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Aussie Rules: Tigers fighting to keep finals hopes alive

Round 20 of the AFL concludes on Sunday with Richmond Tigers set to entertain the Brisbane Lions, while the Gold Coast take on West Coast and Essendon face North Melbourne.

The clash between the Tigers and Lions at the MCG looks to be the game of the day with plenty at stake for both sides.

Brisbane are still in with a shout of winning the minor premiership while the Tigers have work to do if they are to make the top eight and play finals.

The Gold Coast’s chances of playing finals are dangling by a thread and nothing other than four points will do against a struggling Eagles side that has won just two games all season.

In the final game of the day Essendon will look to keep their recent revival going when they entertain bottom of the ladder North Melbourne.

Three exciting games to look forward to so let’s take a closer look at each one, the team news and form.

What: Gold Coast Suns v West Coast Eagles
Where: Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast
When: 13:10 (AEST) Sunday 31st July
How to watch: 7mate, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Gold Coast 17/100, West Coast 17/4

The Gold Coast were looking good to secure a place in the top eight and play finals but a poor run of results has seen them slide down the ladder.

Stuart Dew’s side have won just one game out of the last five and they are now in the last-chance saloon as far as finals are concerned.

Even if they win every game it may not be enough but they need to give it a go and a win over the Eagles is a must.

Last time they were on home soil they beat Richmond and just lost to Collingwood in the game before that, so they can take heart from those two performances.

The two sides clashed in Perth back in March with the Suns winning by 27 points and they will be keen to complete the double.

Mac Andrew and Malcolm Rosas come into the side but Charlie Ballard is ruled out through injury.

West Coast picked up a rare win against Essendon but have not been able to build on it and have lost the last four games on the bounce.

There is some good news though as Jack Petruccelle, Nic Naitanui and Willie Rioli are all back available for Adam Simpson’s side.

What: Richmond Tigers v Brisbane Lions
Where: MCG, Melbourne
When: 15:20 (AEST) Sunday 31st July
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Richmond 39/50, Brisbane 21/20

Richmond’s hopes of making the top eight have been hit after picking up just one win in the last five games and they need to get on roll to have a chance.

They had to settle for a very rare draw against Fremantle last week, and suffered poor defeats against North Melbourne and the Gold Coast before that.

The Tigers are only two points away from finals so all is not lost just yet. They receive a huge boost with the news that star forward Tom Lynch is set to come back into the side, while Jack Ross also returns.

Brisbane head into the game in good touch after winning their last two games. They also have the edge over the Tigers in recent games when winning two out of the last three.

They are third on the ladder and need to keep the pressure on Melbourne and Geelong above them. Daniel Rich is out injured so Keidean Coleman comes in to replace him.

What: Essendon v North Melbourne
Where: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When: 16:40 (AEST) Sunday 31st July
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Essendon 9/100, North Melbourne 13/2

Essendon had been in great form when winning three on the bounce, including victories over Brisbane and the Sydney Swans.

They also gave high-flying Collingwood a run for their money before losing by just four points last week. The top eight might be out of reach but they will still want a strong end to the season.

The Bombers have won the last three games against North Melbourne and will be out to make it four. James Stewart and Massimo D'Ambrosio come back into the fold.

The Kangaroos showed what they could do with a fine win over Richmond, but reverted to type when they were thrashed by Hawthorn last week.

A host of players are missing through injury and sickness so Jack Mahony, Jackson Archer, Kallan Dawson and Nick Larkey have all been called up.

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