View UniBet’s preview of Round 19 of the 2016 AFL home and away season below.
North Melbourne v St Kilda | Saturday, July 28, 7.25pm (AEDT), Etihad Stadium
Brent ‘Boomer’ Harvey will break the games played record when he runs out for an incredible 427th time.
He’ll surpass the long time record holder, former Hawthorn great Michael Tuck. Only two others have managed to get to 400, Kevin Bartlett (403) and Dustin Fletcher (400).
In his 21st season of senior football the little champ is playing as well as ever.
North will need him to play well as the Saints are fresh from a tough win over the Bulldogs which was built on speed and extreme defensive pressure.
Unibet Odds: North Melbourne $1.57 St Kilda $2.45
Last time they met: Rd 7, 2016 – St Kilda 75 lost to North Melbourne 82
Tip: St Kilda
Line tip: St Kilda +9.5
Geelong v Western Bulldogs | Friday, July 29, 7.50pm (AEDT), Simonds Stadium
The battling Bulldogs have lost of lot of bite with season ending injuries to productive midfielder Mitch Wallis and tall marking forward Jack Redpath.
Luke Beveridge will be desperate to get back Jake Stringer, Luke Dahlhaus and Dale Morris. But all three must be in some sort of doubt.
The Cats got their mojo back with a solid win over the dangerous Crows.
Defensively they were superb and the previously malfunctioning forward line kicked a score.
Geelong already hold a decision over the Bulldogs in round 13 when they easily accounting for them by 57 points at Etihad.
Geelong have a good record against the Bulldogs but shouldn’t underestimate the wounded Dogs.
Unibet Odds: Geelong $1.30 Western Bulldogs $3.60
Last time they met: Rd 13, 2016 – Western Bulldogs 43 lost to Geelong 100
Line tip: Western Bulldogs +20.5
GWS v Richmond | Saturday, July 29, 1.45pm (AEDT), Manuka Oval
Why do Richmond bother? This is a legitimate question to ask after their woeful effort against the top of the table Hawks.
Coach Damien Hardwick has finally faced up to reality and has started playing young kids with a view to building a team for the future.
Yet why does he persist with an outdated game plan devoid of any risk or flare? Maybe the Tigers need a new coach.
Fortunately for the viewers they’re playing the most watchable side in the comp.
Against Port Adelaide, GWS toughed it out in hostile territory against a good side in difficult conditions.
The Giants go well in Canberra and should demolish the Tigers.
Unibet Odds: GWS $1.11 Richmond $7.00
Last time they met: Rd 14, 2015 – Richmond 78 def GWS 69
Tip: GWS by 50 points
Line tip: -41.5
Hawthorn v Carlton | Saturday, July 29, 2.10pm (AEDT), Aurora Stadium, Launceston
The brave Blues face another premiership heavyweight after going very close against West Coast and Sydney.
The trip to Tassie to face the Hawks is close to mission impossible for the young or rebuilding sides at the tail end of the ladder.
The Hawthorn old firm of Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis, Shaun Burgoyne and Cyril Rioli are still getting the job done week in, week out and will do it again against the improving Blues.
Unibet Odds: Hawthorn $1.06 Carlton $10.00
Last time they met: Rd 23, 2015 – Hawthorn 113 def Carlton 56
Line tip: Carlton +47.5
Collingwood v West Coast | Saturday, July 29, 4.35pm (AEDT), MCG
An interesting encounter as the Eagles struggle in Melbourne and the Magpies’ form has improved significantly in recent weeks.
It might pay to forget the Collingwood loss to North as they were more interested in showing how tough they were instead of playing football.
When they did concentrate they more than matched the Roos for long periods
If West Coast bring the same hesitant ball movement and slack defence, they could be in for a shock.
Unibet Odds: Collingwood $2.35 West Coast $1.62
Last time they met: Rd 6, 2016 – West Coast 124 def Collingwood 62
Line tip: Collingwood +8.5
Brisbane v Port Adelaide | Saturday, July 29, 7.25pm (AEDT), Gabba
Brisbane have almost certainly avoided the wooden spoon after accounting for Essendon and have earned embattled coach Justin Leppitsch a week’s reprieve from the media execution squad.
How much we can read into this win is hard to say as Essendon have gained the coveted first round pick in the draft by losing, which the Bombers could then sell to GWS in exchange for some of their excess talent on their playing list.
Port are playing some solid football but are off the pace as far as playing finals is concerned.
If they bring the same intensity and willingness to run as they have in recent times, then they should be enough to secure a comfortable win against the Lions.
Unibet Odds: Brisbane $5.75 Port Adelaide $1.15
Last time they met: Rd 7, 2016 – Port Adelaide 136 def Brisbane 59
Tip: Port Adelaide
Line tip: Brisbane +36.5
Melbourne v Gold Coast | Sunday, July 30, 1.10pm (AEDT), MCG
The Demons may be flat after returning from Perth where they went down to the Eagles in a tight, slogging affair in difficult conditions.
But they’ve made great advances in their ability to transition out of defence and into attack and are building a group of young players that could take the Demons all the way in years to come.
Young midfielder Christian Petracca is tough, skillful and determined and embodies everything that is good about the Melbourne Demons.
Melbourne easily beat the Gold Coast earlier this season that included Gary Ablett Jr, Dion Prestia andAaron Hall, all of whom will be missing this weekend.
Unibet Odds: Melbourne $1.18 Gold Coast $4.90
Last time they met: Rd 7, 2016 – Gold Coast 87 lost to Melbourne 160
Line tip: Melbourne -30.5
Fremantle v Sydney | Sunday, July 30, 3.20pm (AEDT), Domain Stadium
This season has been a disaster for the Dockers, but this match big as it is Matthew Pavlich’s 350th. He will move to equal 14th on the all-time list of matches played.
Hopefully his teammates can show more zest for the game than they did when going down to an understrength Gold Coast.
Apart from Michael Walters and Stephen Hill the Dockers are a very slow and predictable side.
They’ll encounter the toughest and most committed midfield group in the competition.
Luke Parker, Tom Mitchell, Dan Hannebery and Josh Kennedy are great ball winners and work well with the great Lance Franklin.
The Swans are vulnerable against speedy outside mids, but fortunately for them Fremantle are not equipped to take advantage.
Unibet Odds: Fremantle $4.40 Sydney $1.22
Last time they met: QF, 2015 – Fremantle 69 def Sydney 60
Line tip: Sydney -27.5
Adelaide v Essendon | Sunday, July 30, 4.40pm (AEDT), Adelaide Oval
Adelaide had the loss perhaps they needed to have to set themselves up for another winning streak heading into the finals.
That is perhaps what the Crows hierarchy will be telling themselves and supporters, but the truth is their offence was finally negated by Geelong for the second time this season.
They’re still in the premiership hunt, but they’re one of many. They’ll have no problems this week as Essendon will provide no threat at the Adelaide Oval.
The margin of victory will perhaps be determined by the strength of the side the Crows decide to put on the park.
Key forward Taylor Walker and key backman Daniel Talia are both under an injury cloud and will probably miss and coach Don Pyke may take the opportunity to ‘manage’ some of his other stars.
Unibet Odds: Adelaide $1.01 Essendon $20.00
Last time they met: Rd 20, 2015 – Essendon 59 lost to Adelaide 171
Line tip: Adelaide -65.5