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AFL Week 1 Finals Fixtures and Preview - Your guide to the opening weekend of finals footy

Adam Cusworth 5 Sep 2018
  • What games are taking place in the first week of the AFL Finals? Find out here.

The 2018 AFL finals series gets underway on Thursday September 6th at 7:20 PM when Richmond take on Hawthorn at the MCG in the first of the Qualifying Finals. 

The opener shapes an absolute beauty with more than 80,000 fans expected to turn up at the home of football. Richmond will head in as favourites for the clash and have been posted at the $1.40 quote in early betting markets with BetEasy, while the Hawks are $3 outsiders. 

The Tigers finished on top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season and the 2017 premiers are the team that opposition sides are chasing down. 

However, the Hawks need to be respected after their 'mini-rebuild' under their master coach, Alistair Clarkson. Despite a lull in 2017 that saw them miss the finals, they are no strangers to the September action and finished in the top four from 2011 until 2016, with those years including three premierships from 2013 to 2015. They will rate themselves a chance of upsetting Damien Hardwick's Richmond outfit. 

The winner of the game between the Hawks and the Tigers will head to the Preliminary Final in a fortnight for a shot at the Grand Final, while the loser will take on the winner of the Melbourne and Geelong Elimination Final. 

The Demons and the Cats meet on Friday night when the action returns to the MCG. Melbourne qualified in 5th position on the ladder and will be making their first finals appearance since 2006. 

The Demons have been able to climb from the depths in recent years and their long suffering fans will be craving a victory against Geelong. Their side has been posted as slight favourites in the early betting markets. 

However, just like the Hawks, the Cats are perennial finalists and come off two huge wins in recent weeks. Chris Scott's side defeated Melbourne twice this season and have an excellent record against the Dees, losing just once to them since 2006. 

In the second of the sudden-death Elimination Finals, Sydney play host to the GWS Giants on Saturday September 8 at the SCG. First bounce is at 4.20PM and in what is a tight betting market, Sydney hold slight favouritism. 

The Swans look set to regain their star forward, Lance Franklin, while Luke Parker is another big name that is set to return to the side that went down by nine points to Hawthorn in Round 23. 

GWS have plenty of class but are struggling to deal with a number of injuries to key players. They went down to the Swans as recently as Round 22 and were rolled by Melbourne in the final game of the regular season. The loser of this game will be out of contention, while the winner will live to fight another day. 

Following this clash it is West Coast and Collingwood that square off at Perth Stadium. The Eagles are at the $1.61 quote, while Collingwood are at $2.20. The Eagles enjoy the home ground advantage but the Magpies have the benefit of playing at the venue in the last round against Fremantle. First bounce for this contest is at 8.10PM AEST. 


(All times AEST and betting odds are courtesy of BetEasy)


First Qualifying Final, 7:20pm at MCG

Richmond $1.40 v Hawthorn $3


First Elimination Final, 7:50pm at MCG

Melbourne $1.75 v Geelong Cats $2.10


Second Elimination Final, 4:20pm at SCG

Sydney Swans $1.70 v GWS Giants $2.20

Second Qualifying Final, 8:10pm at Optus Stadium

West Coast Eagles $1.61 v Collingwood $2.34


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AFL Week 1 Finals Fixtures and Preview - Your guide to the opening weekend of finals footy

What games are taking place in the first week of the AFL Finals? Find out here.

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