WHAT are the pros and cons of your club's 2020 fixture?

Which is the game you simply cannot miss?

And who has the hardest draw?

We've crunched the numbers based on the 2019 ladder positions of who your club plays twice and ranked all 18 teams from easiest to hardest.

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game


Play twice: Gold Coast, Melbourne, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, West Coast

Bye: Round 13

First four weeks: Essendon (a), Hawthorn (h), Melbourne (a), Gold Coast (h)

Pros: Four home games under lights. Hosting powerhouse Victorian clubs Collingwood, Richmond, Hawthorn and Carlton should be good commercially. Avoid travelling to Canberra and Launceston, as they did last season, which requires multiple flights. Playing Gold Coast twice.

Cons: The Dockers don't play at the MCG after round three and have two trips to Adelaide, two trips to Sydney, Gold Coast and Hobart. They also don't have any Thursday or Friday night games which hurts the club commercially.

Circle it: Round 21 v St Kilda at Optus Stadium. While Saints recruit Bradley Hill will face his former teammates in round 10 in Melbourne, it will be interesting to see what reception he gets from the Freo faithful.

Make or break: It's going to be a huge three weeks for the Dockers between rounds 17-19 when they take on the Western Bulldogs, West Coast and Collingwood.

We say: From a football perspective, it's a pretty good draw for the Dockers. Five six-day breaks – down from six in 2019 – reduces the travel load a little bit. They also don't have any five-day breaks that some other sides have. Getting the Eagles twice is always tricky, but that's balanced out by two games with the Suns.

Difficulty rank: 18th
- Lee Gaskin

St Kilda

Play twice: Geelong, Adelaide, Fremantle, Carlton, Melbourne

Bye: Round 12

First four weeks: North Melbourne (a), West Coast (h), Richmond (h), Melbourne (h)

Pros: The Saints could hardly have asked for a better start to the season, with seven of their first eight games at Marvel Stadium. They have also been granted their wish of home games against the Tigers and the Swans for Maddie's Match and the Pride Game in rounds three and 15 respectively.

Cons: They have only one primetime game – a Friday night clash against the Pies in round seven. They also have a number of difficult road trips. They play six interstate games, including trips to Shanghai and Darwin, as well as a further journey down the highway to GMHBA Stadium.

Circle it: A Saturday afternoon in round 17 will have a different feel to it for the Saints – it will be their only game at the MCG all year. They take on the Demons in their one and only clash at the home of footy.

Make or break: A difficult three-week period on either side of the bye looms as crucial for the Saints. They play the Power in Shanghai, have a rest the week after, before returning with another gruelling road trip to Darwin to take on the Suns.

We say: It's a fixture of two halves for the Saints. They play seven of their first eight games at their home base at Marvel Stadium, but are then forced to leave Victoria six times in their last 14 matches. They are without many primetime games and have 10 matches fixtured for Sundays, but crucially play 14 matches at Docklands.

Difficulty rank: 17th
- Riley Beveridge

20 MUST-SEE GAMES Put these juicy matches in calendar


Play twice: Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Gold Coast, St Kilda

Bye: Round 13

First four weeks: West Coast (a), Greater Western Sydney (h), Fremantle (h), St Kilda (a)

Pros: The Dees will play 10 MCG home matches for the first time in a decade in 2020 – and 13 overall at the home of football, including five in the opening eight rounds. The blockbusters with Richmond (Anzac Day Eve) and Collingwood (Queen's Birthday) are locked in again. Repeat dates with the Crows, Dockers and Suns are plusses, and maybe the Saints, too (although St Kilda's won the clubs' past three matches).

Cons: The round one trip out west to face the Eagles is a nightmare start, and Melbourne is one of four clubs – along with Collingwood, Geelong and Richmond – that will travel to Western Australia twice. There won't be much respite after the season-opener, with the Giants up next at the 'G, where GWS humbled the Demons in 2019. Ten matches in the undesirable Sunday timeslot is a lot.

