Defending Champions Restart AFL Season

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Aussie Rules action makes a welcome return as Collingwood takes on Richmond on Thursday.

AFL players compete for the ball

It’s been 84 days since we saw any Australian Rules Football being played due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but it will return on Thursday with the defending champions in action.

We’ve so far only had one round of fixtures in the 2020 season, but everything is now in place for the AFL to resume this week.

Defending champions Richmond are involved in the first game back, when they face Melbourne rivals Collingwood at the MCG. Both teams won their opening games, back in March, and they are both expected to challenge for the AFL crown this year.

The Tigers are looking for their 13th Premiership and are 10/3 favourites to take the title again, while Collingwood – who have gone 10 years without a title – can be backed at 5/1* in the Outright betting.

Collingwood (5/4 to win on Thursday) thumped Western Bulldogs 34-86 in round one and are expected to make just one change from the side that comfortably won that opener.

Mason Cox is missing with a knee injury, so coach Nathan Buckley has suggested new ruckman recruit Darcy Cameron will replace him for the MCG clash.

Geelong Hoping to Bounce Back

Meanwhile, there is also just the one game on Friday, with the GMHBA Stadium the venue for Geelong against Hawthorn – Moneyline Result: Geelong 10/17, Hawthorn 5/4.

Both teams had contrasting fortunes in round one, with Hawthorn recording a 90-62 win over Brisbane Lions while Geelong crashed to a 105-73 defeat to Greater Western Sydney Giants.

There are then four games taking place on Saturday, with the pick of the bunch being the clash at the Adelaide Oval as two local rivals meet.

Port Adelaide and Adelaide Crows finished just outside of the top eight last season and both will hope to take the next step this term.

Port Adelaide set their stall out with a 76-29 victory over Gold Coast Suns before the enforced break and are 5/12 to come out on top on Saturday, with the Crows available at 17/10.

Sunday Action from Sydney

The remaining three matches of round two will take place on Sunday, including the return to action of last season’s beaten finalists, Greater Western Sydney.

The Giants got off to an impressive start to the 2020 campaign, with that win over Geelong, and are now preparing for another home clash, when they play host to North Melbourne.

The Roos won a tight encounter with St Kilda in round one and can be backed at 2/1 to cause a surprise at Giants Stadium on Sunday.

The Marvel Stadium is the venue for the final match of round two, as the aforementioned St Kilda look to bounce back against the Western Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs will also be looking for a response, after a heavy home defeat to Collingwood last time out, when they went down 34-86 on home soil.

The Saints – who haven’t been Premiers since way back in 1966 – won just nine of their 22 games last season and are 27/20 to record a victory on Sunday.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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