Dyson Heppell and the Bombers will have a massive Friday night clash with the Pies in Round 23. Picture: AFL Photos
Dyson Heppell and the Bombers will have a massive Friday night clash with the Pies in Round 23. Picture: AFL Photos

Dual AFL blockbusters earmarked for Round 23

The AFL is optimistic its two marquee games of Round 23 have massive September ramifications, with Collingwood-Essendon set to kick off its final round.

The league will announce its floating fixture on Monday night as the league hands Essendon its eighth Thursday or Friday night clash this year.

 

 

Essendon and Collingwood will start the weekend's game on Friday night at the MCG and could easily be playing for sixth spot and a home final.

The Dons haven't won a final since 2004 but have surged home in the second half of the season under John Worsfold.

Richmond's home clash against Brisbane on Sunday afternoon will have similar ramifications with those teams battling West Coast for second spot on the ladder.

The league likes the prospect of the last spots in the final eight going down to the last day of the home-and-away season.

All three of Brisbane, Richmond and West Coast could end up locked on 16 wins, with a home final coming down to percentage alone.

If West Coast's strong form continues Richmond and Brisbane could be battling to leapfrog the Eagles on the ladder and avoid an Optus Stadium third-versus-fourth final.

West Coast is tipped to take on Hawthorn at Optus Stadium on Saturday night in the third marquee slot of the weekend.

The league will also in coming days release a set of guidelines for finals fixturing that will give clubs more clarity on where they will play finals.

The league will prioritise attendances in September and has commitments to the AFL and MCC Members so would seem extremely unlikely to play a GMHBA Stadium final.

 

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