Melbourne v North Melbourne
Sunday, August 9 - 6.10pm AEST
It’s 15th versus 12th as North Melbourne takes on Melbourne in neutral territory at Adelaide Oval on Sunday evening.
Both teams have enjoyed mixed fortunes in 2020, with the Demons boasting the edge in form, having won three of their last five.
North has lost seven of its last eight games, but has shown some encouraging signs in recent weeks.
The Roos have lost just one game against Melbourne since 2007, but split the ledger in 2019, falling short at the MCG, before a win at Blundstone Arena in the final round.
Last time we met
Round 23, 2019
Both teams were out of finals contention as Scott Thompson and Jordan Lewis played their farewell games.
With pride on the line, it was a close-fought battle at Blundstone Arena, the Roos’ home away from home.
While the lead see-sawed for much of the day, it was a late Shaun Higgins goal that won the game for North in the 28th minute of the final term.
Higgins racked up 34 disposals and kicked two goals, while Jared Polec starred with 29 touches.
Max Gawn grabbed the top Brownlow votes, but will be sidelined for Sunday’s clash through injury.
Clayton Oliver v Luke McDonald?
While McDonald has been in stellar form in the defensive half, could a return to a tagging role he was so successful in earlier in the year be on the cards?
McDonald shut down Dustin Martin and Marcus Bontempelli among several big-bodied midfielders, so Oliver could be the perfect matchup.
Oliver was brilliant in the Demons’ win over Adelaide, racking up 34 disposals, 11 clearances and six tackles, so North will no doubt be looking to quell his impact.
Jack Viney’s absence with concussion is a big blow for Melbourne.
The key men
Christian Petracca and Jy Simpkin
While Petracca has a couple of years on Simpkin, the pair are very much the future of their clubs.
Tough, skilled and with plenty of tricks in the bag, these two will keep fans excited for years to come.
Both players are having career-best years, averaging 22 and 21 disposals a game respectively and will be vital to their teams’ chances.
Todd Goldstein has racked up 108 contested possessions in 2020, ranking him seventh in the competition for the statistic alongside some elite midfielders.
We’ve highlighted his clearance dominance in recent weeks, sitting top of the league for the stat, but with the second-ranked player, Clayton Oliver on the opposing side, the midfield battle is going to be intriguing.