Circle it: Round one will be fascinating. Melbourne will be a huge underdog against West Coast in Perth but we're going to learn plenty about what to expect from Simon Goodwin's Demons in this contest.

Make or break: Rounds three to five against Fremantle (MCG), St Kilda (Marvel Stadium) and Gold Coast (Metricon Stadium) loom as crucial to the Demons' season fortunes. That follows the tough opening fortnight and is ahead of the round six meeting with the Tigers.

We say: Melbourne has the third-easiest draw based purely on this year's ladder finishes, so there are going to be few excuses as it bids for a bounce-back campaign. Three Friday night appearances is also a decent result based off a second-from-bottom placing in 2019, while red and blue fans without Foxtel or that are non-Telstra subscribers can watch their side on free-to-air TV eight times.

Difficulty rank: 16th
– Marc McGowan

Gold Coast Suns

Play twice: Port Adelaide, Sydney, Fremantle, Melbourne, Brisbane

Bye: Round 14

First four weeks: Port Adelaide (h), Geelong (a), Sydney (h), Fremantle (a)

Pros: The Suns have been granted their wish of primarily afternoon and twilight timeslots for home matches. Just twice do they play at night, a time that has been tough to draw families along to in the past. Hosting Carlton during the school holidays and Hawthorn on the Queen's Birthday long weekend should maximise crowds for those matches.

Cons: It's hard to argue when you finish last, but for the second year in a row, the Suns will not have a single free-to-air game televised nationally. They will also travel further than most, playing in every state and territory in Australia.

Circle it: Round five against Melbourne. Not only is it a chance to redeem last season's on-the-siren loss to the Demons, but also should be Steven May's first game at Metricon Stadium since leaving the club 12 months ago.

Make or break: Gold Coast has fallen away horrifically after the bye the past three seasons, and matches against Melbourne, Carlton and Port Adelaide from rounds 15-17 should show us whether it will fight or fail at the back end of the season.

We say: A well balanced draw for the Suns. Brisbane is the only finalist from last season they play twice, and seven of their 10 matches at Metricon Stadium are against teams that missed the top-eight. Just one back-to-back travel, but that includes a drive up the Pacific Highway to the Gabba.

Difficulty rank: 15th
- Michael Whiting

SIMPSONS, SEINFELD, MEMES Which club's fixture reveal is best?

Sydney Swans

Play twice: Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Carlton, Greater Western Sydney, Essendon

Bye: Round 13

First four weeks: Adelaide (a), Essendon (h), Gold Coast (a), Carlton (h)

Pros: The Swans play just one finalist from 2019 twice (GWS), and they have been given plenty of family-friendly timeslots which should see some big numbers return to the SCG, and they get to welcome power clubs Essendon, Carlton, Collingwood and Hawthorn to Sydney.

Cons: Seven six-day breaks will be something the Swans will have to navigate, but there's not too much else to complain about for John Longmire's men.

Circle it: After all the drama of the trade period, Joe Daniher flies into the harbour city with Essendon in the second game of the season in what shapes as an intriguing clash.

Make or break: After this year's disappointment, the Swans must start next year positively. Their run against the Crows, Bombers, Suns and Blues, before a round five derby against the Giants, is vital.

We say: The Swans would be happy with the fixture and their chances of getting back to the finals. They go interstate just four times (all to Melbourne) after the bye so if they can do the hard work early, they can set themselves up for a massive crack at the top eight.

Difficulty rank 14th
- Adam Curley

Western Bulldogs

Play twice: Carlton, Greater Western Sydney, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Fremantle

Bye: Round 14

First four weeks: Collingwood (h), Carlton (a), GWS (a), North Melbourne (a)

Pros: The big win is they play just one 2019 finalist (GWS) twice next year, and once again get a great run of games on the quick deck at Marvel Stadium, as well as just one trip to Perth. Four Friday night games and a Good Friday twilight clash are also positives.

