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AFL: Demons handed Oliver boost for Swans clash

The 2024 AFL season gets underway with a cracker on Thursday night when Sydney entertain Melbourne at the SCG.

Both teams have high hopes for the campaign ahead and will be targeting grand final glory at the end of it.

Sydney can be backed at 10.00 to win the flag, while Melbourne will also be in the hunt at 9.00.

To achieve their goals it is important to start the season strongly and both teams will be fired up and ready to go for the round one clash.

What: Sydney v Melbourne
Where: SCG, Sydney
When: 19:20 (AEDT), Thursday 7th March 2024
How to watch: Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo
Odds: Sydney 1.87, Melbourne 1.95

Swans depth to be tested

Sydney will begin life without AFL legend Lance Franklin, who retired at the end of last season, but there is plenty of optimism for the season ahead.

The Swans have recruited well when bringing in experienced ruckman Brodie Grundy, while Taylor Adams has also arrived from Collingwood.

However, their strength in depth in midfield is set to be tested in the early part of the campaign following the loss of two key players.

Captain Callum Mills is not expected to return until Round 10 at the earliest following a shoulder issue, while Luke Parker needed surgery on a broken arm.

There is still plenty of quality in there with the likes of Errol Gulden and Chad Warner.

Gulden can be backed at 1.87 to produce 30+ disposals in the game, while Warner is available at 3.60 to do the same.

A lot of the goalkicking responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Tom Papley and he can be backed at 3.30 to boot three or more goals against the Demons.

Oliver boost for Demons

Melbourne have been handed a huge boost with the news that Clayton Oliver has been declared fit to take his place in the side.

Oliver has been hit by injury and off-field issues, but coach Simon Goodwin has confirmed the player has worked his way back to fitness and is ready to fire.

The Demons will also hand AFL debuts to young guns Caleb Windsor and Blake Howes at the SCG.

Former St Kilda star Jack Billings will also make his AFL debut for Melbourne and can be backed at 1.91 to boot a goal at anytime.

Forward Bayley Fritsch is a key player for the Demons and is definitely one to watch. He can be backed at 10.00 to kick the first goal, or 1.10 to score at anytime.

Melbourne disappointed in finals at the end of last season, crashing out in straight sets, and will be keen to hit the ground running.

They did beat the Swans on two occasions in 2023, including a 21-point win at the SCG in August.

The Demons can be backed at 6.50 to do the same again and win by 13-24 points.

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