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Aussie Rules: Top three in action on another big Saturday

The top three in the AFL, Geelong, Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions are all in action on Saturday while the race to finish in the top eight and play finals also hots up.

Melbourne will take on a Western Bulldogs side that are battling to force their way into the eight in arguably the game of the day at Marvel Stadium.

Port Adelaide are another side that need to win to keep alive their finals hopes and Geelong will face a tough examination at the Adelaide Oval.

Brisbane Lions entertain the Gold Coast Suns, while the Sydney Swans are out to cement their place in the eight against the struggling Adelaide Crows.

North Melbourne are looking to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they take on Hawthorn in Tasmania.

It is another super Saturday to look forward to then so let’s take a closer look at each match-up as the teams prepare to do battle.

What: North Melbourne v Hawthorn
Where: Blundstone Arena, Tasmania
When: 13:45 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: North 47/20, Hawthorn 1/3

North Melbourne may be without a coach and bottom of the ladder but have shown great improvement in recent weeks.

They were only just edged out by Collingwood before picking up just their second win of the season when seeing off Richmond by four points last week.

The Kangaroos have no fresh injury worries heading into the game but will be in for a tough test against a Hawthorn side who are on the up and have won their last two games against the West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows.

The Hawks are handed a huge boost as Jack Gunston returns to the fold, but Changkuoth Jiath is out through injury.

What: Sydney Swans v Adelaide Crows
Where: SCG, Sydney
When: 13:45 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Swans 1/10, Crows 6/1

The Swans sit sixth on the ladder and showed they can be a real threat heading into finals after seeing off Fremantle in the west last week.

The win was a real statement of intent but they can still produce poor performances now and then and slipped up against Essendon a couple of weeks ago, so Adelaide can take heart.

The Crows have only won five games all season and have lost the last three. Two of those defeats have been against Melbourne and Collingwood though.

Just five points separated Adelaide and Collingwood last week and they will hope to take some confidence from that performance as they head to the SCG.

What: Port Adelaide v Geelong
Where: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
When: 16:35 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Port 5/4, Geelong 13/20

Geelong are on fire at the moment and have won the last eight games on the bounce to move to the top of the ladder, level on points with Melbourne.

Smashed Carlton by 30 points last week and confidence could not be higher in the camp. Sam Menegola is out injured but the Cats have more than enough quality to cope.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley admits his side will need to produce their very best to challenge Geelong, but has backed them to do it.

The Power are one win away from the top eight and need a strong finish to the season. Jed McEntee returns to the side this week.

What: Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast Suns
Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
When: 19:10 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Brisbane 23/100, Gold Coast 16/5

Brisbane are third on the ladder but need to snap the sequence of winning one then losing one that is hampering their top-two hopes.

Have been handed a huge boost this week though as Daniel Rich, Dayne Zorko. Jarrod Berry, Marcus Adams and Oscar McInerney all come back into the fold.

The Gold Coast have seen their finals hopes suffer after losing three out of the last five games, but they are not done yet and sit one win away from the eight. 

Darcy Macpherson, Elijah Hollands, Jeremy Sharp and Jy Farrar have all been brought in to face the  Lions.

What: Western Bulldogs v Melbourne
Where: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When: 19:25 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: 7mate, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Bulldogs 7/5, Melbourne 29/50

Melbourne face a big test against the Bulldogs as they chase the minor premiership. The Demons have got back on track in recent weeks but are still slipping to the odd defeat when going down to Geelong and Collingwood.

Melbourne won by 26 points back in March but that was when they were bang in form. There is a huge boost for coach Simon Goodwin though as star midfielder Clayton Oliver will return to the side along with Harrison Petty.

The Bulldogs sit ninth on the ladder and are right in the mix for finals. Can take heart from the win over St Kilda last week and they welcome Aaron Naughton back into the fold.

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