Cons: A trip to Canberra to face the Giants and a Sydney visit for the Swans will be a stiff test, as will rounds 20 and 21 against Richmond (MCG) and Geelong (GMHBA), but the Dogs must be rapt with the draw.

Circle it: Round 13. After a trip to Canberra early in the season, the Dogs faithful will eagerly await the Giants' return to Marvel Stadium.

Make or break: The Dogs start the year with four of the first five games at Marvel and if they can get off to a quick start, they can attack the rest of the year with real confidence.

We say: A great draw for the Dogs who, after a positive trade period, now have no excuses to not improve on their return to the finals this season. Back in primetime, it's time for this talented group to make the jump to legitimate flag contenders.

Difficulty rank 13th
- Adam Curley

ENTERTAINMENT SELLS Lions, Dogs, big Vic clubs dominate primetime

Port Adelaide

Play twice: Adelaide, Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs, West Coast

Bye: Round 12

First four weeks: Gold Coast (a), Adelaide (h), North Melbourne (a), West Coast (h)

Pros: Port Adelaide kicks off its 150th anniversary celebrations with a bang and a round two home Showdown. The very first Good Friday game in Adelaide (a round four clash with West Coast) and the traditional Anzac Round game (round six against the Western Bulldogs) should also draw big crowds. Facing Gold Coast in round one should be a nice way to ease into the season.

Cons: The Power's conditioning staff will be working overtime with seven six-day breaks, up from three last season. Hosting Gold Coast on a Sunday afternoon will be a tough sell commercially, while missing out on hosting Richmond and Collingwood at Adelaide Oval is a blow to the bottom line.

Circle it: Showdowns are always special occasions, but this one in round two will have more riding on it for Port Adelaide as it wears its black-and-white prison bars jumper for its 150-year anniversary.

Make or break: A finals berth could be on the line heading into a tough run home against West Coast in Perth, Essendon, Western Bulldogs in Ballarat, and runners-up Greater Western Sydney.

We say: The draw has its challenges, especially from a travel perspective, but the Power are used to the Launceston and Shanghai back-to-back trips. Avoiding any of last year's preliminary finalists in the double-up games is a positive, as is playing Gold Coast twice. Only two Friday night games isn't ideal from a commercial perspective, while the Power also host low-drawing clubs Gold Coast and GWS.

Difficulty rank: 12th
- Lee Gaskin

Adelaide Crows

Play twice: Essendon, Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Richmond, St Kilda

Bye: Round 14

First four weeks: Sydney (h), Port Adelaide (a), Brisbane (h), Richmond (a)

Pros: New Crows coach Matthew Nicks can get his feet set with the club's first three games – and four of their first five – in Adelaide. An opening month of seven-day breaks, with all games on Saturdays, is an ideal way to start the season.

Cons: Only two Friday night games, and one on Thursday night, is not ideal, but not unexpected given the poor on-field performances. Facing reigning premier Richmond twice isn't great either.

Circle it: Round 10: Adelaide v Carlton, Saturday, May 23 at Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACST. Eddie Betts was always going to be up for a huge game against his old club, but the fact this game is in Sir Doug Nicholls Round means we can expect some trademark Betts magic.

Make or break: A challenging month in the run into the finals, taking on Richmond (h), Hawthorn (a), North Melbourne (h) and Geelong (a), could decide if the Crows sneak into the top eight.

We say: It's as good as the Crows could've hoped for given their performances in the past two years and external expectations heading into 2020. They host big Victorian clubs Essendon, Carlton and Richmond, while three of the teams they will face missed the finals last season. Playing four of their first five games in Adelaide is a bonus.

Difficulty rank: 11th
- Lee Gaskin


Play twice: Richmond, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Sydney

Bye: Round 13

First four weeks: Richmond (a), Western Bulldogs (h), Essendon (h), Sydney (a)

Pros: The Blues get their blockbuster games early, facing the Tigers and the Bombers in the opening three weeks and then meeting the Pies in round nine. Another positive is that the Blues won't face a single finals side from last year on the road in 2020.

