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AFL: Race to make finals intensifies

There are some massive games in the AFL on Saturday as the race to make the top eight and play finals intensifies.

Two weeks of the regular season remain and it is do-or-die for a handful of clubs this weekend.

The biggest games of the day see Greater Western Sydney entertain Essendon, St Kilda play Geelong and Adelaide and Sydney go head-to-head.

All six teams are either in the eight, or just outside it, so the pressure will be on.

Fifth-placed Carlton will also look to keep their remarkable run of form going on the Gold Coast against the Suns, while Richmond and North Melbourne also play at the MCG.

It is a bumper day of action and at the end of it we will have a much better idea of who will play finals.

Richmond eyeing strong finish

WhatRichmond v North Melbourne
WhereMCG, Melbourne
When13:45 (AEST) Saturday 19th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsRichmond 1.25, North Melbourne 4.00

Richmond have seen their finals hopes disappear following three defeats on the bounce to leave them down in 13th spot on the ladder.

They will still be keen to finish the season strongly and should bounce back against a North Melbourne side that is out to avoid the wooden spoon.

The Kangaroos have won just two games all season and have lost 17 on the bounce. They have not been blown off the park on too many occasions, however, and Richmond are 5.50 to beat them by 13 -24 points.

Carlton on the rise

WhatGold Coast v Carlton
WhereHeritage Bank Stadium, Gold Coast
When14:10 (AEST) Saturday 19th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsGold Coast 2.35, Carlton 1.60

Carlton continue to go from strength to strength and have now won eight games on the bounce to sit fifth.

They are peaking at the right time and can be backed at 7.00 to win the grand final. Although they will have to do it the hard way unless they can squeeze into the top four, which looks highly unlikely.

Carlton won by 59 points in round 14 this season and the Gold Coast are not in good form after losing the last two games.

Both were away from home and they do go better at Heritage Bank Stadium, where they have won the last two.

Pressure on GWS and Essendon

WhatGreater Western Sydney v Essendon 
WhereGiants Stadium, Sydney
When16:35 (AEST) Saturday 19th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsGreater Western Sydney 1.38, Essendon 3.10

GWS and Essendon are both locked on 44 points along with the Western Bulldogs, who hold eighth spot due to a better percentage.

It makes this game huge with the winner still in with a chance of making finals, while the loser can probably kiss it goodbye.

GWS have lost the last two games, and although Essendon have won their last two, they were against North Melbourne and West Coast.

The Giants have won two of the last three meetings, but it was Essendon that won by 13 back in round four this season.

Big game at Marvel Stadium

WhatSt Kilda v Geelong
WhereMarvel Stadium, Melbourne
When19:25 (AEST) Saturday 19th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsSt Kilda 2.30, Geelong 1.62

Another huge game sees sixth placed St Kilda take on the reigning premiers Geelong, who are down in 11th spot.

A win for St Kilda will guarantee a return to finals, while Geelong must get the four points to keep their top-eight hopes alive.

Geelong have come unstuck after winning just one game in the last four, but they did run Collingwood very close last week.

The Saints have won three from four, with the one defeat coming against high-flying Carlton.

Adelaide can't afford slip up

WhatAdelaide v Sydney
WhereAdelaide Oval, Adelaide
When19:40 (AEST) Saturday 19th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsAdelaide 1.54, Sydney 2.50

Adelaide are another team that have to win and hope that other results go their way as they sit in 12th spot, four points behind the eight. 

They lost by six points to Brisbane last week, but did win the two games before against Gold Coast and Port Adelaide. 

Sydney are bang in form, however, winning five on the bounce to jump to seventh, and another win here will book their place in finals. They also beat the Crows by 33 points back in round 19.

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