Which players should make the difference?

There will be 16 teams present in Round 13; Fremantle and Port Adelaide say goodbye.

The McKay twins will play against each other when Essendon take on Carlton, which should be an incredible contest.

The Round will end with the King’s Birthday clash between a Melbourne team that performed dismally in Round 12 and will be looking to bounce back, playing an injury-ravaged Collingwood team.

We are taking a look at one player from every 16 teams that will play who should make a difference.

Adelaide v Richmond


Chris Burgess has a chance to become Adelaide’s number one key forward, with Darcy Fogarty being erratic and Taylor Walker nearing the end of his career.

The first is the first. The former Gold Coast key forward needs to cement his place in Adelaide’s forward line and Burgess should gain plenty of confidence by scoring three goals against Hawthorn in Round 12.

At the very least, he should get the ball on the floor against Noah Balta and Nick Vlastuin at times, along with Nathan Broad.


Samson Ryan can become a permanent part of the Richmond team if he can build on his performance in Round 12 against Geelong, where he scored for the first time this season.

Ryan was given the opportunity to play due to some players being injured, so in what could be a career-defining game, Richmond’s ruck/forward needs to take the bull by the horns when Richmond take on Adelaide.

Western Bulldogs v Brisbane

western bulldogs

Rory Lobb should work hard to prove he deserves a permanent spot in the Western Bulldogs’ top 22.

There’s no doubt that at his best the key forward and second ruckman is a decent player, but the former Fremantle and GWS player must take his chance as Sam Darcy and Aaron Naughton will be unavailable when the Western Bulldogs bow out. face Brisbane.

If the 31-year-old sees a future at the club. Lobb will need to at least get the ball on the ground when he faces Harris Andrews.


Zac Bailey is a player who has a lot of potential, but unfortunately he has not been performing at his optimal level, given that he has only averaged 4.67 scores per game.

The 24-year-old needs to show what he is capable of when Brisbane take on the Western Bulldogs this weekend.

Hawthorn vs. GWS


Jai Newcombe should look to build on his performance in Round 12 against Adelaide, in a game in which Newcombe had the most clearances of any player on the field, with nine.

It says a lot about Hawthorn’s system that the midfielder averages the most disposals per game of any Hawthorn player with an average of just 23.08.

What it shows is that for a team to be successful it is not necessary for a player to average more than 30 eliminations per game.

The 22-year-old should benefit from GWS being without injured stars Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly and could go toe-to-toe with Tom Green.


Jake Riccardi needs to build on his performance in Round 11 against Geelong in a game where GWS’s key forward scored four goals.

The 24-year-old must at least get the ball down the ground to prevent Jack Scrimshaw and James Sicily from receiving interception marks when GWS take on Hawthorn so Toby Greene and Brent Daniels can get to work.

West Coast vs North Melbourne

West Coast

Reuben Ginbey is a player with a lot of potential; The youngster showed he can match the best when he tagged Christian Petracca in West Coasts’ win over Melbourne in Round 10.

The 19-year-old limited Petracca to 20 kills and one goal, while Gibney finished the match with 21 kills and one goal.

With Luke Davies-Uniacke arguably North Melbournes’ best midfielder, the Round 3 Rising Star nominee in 2023 could get the job of limiting LDU.

North Melbourne

Nick Larkey has scored at least one goal in all but one of North Melbournes’ first 11 matches. On top of that, North Melbourne’s key forward has scored multiple goals in six games.

Despite West Coast sitting third in the AFL standings at the end of Round 12, they possess two quality key defenders in Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern, which will make life difficult for Larkey.

North Melbourne’s vice-captain must halve the contest to give North Melbourne a chance to score.

St Kilda v Gold Coast

St. Kilda

Marcus Windhager gave a masterclass in scoring as the St Kilda midfielder reduced Harley Reid’s influence in the second half as they faced West Coast in Round 12.

The 21-year-old will likely get the job of nullifying Noah Anderson when St Kilda take on Gold Coast. I’m looking forward to seeing if he can replicate the role he played in Reid.

Golden Coast

Jack Lukosius has averaged 4.58 touchdowns per game, despite the Gold Coast utility having spent time in defense this season.

There is no doubt that they are a better team with Lukosius in the forward line, as he takes pressure off of Ben King.

Sydney v Geelong


Isaac Heeney has been a revelation so far this season; One man’s loss is another man’s gain, as is why Heeney is one of the favorites for Brownlow due to Callum Mills and Luke Parker being unavailable, which has meant the 28-year-old has played in the midfield.

Sydney Utility have the highest average appearances per game of any player in the competition at 8.55. Heeney will face a tough test when Sydney takes on Geelong as he is likely to be tagged.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)


Oliver Dempsey won the votes of six coaches in Round 12 against Richmond because the Round 1 Rising Star nominee scored three goals and was a key part of Geelong’s comeback.

Furthermore, the 21-year-old had 27 kills and proved that he is a valuable part of their best 22.

It will be intriguing to see if Dempsey plays as a forward or full-back when Geelong takes on Sydney.

Essendon v Carlton


Zach Merrett could be in line to be Australia’s AFL captain, based on his first 12 games of the season.

When Essendon faced Collingwood in the Anzac Day game, Merrett won the medal, as he was judged the best player on the ground; This illustrates that the 28-year-old is not intimidated by the big stage, as he will need to give his best against Carlton.

We’ll have to wait and see if he goes toe-to-toe with Patrick Cripps or Sam Walsh.


Harry McKay has scored a minimum of one goal per game in every match except Round 4 when Carlton beat Fremantle by ten points, proving that even if they don’t get on the scoreboard, Carlton are capable of winning.

In eight of the other 11 games, McKay has kicked multiple goals, showing that he appears to have resolved his past kicking issues this season.

The 26-year-old will need to be at his best as the key forward may clash with his twin brother when Carlton take on Essendon.

Collingwood v Melbourne


Bobby Hill has not reached the heights he is capable of this season, when he showed his goods in the 2023 Grand Final; Hill won the Norm Smith Medal.

Surprisingly, despite playing every game this season, the 24-year-old has only averaged 1.25 goals per game, something the former GWS Livewire needs to improve on.

Based on his performance in the 2023 AFL Grand Final, Hill should be up to the challenge in what is a big game against Melbourne.


Max Gawn has garnered 46 coaches votes so far this season, which is pretty impressive.

The Melbourne captain will need to rally the troops when they take on Collingwood, to ensure his team bounces back from being annihilated by Fremantle in Round 12.

It starts in the ruck as Gawn takes on Darcy Cameron, who is arguably the most underrated ruckman in the competition.

Adelaide Ravens


Richmond Tigers


AFL: Head to head

Thursday, June 6, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

western bulldogs


Brisbane Lions


AFL: Head to head

Friday, June 7, 2024, 7:40 p.m.

Hawthorn Hawks


Greater Western Sydney Giants


AFL: Head to head

Saturday, June 8, 2024, 1:45 p.m.

West Coast Eagles


North Melbourne Kangaroos


AFL: Head to head

Saturday, June 8, 2024, 16:35

St Kilda Saints


Suns of the Costa Dorada


AFL: Head to head

Saturday, June 8, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Sydney Swans


Geelong Cats


AFL: Head to head

Sunday June 9, 2024, 3:20 p.m.

Essendon bombers


Carlton Blues


AFL: Head to head

Sunday June 9, 2024, 7:20 p.m.

Collingwood Magpies


Melbourne Demons


AFL: Head to head

Mon, June 10, 2024, 3:20 p.m.

* Odds are correct at time of publication. Check the PlayUp website for the latest odds

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