Footy Fix: crunch time at Etihad
St Kilda faces Geelong, and North Melbourne aims to topple Collingwood as Rohan Connolly previews round 21 of the AFL season.PT4M49S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-247no 620 349 August 15, 2012
We'll leave it there for today, thanks everyone for your questions, comments and occasional gag! Going to be another huge weekend with some sorting out still to be done in the race to the finals finish line, and some of the injured stars coming back to the fold for a few teams just in the nick of time. Enjoy your weekend, and we'll see you back here at 12pm next Thursday.
Three rounds to go and three teams too many. That's the scenario entering round 21, with 11 teams still hoping to play in the finals. But that list could be whittled down this weekend, with some vital clashes likely to have a big say on the final eight.
The round starts with a huge clash between Geelong and St Kilda tomorrow night at Etihad Stadium. The Saints (10th) need to win to stay in touch, but will be without injured skipper Nick Riewoldt. Geelong, currently seventh and one of a handful of sides jockeying for positions in the lower half of the eight, could also be without a big forward, Tom Hawkins, who was concussed in the narrow loss to West Coast.
The Cats-Saints rivalry of recent years will doubtless add to the clash, and a similar theme can be expected the next day at the MCG, where Carlton and Essendon meet with everything to play for. The Bombers are a game clear of Carlton but fading fast, while Carlton will be buoyed by the return of Chris Judd. This fixture has a knack of throwing up surprises, so it should be a beauty this close to the finals.
In the other key game of the round, watch for a true gauge of North Melbourne's credentials, as the Kangaroos come up against their bogey side, Collingwood. Can the Kangaroos bridge the gap? What effect, if any, will Dayne Beams' re-signing have on the Magpies? And what of the current debate around the top of the ladder, that ladder-leading Sydney and second-placed Adelaide aren't the best sides going around?
Chat with Rohan Connolly here from midday. Leave a question in the comments field below.