Richmond vs Geelong

Friday May 7th, MCG, 7:50pm AEST

Team News: The Tigers will be very keen to welcome back Dustin Martin, especially now that they will be without captain Trent Cotchin due to a hamstring injury and Dylan Grimes for the Grand Final rematch. Nick Vlastuin will make his return.

The Cats lose Gryan Miers for the blockbuster and will be hoping they can find some much needed form in order to exact some revenge for last year’s crushing Grand Final defeat. Shaun Higgins will face a test to be fit for Friday night

The Tigers will be keen to make another statement at the expense of a fellow contender and in recent times the Cats have lacked a response when the Tigers have asked the question.

Prediction: The Tigers have the Cats measure at the moment and it’s hard to see Friday being the night that changes. Richmond by 21 points.

GWS vs Essendon

Saturday May 8th, GIANTS Stadium, 1:45pm AEST

Team News: The Giants bounced back last week with a very good win over the Crows and will be favoured to make it two wins on the bounce against the Bombers. GWS have found their brand and are making it work now.

The Bombers were promising against the Blues but faded away after half-time and were very vulnerable on the turnover. The young Bombers may be ready for a dip in form as you get with youth and the Giants will be keen to capitalise.

Aaron Francis and Andrew Phillips will both face tests this week. Phillips was great on ANZAC Day but his replacement for last week in Nick Bryan wasn’t too bad on debut as well.

Prediction: The Giants have found a groove and Essendon look to be tiring. GWS by 32 points.

Gold Coast Suns vs St Kilda

Saturday May 8th, Metricon Stadium, 2:10pm AEST

Team News: The Saints found some form against the Hawks, but it’s hard to tell how much of that is justified. The Saints beat a weak opposition and they were allowed to find their form, but the Suns won’t let them have it their own way.

The Suns were brilliant against the Pies and have managed to put together a good fortnight of footy after a slow start to the season, they are now looking like the team we had all hoped we would see and loom as a genuine danger.

Metricon is a hard place to go to and Gold Coast are starting to put together a body of work that spells trouble for a Saints team still looking for their best footy.

Prediction: The Suns are in the better form and have a little more trust in the bank. Gold Coast by 7 points.

North Melbourne vs Collingwood

Saturday May 8th, Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm AEST

Team News: This may be as good a chance the Kangaroos will have to win a game all year. Not to suggest it’s this week or nothing but they may not be presented with a more clear cut chance all season.

Collingwood’s plight keeps getting worse by the week at the moment and with all the pressure on the club at the moment this game has come at the worst possible time, a loss to North would set the Holden Centre just about on fire if it isn’t already

North were better last week and showed glimpses of the system David Noble is trying to implement. If they can put that into practice for longer they’ll be right in this contest.

Prediction: The Pies need a win but North have to win a game eventually. Marvel a big tick for the Roos but the Pies need this too much to lose it. Collingwood by 13 points.

Melbourne vs Sydney

Saturday May 8th, MCG, 7:25pm AEST

Team News: The Demons will be happy to keep Bailey Fritsch in the side after he challenged his one-game suspension for striking. It’s a massive relief after the loss of Adam Tomlinson, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury.

The Demons are 7-0 and look untouchable at the moment. People keep waiting for the slip that never seems to be coming and they keep looking more and more like genuine contenders.

The Swans were terrific beating the Cats last week and will be hopeful of returns for George Hewitt and Lance Franklin, who will both face test this week. Another test for the young bloods who bounced back well after a poor fortnight.

Prediction: The Dees look the goods right now and it’s hard to see that stopping at the MCG Saturday night. Melbourne by 24 points.

Port Adelaide vs Adelaide

Saturday May 8th, Adelaide Oval, 7:40pm AEST

Team News: The Power will be disappointed with their performance last week at the Gabba and desperate to respond. You get the sense that they will do so and enjoy doing so against their arch-rivals.

Travis Boak is a chance to return and that will go a long way to helping Port get back to their usual style of play, while for the Crows Rory Sloane is a chance to play. Sloane is battling an eye issue and a decision will be made later in the week.

Adelaide have started the season well but they had a draw that allowed them to do-so, now is the test to see how genuine their improvement has been.

Prediction: The Power will make a statement and will re-affirm their flag credentials. Port Adelaide by 47 points.

Hawthorn vs West Coast

Sunday May 9th, MCG, 1:10om AEST

Team News: The Hawks were poor last weekend and were missing a lot of key players. Jaeger O’Meara and Chad Wingard will be likely inclusions this week, while Shaun Burgoyne may be another week away.

The Eagles have been less than impressive away from home and will need to bring their home form on the plane with them. If they don’t they leave themselves vulnerable to a massive upset.

Shannon Hurn is still a bit off after Adam Simpson confirmed he had suffered a setback, their second-half against the Dockers was impressive but their form at Optus Stadium has been no issue at all. It’s the travel that they haven’t handled well.

Prediction: The Eagles should be miles too classy even if they don’t bring their best. West Coast by 43 points.

Western Bulldogs vs Carlton

Sunday May 9th, Marvel Stadium, 3:20pm AEST

Team News: The Bulldogs will be disappointed with their second-half drop off against the Tigers last week after they looked to be in control of the game, they were challenged and didn’t respond. They welcome back Tim English to support Stefan Martin.

The Blues got a much needed win and got their season back on track. David Teague said their best was good enough to beat anyone and they’ll need their best here. The Blues have won two of the last three games between the pair and have scored over 100 points on all three occasions.

Mitch McGovern will be out with a hamstring injury but the Blues will welcome back Zac Williams, Marc Murphy, Jack Silvagni and possibly Tom De Koning, who returned to VFL action last week. Paddy Dow will face a test after a gruesome eye injury.

Prediction: The Blues best may be good enough but whether they play their best is unknown. Western Bulldogs by 23 points.

Brisbane Lions vs Fremantle

Sunday May 9th, Gabba, 4:40pm AEST

Team News: The Lions are building into the season very nicely and are starting to remind the competition who they really are; a powerful display against Port Adelaide showed their true flag credentials.

Jarrod Berry faces a test this week with his troublesome adductor, while Fremantle need to find a response. They were 4-2 going into last weeks derby but that record didn’t read as well as you’d think.

They have had a decent draw and that was exposed by the Eagles last week and now they face another test against a flag contender. They can’t go meekly but it’s hard to see them competing for four quarters.

Prediction: The Lions will keep on keeping on. Brisbane by 54 points.