Cons: The Blues have once again been snubbed from Friday nights. Alongside the Suns and the Dockers, they are the only side without a Friday night fixture. They also don’t have a single primetime game after round three.

Circle it: A blockbuster round three bout with the Bombers. They face their traditional rivals on a Thursday night, which is the first time the two sides have met in a primetime slot since 2013. 

Make or break: A difficult first month shapes as a crucial period for the Blues. Facing an uphill battle to be in contention for September in the first place, they take on three finalists in a row to start the season – and then have an interstate trip in the fourth week.

We say: Things even themselves out after a relatively tough first month for the Blues. The lack of primetime fixtures will be disappointing for the club, but they won't be too upset by nine Sunday afternoon games after successful attendance figures for that particular timeslot last season. They don't face a single finals team away from home, while they only play two finalists twice.

Difficulty rank: 10th
- Riley Beveridge

Brisbane Lions

Play twice: North Melbourne, Hawthorn, Collingwood, Geelong, Gold Coast

Bye: Round 12

First four weeks: Hawthorn (a), North Melbourne (h), Adelaide (a), Collingwood (h)

Pros: Welcome back to primetime footy. After years in the doldrums, Brisbane's dramatic rise last season has earned them two Thursday night (against Collingwood and Hawthorn) and two Friday night (against Richmond and Melbourne) games at the Gabba.

Cons: It's a fizzer for the Lions' membership base in Victoria with just five games there, including one in Geelong. The away trip to North Melbourne has been taken to the Kangaroos' second home in Hobart.

Circle it: Round eight, Friday night against Richmond at home. The Tigers have a stranglehold in this match-up, winning 14 straight times, including a 47-point triumph in the most recent qualifying final at a sold-out Gabba.

Make or break: Just like last season, shortly after the bye looms as a crucial period. Between rounds 16 and 18 Brisbane plays Collingwood at the MCG, hosts Geelong and then returns to Melbourne to play Carlton at Marvel Stadium – a match it lost in 2019.

We say: From a pure football sense, the Lions cannot complain. They start with three teams that missed the finals in 2019 and have no back-to-back travels. Commercially the home fixture is outstanding with great national exposure and primetime matches galore, but Fitzroy fans can feel hard done by getting to see its team just four times in Melbourne.

Difficulty rank: 9th
- Michael Whiting


Play twice: Brisbane, Geelong, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Sydney

Bye: Round 14

First four weeks: Brisbane (h), Fremantle (a), Collingwood (h), Geelong (a)

Pros: Firstly, the Hawks will be thrilled to have only five Sunday games – all in the first eight rounds – as opposed to eight in 2019, which drew club president Jeff Kennett and co.'s ire. Expect an uptick in attendances. Another is no back-to-back interstate trips despite leaving Victoria nine times, including playing four Launceston 'home' games.

Cons: Coaches Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan are great mates, but Hawthorn has lost four straight contests with the Lions and cops them twice again next season, including in round one at the MCG. Consecutive six-day breaks in rounds five and six could prove challenging.

Circle it: There doesn't need to be a new reason to anticipate Hawthorn-Essendon clashes, but last year's pinch-gate between Ben Stratton and Orazio Fantasia provides extra fuel for their round 16 showdown in 2020.

Make or break: It's hard to forget the Hawks' 1-5 start in 2017. They've missed the finals twice in the past three seasons and there isn't a gimme game in the first month of next year, against Brisbane (MCG), Fremantle (Optus Stadium), Collingwood (MCG) and Geelong (MCG).

We say: There's not much to complain about here. They got their wish for fewer Sunday timeslots, have at least 11 free-to-air games, and are on the Thursday and Friday primetime schedule a combined five times. Four of the five non-Launceston interstate games are against Fremantle, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide and Sydney, which all missed the finals this year.

