The AFL has scheduled six Saturday matches across five states for the concluding round of the home-and-away season in an attempt to maximise the break for likely finalists.
The only two matches slated for Sunday, September 6 - Collingwood versus Essendon at the MCG and the Melbourne versus Greater Western Sydney encounter at Docklands - feature teams currently outside the top eight. The two Western Australia teams are likely to finish atop the ladder and would normally have first claim on the Friday night fixture. But as Fremantle and West Coast are both playing on Sunday in round 22, they have been slotted in for Saturday matches in the final round to avoid being saddled with a five-day break. The feature Friday night fixture will be between likely finalists Richmond and North Melbourne. The six Saturday matches will be spread across five states, beginning with a crucial encounter between Geelong and Adelaide at Kardinia Park, which could decide which of those two teams claims a finals berth.