad Hill went off last weekend for Bytel and his form continues to be a talking point at Moorabbin, he is a shell of the player they recruited.
The Hawks came from behind against the Crows in Launceston and the kids stood up. Jacob Koschitzke kicked five goals and was named the NAB Rising Star nominee. The Hawks have found their best footy from behind but the Saints may not be able to get far enough ahead to spark that form.
Prediction: The Saints have the class on paper and Marvel may be they key difference here. St Kilda by 17 points.
Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide
Saturday May 1st, GABBA, 7:25pm AEST
Team News: The Power continue to put their hand up as the team to beat in 2021, they were miles too good for the Saints and have made a habit of making teams look uncompetitive this season.
They are very settled at the moment and it's becoming a hard team to break into even for experienced players, their system is so sound that they keep replacing soldiers and seemingly lose nothing.
The Lions are finding their groove, a tremendous second quarter saw them skip away from Carlton, they do however lose Lachie Neale who will miss 8 weeks with syndesmosis. Darcy Gardiner was also subbed out. Rhys Mathieson was the Lions best in the VFL.
Prediction: The battle of the heavyweights will be a very good game, both play great football. Port Adelaide by 15 points.
Sydney Swans vs Geelong
Saturday May 1st, SCG, 7:25pm AEST
Team News: The Swans have fallen away a bit over the last fortnight and were quite poor in their loss to the Suns last weekend.
Nick Blakey went out injured and is battling the clock to be fit, so is Tom Papley who is carrying an ankle complaint. George Hewitt will miss with concussion.
The Cats found their best against the Eagles last weekend and showed they aren't a spent force, Jeremy Cameron fitted in beautifully to the Cats lineup and could be the key to making them a very dangerous contender.
A key forward kicking goals in the five 🥵 Watch all three Cameron @GordonTAFE goals #GeelongStrong pic.twitter.com/ctEr4Ph1Mn
— Geelong Cats (@GeelongCats) April 26, 2021
Prediction: The Cats look back to the real deal and they should prove too good for the Swans here. Geelong by 31 points.
North Melbourne vs Melbourne
Sunday May 2nd, Blundstone Arena, 1:10pm AEST
Team News: North Melbourne will hopefully welcome back Aaron Hall who missed last week with concussion, they face a stern test here to say the least with the Demons on cloud nine at the moment but they do play well in Hobart.
Melbourne took care of the Tigers to solidify their premiership credentials in a classy display on ANZAC eve. James Harmes is still a week away but it's hard to imagine they'd be making too many if any changes to the side at the moment.
Do we really need to say more?#AFLDeesTigers pic.twitter.com/W9m6R7PBgo
— AFL (@AFL) April 24, 2021
Kade Chandler was an unused substitute last weekend so he may drop the VFL level for some much-needed game-time.
Prediction: The Demons should put the Kangaroos through some more hurt here. Melbourne by 68 points.
Essendon vs Carlton
Sunday May 2nd, MCG, 3:20pm AEST
Team News: The Blues are once again under the pump, they were ok against Brisbane but a 15 minute lapse proved the difference. Harry McKay dominated up forward booting six goals but they need to defend better, simple as that.
A bag of six at Marvel for @harrymckay_. pic.twitter.com/WxZ05BopSr
— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) April 25, 2021
They could welcome back a host of players with Nic Newman, Tom De Koning, Luke Parks and Jack Carroll all declared fit to play "some level of football" this weekend.
The Bombers are exciting and providing their fans with plenty to enjoy, Darcy Parish has found his home in midfield and will be a danger for the Blues. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti starred on ANZAC Day and will again be a threat, Aaron Francis may miss with a lower leg injury but Jordan Ridley will return.
Prediction: The Blues need a win here and other than their loss to Collingwood their record is about right. Carlton by 23 points.
West Coast Eagles vs Fremantle
Sunday May 2nd, Optus Stadium, 4:40pm AEST
Team News: After being labelled as "weak" by their coach Adam Simpson, the Eagles will be grateful to return home, their form on the road has been dismal. It's putting serious doubts on their premiership credentials.
They meet e Fremantle side who are 4-2 but it's fair to say that record is a tad generous, they have had a very soft draw to open the season and have stumbled quite poorly in their two losses.
Brennan Cox is a chance to return for the Dockers while the Eagles will look to bring in Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn while Jack Petrucelle is a chance to return.
Prediction: West Coast are a different team at home and the Dockers are yet to beat anyone of note. West Coast by 41 points.