Must-watch games in the 2021 AFL fixture


1. Collingwood v Western Bulldogs, MCG, round one

New Bulldogs midfielder Adam Treloar will face off against his former club after one of the more acrimonious splits in recent memory. It could also be No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan’s first AFL game, with the rookie forward likened to a young Lance Franklin.

2. Port Adelaide v Richmond, Adelaide Oval, round four

The preliminary final between these teams was one of the most gripping games of 2020. They also put on another thrilling contest at the Adelaide Oval earlier in the season. Port had their chances to defeat the Tigers and book a grand final spot, but were instead left heartbroken.

3. Collingwood v Essendon, MCG, round six

COVID-19 prevented the traditional Anzac Day game from going ahead this year, so 2021 looms as one of the biggest clashes on the sombre public holiday yet. No matter how many people are allowed in to watch, it will be special atmosphere for the Magpies-Bombers clash. With Anzac Day falling on a Sunday, two others game (Hawthorn v Adelaide and Port Adelaide v St Kilda) have also been scheduled.

4. Richmond v Geelong, MCG, round eight

Geelong bullied up on Richmond for a decade before the Tigers broke that hoodoo on their way to the 2017 flag. Damien Hardwick’s team have beaten the Cats in three finals in four years, including this year’s decider. If both teams are near the top, the MCG will be close to whatever capacity is at the time.

5. Brisbane v Richmond, Gabba, round 10

With both teams expected to again challenge for the premiership, this looms as a guaranteed Friday night sell-out in Brisbane. After 11 seasons of pain, the Lions finally defeated Richmond in an epic qualifying final this year.

6. Geelong v Essendon, GMHBA Stadium, round 16

The Bombers haven’t set foot in Geelong for a game since 1993. That will change next year when the ‘Country Game’ actually takes place at a regional venue for the first time in a home-and-away season.

7. Geelong v GWS, GMHBA Stadium, round 21

Star forward Jeremy Cameron’s move to Geelong was one of the biggest bombshells of the trade period, but he will go nearly an entire season before facing former team GWS for the first time. It will also be done in the safe sanctuary of Cats heartland.

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