The last of the regularly scheduled rounds before all hell breaks loose and we enjoy a festival of footy, Round 8 provides some brilliant match-ups. Every day brings at least one must-see game. A back-to-back serving of West Coast and Collingwood followed by Melbourne and Brisbane looks to be a delicious six hours of footy this Sunday.
Gold Coast Vs Western Bulldogs - Thursday Night 7:40 pm - Metricon
The Gold Coast could not be welcomed to prime time footy with a more entertaining match up. Pitting 7th against 9th, two of the leagues six four-win teams do battle in a critical game. The winner keeping pace with the top four.
The Bulldogs ran all over Essendon last week in an impressive outing, whilst the Sun's kept the Swans at bay with a classy showing. With people accepting now the Sun's are on track, there is still a feeling that this is not a finals team in 2020. Thursday night provides them with an opportunity to show otherwise.
Gold Coast by 19 points.
GWS Vs Richmond - Friday Night 7:50 pm - Giants Stadium
It isn't quite, but it's getting close to last chance saloon for the Giants. Dropping two games out of the eight with nine to play is less than ideal. Meanwhile, premiers Richmond are building strongly despite an extensive unavailable list. Winners of three in a row, a winning run in similar circumstances last year was crucial in their premiership run.
Talented, GWS can beat anyone, anytime. Richmond though arrives at Giants Stadium in a rich vein of form. Embracing the chance to leave their Gold Coast hub, the Tigers will send the Giants closer to the edge.
Richmond by 38 points.
North Melbourne Vs Carlton - Saturday 1:05 pm - Gabba
Saturday kicks off with a game that has upset written all over it. Carlton - superb in 2020 - are still a young team. Though they should win this against an ailing North, a graveyard 1pm kick-off against a team who have not won in over a month feels like a trap for a young team.
Continuing to lose players to injury, North is in desperate need of a win. Rhyce Shaw - praised often in the early days of this reign - is having questions asked of him all of the sudden. Quite simply, North need a response. Without one, 2020 is trending towards a wasted season of nothingness.
North by 3 points.
Sydney Vs Hawthorn - Saturday Twilight 3:35 pm - SCG
For the neutral, there is nothing that makes you turn this one on. For Swans and Hawks fans - whose teams are in horrendous form - there is every reason to tune in. Having lost their last seven games between them, one set of fans will finally enjoy a victory.
Whilst the Hawks have been horrible in their last two outings, the Swans have kept things close of recent times, just lacking any real punch. They were, however, respectful against the talented Gold Coast last week.
Sydney by 8 points.
Port Adelaide Vs St Kilda - Saturday Night 7:40 pm - Adelaide Oval
Excitingly, Adelaide Oval should be rocking for this one. 13,000 fans will provide the Port players with a wonderful welcome home. It should be a cracking football game as well. Whilst the Saints have been spotty, their best has been very good. They will need it.
Port - a game clear of the chasing pack - found a way to get it done last week, displaying the type of resilience you want to see from a premiership hopeful. Having successfully navigated their time in Queensland, they return home to solidify their grip on the league's minor premiership.