AFL: Tips for Round 18

@Hayward_AdamK

Western Bulldogs v St Kilda Saints

Friday 15th July at Marvel Stadium, 7:50pm

The finals aspirations of St Kilda (ninth) and the Bulldogs (10th) took a hit last round as both sides were soundly beaten. With only six games to go in the regular season, it is beginning to shape up with five teams jockeying for positions seventh and eighth on the ladder. So a win here for either side will be better than gold at this point. It is hard to pick a winner in this one, but the Bulldogs might be slightly more desperate.

Bulldogs by 12

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Adelaide Crows v Collingwood Magpies

Saturday 16th July at Adelaide Oval, 1:45pm

Adelaide are out of finals contention but they can have a big say in how the top eight shapes up over the coming rounds if they are good enough. Collingwood escaped with a close win over the last-placed Kangaroos last round and will be looking to add to their seven-game winning streak. They have the lowest percentage of all the top eight sides so they will be looking for a big win if they are to challenge for a top four spot.

Magpies by 32

Greater Western Sydney Giants v Brisbane Lions

Saturday 16th July at Manuka Oval, 1:45pm

GWS are another side who are realistically out of finals contention but will look to finish off the year strong. Brisbane have been hit with the injuries/covid curse which resulted in a costly loss to Essendon last round. Depending on how many key players Brisbane will have out, GWS are a good chance of causing an upset here. Brisbane do have quality depth on their roster and it is hard to tip against them bouncing back, and they will know a loss will put their top four ambitions in serious jeopardy.

Lions by 19

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North Melbourne Kangaroos v Richmond Tigers

Saturday 16th July at Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm

North Melbourne have lost their head coach, despite almost pulling off one of the upsets of the season against Collingwood last round, while Richmond capitulated in stunning fashion against the Suns, blowing a 28-point lead in the final quarter to leave themselves teetering in eighth position. With four sides hot on their heels, Richmond simply must win here, and win big.

Tigers by 49

Carlton Blues v Geelong Cats

Saturday 16th July at MCG, 7:25pm

Carlton’s top four hopes are alive and well, but they have lacked consistency over the past couple of months and these are the games they must win if they are to be considered a real chance at winning the premiership. Geelong have bolted to the top of the ladder and these old pros are now the form side in the competition. This should be an epic contest at the ‘G’, but Geelong should have to much class and edge out Carlton in a close one.

Cats by 8

Optus Stadium, Perth

Fremantle Dockers v Sydney Swans

Saturday 16th July at Optus Stadium, 7:30pm

This has the makings of a highly entertaining contest with Fremantle desperate to capitalize on an exceptional season with a top two finish and a home final, while a seventh-placed Sydney will be desperate to consolidate their position in the top eight. A loss for the Swans will leave them vulnerable with just over a month remaining in the regular season, but the long trip out west against an in-form Fremantle might be a challenge too difficult.

Dockers by 16

Hawthorn Hawks v West Coast Eagles

Sunday 17th July at MCG, 1:10pm

Hawthorn gave their fans something to cheer about with a rare win last round, while West Coast continue to languish in second-last on the ladder. West Coast had shown signs of improvement prior to last round, but with only two wins for the season, it is hard to tip them for an upset, even over a struggling Hawthorn side. Not much to play for other than pride in this one, Hawthorn to make it two in-a-row.

Hawks by 26

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Melbourne Demons v Port Adelaide Power

Sunday 17th July at TIO Traeger Park (NT), 3:20pm

Melbourne find themselves in a battle for the minor premiership, while it is almost do-or-die for Port Adelaide as their finals hopes hang by a thread, despite a big win over GWS last round. Melbourne will be looking to bounce back after being soundly beaten by Geelong, and although they will have their hands full against a desperate Power outfit, they should get the job done up in the north.

Demons by 21

Essendon Bombers v Gold Coast Suns

Sunday 17th July at Marvel Stadium, 4:40pm

Essendon will be wondering what could have been in season 2022 after impressive back-to-wins over Sydney and Brisbane, while Gold Coast kept their season alive with a miraculous come-from-behind win over Richmond last round. If Essendon can keep the momentum going, they are a good chance at springing another upset here, but Gold Coast have a lot to play for and will be desperate to stay in touch with the top eight.

Suns by 6