AFL Round 13 Preview Panel

Preview of Round 13 of the AFL season.

DUSTIN MARTIN of the Tigers celebrates kicking a goal during the AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at MCG in Melbourne, Australia.
DUSTIN MARTIN of the Tigers celebrates kicking a goal during the AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at MCG in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images


FRIDAY, June 14

Essendon v Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm

Head to head: Bombers 97 Hawks 65 drawn 0

Last clash: Round 20, 2018 - Hawks 16.11 (107) bt Bombers 16.7 (103) at the MCG

This match could turn out to be a make-or-break moment for these two sides. Both outfits are sitting outside the top eight with 5-6 records, and it's hard to imagine both these sides will make the top eight. The pressure was eased somewhat on Bombers coach John Worsfold following their recent 41-point win over Carlton. Hawthorn's yo-yo season continued when they lost to Brisbane by 19 points in their last outing.

Key: Can Essendon fix their goalkicking wobbles? The Bombers have booted a wayward 120.122 this season. They'll need to kick straight if they are to win these 50-50 games.

Tip: Bombers by 9 points


Gold Coast v St Kilda at Riverway Stadium in Townsville, 1.45pm

Head to head: Suns 4 Saints 8 drawn 0

Last clash: Round 1, 2019 - Saints 13.7 (85) bt Suns 13.6 (84) at Marvel Stadium

St Kilda's long flight back from China would have been a sombre affair following their insipid 70-point loss to Port Adelaide. They'll be aiming to bounce back hard in the first ever AFL game to be played in Townsville. The Suns are reeling following eight straight losses, but they will view this game as winnable.

Key: Who is the better scrapper? Two sides in horrible form won't make for pretty football. Whichever team makes the most of their opponent's turnovers should win this one.

Tip: Saints by 21 points

Fremantle v Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium, 4.55pm

Head to head: Dockers 16 Power 19 drawn 0

Last clash: Round 17, 2018 - Dockers 8.11 (59) bt Power 7.8 (50) at Optus Stadium

Fremantle looked destined for finals action following their four-point win over Collingwood at the MCG. But serious injuries to Alex Pearce (ankle) and Rory Lobb (foot) have decimated Fremantle's big man stocks, and raised question marks about whether they have enough depth to cover them. The Power bounced back to form with a 70-point win over St Kilda in China, and will take heart from their last trip to Perth when they beat the Eagles by 42 points in round four.

Key: Can Fremantle fill the huge defensive void left by Alex Pearce? Griffin Logue hasn't played an AFL game since 2017, and has huge shoes to fill.

Tip: Dockers by 8 points

Carlton v Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium, 7.25pm

Head to head: Blues 88 Bulldogs 55 drawn 4

Last clash: Round 5, 2019 - Blues 15.11 (101) bt Bulldogs 7.15 (57) at Marvel Stadium

If only clubs could sack their coaches every week. The Kangaroos have been on fire since parting ways with Brad Scott. And the Blues also experienced a much-needed lift after axing Brendon Bolton, posting a shock 15-point win over Brisbane. The Bulldogs entered their bye week on the back of a 61-point loss to West Coast, and will be desperate to snap their three-match losing streak.

Key: Can the Bulldogs stop Patrick Cripps? The midfield bull was on fire against Brisbane, tallying 38 disposals, eight clearance and four goals.

Tip: Bulldogs by 11 points

SUNDAY, June 16

North Melbourne v GWS

Head to head: Kangaroos 6 Giants 2 drawn 0

Last clash: Round 9, 2018 - Kangaroos 17.10 (112) bt Giants 9.15 (69) at Bellerive Oval

The Kangaroos have posted wins over Richmond and Gold Coast since interim coach Rhyce Shaw took over the reins. North (5-7) are now back in the finals race, but their hopes will receive a huge test against a GWS outfit aiming to bounce back from their loss to Adelaide.

Key: Can Rhyce Shaw keep the Shinboner spirit going? North's spirit has been clear to see since Brad Scott announced his departure, but is it sustainable?

Tip: Giants by 17 points