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AFL: Wooden spoon battle in Perth

The race to make finals hots up on Sunday afternoon, while West Coast and North Melbourne go head-to-head in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

There are just five games of the regular season remaining and every one is crucial as teams battle to force their way into the top eight and take their season into September.

Melbourne are looking to cement a crucial top-four spot when they take on Richmond, who have work to do to make the eight, while seventh-placed St Kilda must win against Hawthorn to fight off the chasing pack.

And at the wrong end of the ladder West Coast need to beat North Melbourne to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.

It is all set up for a bumper day of action.

Must-win clash for St Kilda

WhatHawthorn v St Kilda 
WhereMarvel Stadium, Melbourne
When13:10 (AEST) Sunday 30th July, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsHawthorn 2.18, St Kilda 1.70

St Kilda have not been in the best of form when winning just two of the last five games, but they are still holding on to a finals spot.

They have a very tough run-in to the season end with games against Carlton, Richmond, Geelong and Brisbane to come. It means that a win against the Hawks is an absolute must if they are to hang on to a finals spot.

Hawthorn have no chance of finals and are well clear of the bottom two, so it will all be about finishing the season strongly to build momentum for 2024.

The Hawks are not doing a good job of it so far and have lost four of the last five. Although they can think themselves unlucky after losing by just one point to Richmond last week.

Sunday’s encounter could be a close one and Hawthorn are priced at 5.50 to win by 1-12 points.

A classic could be in store at MCG

WhatRichmond v Melbourne
WhereMCG, Melbourne
When16:05 (AEST) Sunday 30th July, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsRichmond 2.40, Melbourne 1.58

Richmond versus Melbourne has all the makings for a classic in front of a packed out MCG.

The Tigers are just one win away from the finals and with games fast running out they need a strong end to the season.

As for Melbourne, they are sitting pretty in fourth spot but cannot afford to take their foot off the gas with Carlton now breathing down their neck.

Both of these teams are in good form after winning their last three games on the bounce, while Melbourne have won the last three meetings between the two sides.

The Demons have not been convincing with their last two victories. They beat Adelaide by just five points, and Brisbane by one. Richmond also beat Hawthorn by a solitary point last week.

Richmond are 5.50 to win by 1-12 points, while Melbourne are available at 6.00.

Battle at the bottom in Perth

WhatWest Coast v North Melbourne
WhereOptus Stadium, Perth
When16:05 (AEST) Sunday 30th July, 2023
How to watchChannel 7, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsWest Coast 2.25, North Melbourne 1.65

West Coast have won just one game all season, North Melbourne just two, so both teams will have forgotten what it feels like to pick up a victory. 

North Melbourne can take heart from the fact they only lost by eight points against St Kilda last week, while the Kangaroos did win by 10 points the last time these sides met at Optus Stadium. 

They also picked up one of their wins this season in Perth, when knocking over Fremantle by one point in round two. 

The two sides have already met this season, in round one, with North Melbourne edging it on home soil by five points. Again it could be another tight one with North Melbourne 6.00 to win by 1-12 points. 

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