AFL Round 20: Saturday Afternoon Match Previews & Betting Tips

Essendon will look to continue their winning form against a desperate Port Adelaide, Sydney will be playing for pride against their crosstown rivals GWS while Fremantle will look to stay alive when they face the Cats.

Ryan Lepore
Wed, 31 Jul, 00:00

Essendon v Port Adelaide - Marvel Stadium - 1:45pm

With their September dream fading after suffering its fourth loss in their last five outings last weekend, Port Adelaide will need to find a way to win when they face Essendon at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It will be a tough assignment to topple Essendon, with the home team having won seven of their past eight, including five on the trot, which culminated in their thrilling win over the Suns last week.

Each of those five consecutive victories have seen the Bombers trail during the fourth quarter – three of them with under three minutes to play.

Fresh off a match winning four goal performance last week, Jake Stringer will be again looking for another big haul and also kicked four goals when these teams most recently met at this venue last year.

Four months later the Bombers made it a season sweep, taking down the Power by 22-points at the Adelaide Oval, making it eight victories from their past 10 meetings.

Key Stat: Essendon has covered the line in seven of its last eight matches against Port Adelaide

Tip: Essendon

Best bet: Essendon 1-39

Value bet: Essendon -13.5/Over 165.5

GWS v Sydney - Giants Stadium - 2:10pm

After faltering with three straight losses, GWS have got back on track with consecutive wins, which keeps their top four hopes alive. They can enhance those chances with a win against their biggest rivals at GIANTS Stadium.

The cross-town rivals have already met once this season, resulting in a straightforward 41-point Giants victory at the SCG behind a career-best four-goal performance from Stephen Coniglio, which marked Sydney’s largest loss of the season.

Due to his season-ending injury Coniglio will be missing for this encounter while fellow midfield star Josh Kelly will also miss again. Even so, the Swans’ recent form and fitness doesn’t instil confidence in their ability to create an upset.

After going down by 27-points to the Cats last weekend, they’ve now lost four straight matches and saw co-captain Dane Rampe added to an injury list that includes Lance Franklin, Jarrad McVeigh, Harry Cunningham, Nick Smith and Callum Sinclair.

As a result, GWS is warmly favoured to improve its record at this venue to 6-1 in 2019.

Key Stat: GWS has won 15 of its last 18 day matches at GIANTS Stadium.

Tip: GWS

Best bet: GWS 1-39

Value bet: Lachie Whitfield 30+ disposals/1+ goal

Fremantle v Geelong - Optus Stadium- 4:35pm

Fremantle will welcome ladder-leading Geelong to Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a last ditch effort to keep their finals hopes alive.

Having fallen 113-66 to the Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium, which included a 12-goal opening half from the opposition in Round 19, the Dockers enter this fixture with a 1-5 record from their last six matches.

Elsewhere, Geelong got back on track, winning their clash with the Swans by 27-points at the SCG in Tom Hawkins’ 250th match. That win was Geelong’s fourth interstate fixture of 2019, three of which they have won by a margin of 24-27 points.

Geelong holds a strong recent record against Fremantle, winning each of their last four encounters dating back over four years, including a phenomenal 158-25 scoreline when they met at GMHBA Stadium nearly 12 months ago.

Although it may not blow out to such a wide margin, Geelong’s top-ranked defence could yet clamp the Fremantle forwards who rank 17th for points scored this season.

Key Stat: The last 17 Saturday matches at Optus Stadium have been won by the favourites.

Tip: Geelong

Best bet: Geelong -16.5

Value bet: Geelong 40+

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