The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions, Anzac Day Eve: Dees or Tigers to kick off the longest weekend?


It’s a festival of footy as Anzac Round dawns, with matches to be played across a whopping five days in 2024’s most spread-out ‘weekend’ of action.

That’s good news for some, bad news for others – like say, those poor souls whose job it is to write something on every day AFL footy is played – and it makes for a challenge when doing a weekly expert tipping write-up, too.

So this round, we’re doing things a little differently – to give our experts enough time to mull over this weekend’s games, catch up on line-ups and make their choices, we’ll be updating this week’s tips daily with all the upcoming games.

Starting us off is the traditional (in so far as it’s now into its 10th season) Anzac Day eve game between Melbourne and Richmond – could we see another whopping upset to kick off Round 7?

Tim Miller

Last week: 3


Let’s not beat around the bush here – it’s Melbourne by how much against the Tigers.

Sure, Adem Yze’s team have played with plenty of ticker this season, but their injuries are stacking up even with Jacob Hopper returning, and even the Demons’ oft-misfiring forward line should have no issues kicking a winning score here.

Richmond’s only real hope is to try and win out in the midfield against Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and co. – which is presumably why they’ve gone for a Toby Nankervis-Sam Naismith ruck duo to go up against the monstrosity that is Max Gawn.

If they can limit the big man’s influence around the ground, and especially at follow-up stoppages, they may be able to restrict the Dees long enough to pull off the mother of all upsets. I can’t see it happening.

How’s the quick thinking from Gawn ????#AFLDeesTigers

— AFL (@AFL) April 24, 2023

Dem Panopoulos

Last week: 2


The traditional Anzac Day Eve clash is upon us once again and it’s perhaps one of the most underrated fixtures on the calendar, and certainly a joy to attend.

This clash is intriguing, not only for the narratives that surround it. For the Tigers, the concept of landing a top-three pick, if not the top pick in this draft, hasn’t felt this real for a while. They’re injury-depleted and young, and with the talent in this upcoming crop, they should lean into it.

For the Demons, they’ve not beaten any real September (or even August) threats so far this year, and when challenged they’ve faltered. Now, welcoming back a couple of players and getting some chemistry in with Shane McAdam for the rest of the season, I think there’s untapped offensive potential that can turn the season around.

Melbourne will win this game and will do it comfortably, but watch for the pre-game, watch for the young talent and watch for some stars to return to form.

Lachie Hunter and Jacob van Rooyen of the Demons celebrate a goal. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Cameron Rose

Last week: 3


This one shapes as a vast mismatch.

Richmond have a patchwork quilt of a forward line against the best defence in the league, and a midfield that was obliterated by West Coast but now comes up against Gawn, Petracca, Oliver and Viney.

Yes, the Dees’ forward set-up is usually dysfunctional at best, but they’ll only need to kick 10 goals to win, and perhaps even half of that will do.

Liam Salter

Last week: 4


Continuing the week’s punditry theme of Anzac Day’s commercialisation jumping the shark, I’ve always felt “Anzac Eve” to be a bit of an odd commemoration.

Alas, it’s that time again, and we welcome back, from a bye, two disparate Victorian clubs in Richmond and Melbourne. Refreshed but still (very) wounded, the Tigers stagger into tonight’s clash off the back of a damaging loss against Harley Reid and co. (wouldn’t know what that’s like!), while the Dees are sitting pretty inside the eight.

Beneficially, Adam Yze’s men will welcome back Jacob Hopper and Dylan Grimes, but I’m not optimistic they’ll be able to mount any serious challenge against Melbourne, who regain Clayton Oliver. 

We will remember them.#AFLDeesTigers

— AFL (@AFL) April 24, 2023


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