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Aussie Rules: Time for the ‘Showdown’

It is time for the ‘Showdown’ in the AFL on Saturday with Port Adelaide and Adelaide set to go head-to-head in the South Australian derby clash.

The derby clash has been labelled the ‘Showdown’ ever since the two sides met in the AFL for the first time back in 1987. In the 52 games since then, Port have have won 27 of them, the Crows 25, so it is fair to say the rivalry is a fierce one and there could be fireworks at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday evening. 

As well as the derby clash, there are four other games to look forward to on Saturday and the opening game has a nice little sub-plot about it. Hawthorn’s four-time premiership winning coach Alastair Clarkson is now in charge of North Melbourne and he will be up against his former club for the first time since leaving in 2022. 

Elsewhere there is a big game at the top of the ladder when third place St Kilda take on Essendon, who are just one place below them on the ladder.

They are locked on eight points. The final game on Saturday sees Carlton take on Greater Western Sydney. It promises to be an exciting day so let’s take a closer look at the team news coming from each camp.

Hawthorn v North Melbourne

North Melbourne have got off to a flyer under the leadership of new coach Alastair Clarkson. They have won both their opening games against West Coast Eagles and Fremantle and have a great chance to make it three from three here.

The Kangaroos are priced at 1.56 to win in Launceston, while the Hawks can be backed at 2.45. Hawthorn have lost both of their opening games heavily and the pressure is mounting on second-year coach Sam Mitchell despite the fact they are in a re-build phase.

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They need to start picking up wins and show some signs of progress. A win on Saturday would be a good start. The Hawks are boosted by the return of Chad Wingard from injury. North Melbourne are without the suspended Jy Simpkin, so Will Phillips comes in to replace him.

Greater Western Sydney v Carlton

GWS started the season with a win over Adelaide before losing to the West Coast Eagles in Perth last week. Now they face a Carlton side that are unbeaten and picked up an impressive eight-point win over Geelong last week. Carlton are the hot fancies at 1.60 to win this one, while GWS can be backed at 2.35.

The Giants have been handed a big boost with the news Josh Kelly and Lachy Whitfield will both return from concussion. 

The Blues are without Matt Kennedy who is injured, but George Hewett has recovered from a hand injury and comes into the midfield to replace him.

St Kilda v Essendon

Both of these sides missed out on finals last season, but with new coaches at the helm have got off to flying starts in 2023. 

They have both won their opening two games but something has to give on Saturday and one will suffer a first defeat. St Kilda are 1.80, the Bombers 2.02

Essendon welcome back Jake Stringer and Sam Weideman from injury and they come straight back into the side. For Saints, they have been boosted by the news that Jimmy Webster has recovered from a hand injury and is fit to play.

Port Adelaide v Adelaide

Port Adelaide started with a bang when smashing Brisbane, but were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat themselves last week when they were thumped by Collingwood. 

Now they have the chance to bounce back in the grudge match against the Crows. They are priced at 1.40 to get the job done. Adelaide can be backed at 3.00 after losing their opening two games. 

After suffering defeats in round two both sides have made a host of changes in the hope of getting a response. Port have axed Mitch Georgiades, Orazio Fantasia and Jase Burgoyne, with Jeremy Finlayson making his first start of the season, while Tom Clurey bolsters the defence.

Lachie Gollant and Jordon Butts come in for the Crows with Elliott Himmelberg and Harry Schoenberg both left out.

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