It does not get much better in the AFL this weekend. Super Saturday is almost upon us with six of the top eight set to face each other on a bumper day of footy action.
The day gets off to a great start when fifth-place Carlton entertain second-place Fremantle in the early kick-off. The Dockers are flying but will face another test of their flag credentials against the Blues.
Then it is the turn of sixth-place Richmond to take on Geelong, who sit in fourth. The day wraps up with Sydney taking on St Kilda. They sit in seventh and eighth respectively on 32 points and the stakes could not be much higher.
Excitement is building so lets take a look at each game.
What: Carlton v Fremantle
Where: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When: 13:45 (AEST) Saturday 25th June, 2022
Odds: Carlton 23/20, Fremantle 18/25
Carlton are out for revenge after losing by 35 points in the corresponding fixture in Perth at the end of April. Since then they have won five from seven, but the two defeats have come in the last three games.
The Blues suffered a 15 point loss to Richmond last week and will be keen to bounce back against Fremantle. A win would see Michael Voss’ men go level on points with Fremantle so there is plenty of motivation to get the four points.
Sam Durdin and Jack Martin are both ruled out for Carlton so Brodie Kemp has been called in to provide cover in defence.
Fremantle have won the last three games including the scalps of Melbourne and Brisbane. They beat Hawthorn at Optus before the bye and will now be fresh and raring to go for the rest of the campaign.
The Dockers were boosted by the return of Nat Fyfe against the Hawks and the skipper will also be available to face Carlton.
Key forward Matt Taberner will return along with Michael Frederick, but Michael Walters is ruled out through injury.
What: Geelong v Richmond
Where: MCG, Melbourne
When: 16:35 (AEST) Saturday 25th June, 2022
Odds: Geelong 97/100, Richmond 17/20
Geelong have won the last four games on the bounce and will be out to keep the good times rolling when they take on the Tigers at the MCG.
They were made to work when just seeing off the West Coast Eagles by 18 points in Perth last week and will need to raise their game a notch against Richmond.
Another win will boost their top-four hopes but the Tigers are chasing hard and are just two places and one point behind as the business end of the season fast approaches.
Gun midfielder Patrick Dangerfield is not ready to return from a calf injury just yet but Max Holmes, Gary Rohan and Jack Henry all return.
Richmond have lost just one game in the last seven and that was a narrow six-point loss against Sydney. Damien Hardwick’s men will also be full of confidence following last week’s 15-point win over Carlton.
The Tigers will have star mid Dustin Martin in the side but have been rocked by the news Kane Lambert, Trent Cotchin and important forward Noah Balta are all out through injury.
What: Sydney v St Kilda
Where: SCG, Sydney
When: 19:25 (AEST) Saturday 25th June, 2022
Odds: Sydney 2/5, St Kilda 2/1
Sydney had been on a solid run when beating both Richmond and reigning premiers Melbourne before they came unstuck against Port Adelaide last week.
They have a chance to bounce back at the SCG and it is a huge game with St Kilda sitting one spot behind on the ladder, but level on points.
This is the first of two meetings between now and the end of the season. And with the race for the top eight tighter than ever, they could go a long way to determining who makes the eight.
The Swans have been handed a huge boost with the news that number one ruckman Tom Hickey returns to the side, while midfielder Ryan Clarke will make just his third appearance of the season.
St Kilda will be stinging after suffering a shock loss to struggling Essendon last week and need to bounce back in style against Sydney.
They also lost to Brisbane the week before and are in danger of sliding out of the eight altogether unless they can get back to winning ways.
Coach Brett Ratten has made a huge statement after losing to Essendon, by dropping small forward Jack Higgins. Patrick Ryder and Brad Hill are also missing.
However Saints have received a big boost with the news that captain Jack Steele returns after missing the last four games with a shoulder injury.