Friday April 24

Richmond V Melbourne

MCG, 7.50pm (All games local time)

Melbourne was better last week against Adelaide and managed to restrict the Crows to just 12 goals but still couldn’t muster a win. Richmond is coming off a big win and will have gained some confidence. Expect a close match with the Dees showing much improved attacking flair at times this season. However, Richmond will still prove too strong in the end. The Demons will have to win a few more games and prove themselves before warranting a tip from me.

Richmond by 15 points


Saturday April 25

St. Kilda V Carlton

Westpac Stadium, 1.10pm

Amazingly everyone should be tipping St. Kilda here. The Saints have far more endeavour than the Blues so far this season, despite many experts picking them for the wooden spoon. They suffered a big loss last week against Collingwood, but prior to that had two positive performances against GWS and Gold Coast. Carlton on the other hand hasn’t even looked close to producing any good form at any point this season. However, it should be close with neither side laden with talented stars able to take the game away from the opposition. St. Kilda is missing Montagna and Riewoldt which will hurt. Carlton will be without Yarran, who was suspended for three games for his strike on Paul Chapman, and former captain Chris Judd.

St. Kilda by 12


Essendon V Collingwood

MCG, 2.40pm

The classic ANZAC Day blockbuster will have the crowd buzzing and everyone in the footy world glued to their television sets once again. It will be another entrancing affair. The Pies haven’t been great this year but are in a good position sitting at 2-1 after three rounds. The Bombers have proved that they are a force to be reckoned with this season and should continue their good form. James Hird and his men are a team on a mission and will continue their good form.

Essendon by 18


GWS V Gold Coast

Star Track Oval, 5.40pm

The Gold Coast Suns are in danger of being overtaken by fellow expansion club GWS if they don’t pull their finger out very soon. This game would be an appropriate time to do so. The Suns were better last week against the Cats, leading for much of the first half, and then staging a fourth quarter comeback after giving up the lead. The Giants have been good in all three games this season, winning their first two and only just falling short against the Swans. It would be great to see the Suns finally show some form and the football world is crying out for the young talent to finally flourish, so I’m picking the Suns in this one, more out of pity and hope than on current form.

Gold Coast by 10


Fremantle V Sydney

Domain Stadium, 6.40pm

This game will be an absolute cracker. Two undefeated sides that have both featured heavily in finals actions over the past two years. Both had questions raised about them during the off season. But both clubs have rallied after disappointing finishes to 2014 and have hit 2015 all guns blazing. This is a game not to be missed. It will be a battle of the defensive structures, so it may not be a high scoring game, but the skill level will be of the highest order. Tough to pick, I’m tipping Fremantle due to the home ground advantage.

Fremantle by 12


Port Adelaide V Hawthorn

Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm

A rematch of the 2014 Preliminary Final, which was decided by just three points. Hawthorn should prove too strong once again, with Port not having as good a start as last season with losses in the opening two games before bouncing back last week against the Roos. But it will still make for compelling viewing. Hawthorn was ruthless last week against the Bulldogs.

Hawthorn by 19


Sunday April 26

Brisbane V West Coast

Gabba, 1.10pm

Brisbane has unfortunately been hit with several key injuries over the first few weeks; however the Lions regain Tom Rockliff and Matthew Leuenberger for this one, which is a massive boost. The Eagles have been up and down this season and were belted by Fremantle in the derby last week so they’ll want to rectify that as best they can. West Coast should walk away with the four points here.

West Coast by 22


Geelong V North Melbourne

Simonds Stadium, 3.20pm

The Cats finally got on the board last week and their fans finally made some noise down at Simonds Stadium. After a poor first two rounds Geelong will be keen to keep improving and should produce another good contest against the Kangaroos. That said, North Melbourne are on the rise and Geelong’s aura is starting to crumble, as is the home ground advantage at Kardinia Park. Expect it to be close early, but North might just run away with it and Geelong’s long injury list might just start to show.

North Melbourne by 15


Western Bulldogs V Adelaide

Etihad Stadium, 4.40pm

Adelaide has been terrific so far this season under new coach Phil Walsh and the Bulldogs will be no match for them this week. But expect a hotly contested match, especially early on. Aside from last week’s demolition at the hands of the Hawks, the young Dogs have been impressive and have shown that they will be very good in a few years time.

Adelaide by 30