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Aussie Rules: Finals hopes on the line for Carlton

There are three games in the AFL on Sunday with the Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions and Carlton all looking to bolster their position in the top eight on the ladder.

Sydney and Brisbane both have their eyes on the top four with just three games left to play, while Carlton will be looking over their shoulder a little as they look to make sure of a place in the eight.

The Swans should get the job done, but will be taking nothing for granted against struggling North Melbourne in the opening game of the day.

Then in the game of the day, Brisbane entertain Carlton at the Gabba. The stakes are high for both sides, but a defeat for the Blues would put their finals hopes in grave danger.

The final game of the day involves two sides who would rather forget the 2022 AFL campaign. The West Coast Eagles take on the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium.

As always there is pride to play for, while every game will be special for Eagles legend Josh Kennedy who has announced he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.

Let’s take a closer at all three match-ups as game-day fast approaches.

What: North Melbourne v Sydney
Where: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When: 13:10 (AEST) Sunday 7th August 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: North 13/4, Sydney 11/50

North Melbourne sit bottom of the ladder after winning just two games all season. However one of those wins did come against the Richmond Tigers just a couple of weeks ago.

That should serve as a big warning to the Swans that North are not prepared to roll over and they will be up for the battle at Marvel Stadium.

A number of North stars will also be playing for their futures and will be highly motivated heading into the game.

As far as team news goes, Jackson Archer is injured but Aaron Hall, Aidan Corr, Lachie Young and Paul Curtis all return to the fold.

The Swans are hitting form at just the right time with the business end of the season approaching and have won the last four games on the bounce. Another one will really boost their top-four chances.

They will be on their guard though as they only just beat the Kangaroos 86-75 back in April. Logan McDonald returns to the Sydney side for the trip to Victoria.

What: Brisbane Lions v Carlton
Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
When: 15:20 (AEST) Sunday 7th August 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Lions 9/25, Carlton 11/5

Brisbane have struggled for consistency a little in recent weeks and have slipped out of contention for the top-two, but they are well in the mix to make the top-four.

They had picked up back-to-back wins against GWS and the Gold Coast before suffering a setback last week when Richmond edged them out by seven points.

Chris Fagan will be demanding a response from his players and have a great chance to bounce back on home soil.

Fagan welcomes Brandon Starcevich and Daniel Rich back into the squad.

It does not seem that long ago that Carlton were being talked about as genuine premiership contenders but they have since slipped down the ladder to sit in seventh.

It has still been a great season of improvement for the Blues, they just need to keep their nerve and hold on to a spot in finals.

Carlton have struggled to string back-to-back wins together and last week suffered a bad loss against a struggling Adelaide side.

Caleb Marchbank, Jack Martin, Jack Newnes and Paddy Dow all return to the side but Matthew Kennedy and Nic Newman are out injured.

What: West Coast Eagles v Adelaide
Where: Optus Stadium, Perth
When: 16:10 (AEST) Sunday 7th August 2022
How to watch: 7mate, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Eagles 1/1, Adelaide 41/50

West Coast have just two wins to their name this season, but they may not get a better chance to pick up their third when the Crows visit Optus Stadium.

They can take heart from the way they played on the Gold Coast last week when they lost by just three points. And they will be keen to have a strong end to the season for the retiring Kennedy.

Kennedy returns to the fold for the game along with Sam Petrevski-Seton and Zac Langdon.

The Crows have not fared much better this season with just five wins. However they showed what they can do with a big win over Carlton last week.

Adelaide beat the Eagles by 31 points earlier in the season and will be out to do the double.

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