Difficulty rank: 8th 
– Marc McGowan

North Melbourne

Play twice: Brisbane, Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs

Bye: Round 14

First four weeks: St Kilda (h), Brisbane (a), Port Adelaide (h), Western Bulldogs (h)

Pros: North Melbourne has hosting rights for Good Friday once again. Five games in Tasmania (one away against Hawthorn) is a boon for supporters in the state, while the Roos host big Victorian clubs Essendon, Hawthorn and Carlton at Marvel. An AFL/AFLW double-header against Brisbane is also locked in for round two at the Gabba.

Cons: The Roos have just five games on free-to-air television and only three night matches, all on Saturday. Four of the five teams North Melbourne play twice finished above them on the ladder in 2019, with Brisbane the best of the lot.

Circle it: The Good Friday match shapes as North Melbourne's marquee game, hosting a Marvel co-tenant in Western Bulldogs.

Make or break: North plays just two top-eight sides in the first eight matches of the season, in a period which could set the team up nicely ahead of a run of five straight 2019 finalists before the bye. 

We say: Relatively tough fixture for a side which finished 12th in 2019, albeit with 10 wins for the season. Seven straight games against top-eight sides either side of the bye, and oddly enough, not playing Adelaide and Melbourne until rounds 22 and 23. A lack of free-to-air matches combined with four home games in Tassie could be an issue for Melbourne-based supporters.

Difficulty rank: 7th
- Sarah Black


Play twice: Greater Western Sydney, Collingwood, Adelaide, North Melbourne, Sydney

Bye: Round 12

First four weeks: Fremantle (h), Sydney (a), Carlton (a), GWS (h)

Pros: Essendon is one of the primetime darlings so will get plenty of good exposure. The Bombers play four Thursday night games and two Friday night clashes. Essendon doesn't have the record of the top teams who otherwise dominate these slots, but the Bombers play an attractive, fast and frenetic brand of football.

Cons: The Bombers will be disappointed to have lost their grip on Good Friday football after making a strong mark last year. They also have six interstate trips – and two trips to South Australia, facing Adelaide (round five) and Port Adelaide (round 21).

Circle it: Joe Daniher wanted to play at the SCG and he won't take long to get up there – facing Sydney in round two. Is this a precursor to a permanent move there at the end of 2020?  

Make or break: From round 14-20, Essendon plays all bar one game at either Marvel Stadium or the MCG – a trip to Giants Stadium to face GWS in round 17 is the exception. It gives the Bombers a run of clashes in the lead-up to the finals where they'll be hoping to solidify a return to September. 

We say: Facing Collingwood and the Giants twice is a blow, but the Bombers should fancy themselves to get off to a strong start to the year against three sides that finished in the bottom six this year.

Ranked: 6th
- Callum Twomey


Play twice: Adelaide, Carlton, Collingwood, Greater Western Sydney, West Coast

Bye: Round 13

First four weeks: Carlton (h), Collingwood (a), St Kilda (a), Adelaide (h)

Pros: A whopping eight primetime (Thursday/Friday night) slots for the reigning premiers, with another two Saturday night clashes. Richmond will also be thrilled with 10 of its first 13 games being at the MCG.

Cons: The double-ups are tough. GWS, West Coast and Collingwood all made finals and have been some of the premier sides of the past few years, while Adelaide and Carlton aren't expected to be walks in the park either in 2020. Two games at Optus Stadium isn't ideal, but the Tigers only leave the state six times.

Circle it: Round two against Collingwood at the MCG on a Thursday night. It will be the fourth time in five years this fixture has been held in round two, with the fierce rivals always drawing a big crowd.

Make or break: Damien Hardwick calls July 'big boy month', but it'll come a few weeks earlier in 2020, with games against West Coast, GWS, Port Adelaide and Collingwood following the bye in mid-June.

We say: A pretty healthy draw for Richmond, considering it's the reigning premiers. Just two games at Marvel Stadium, which can sometimes pose a challenge, is a bonus. Oddly enough, Richmond don't play Hawthorn and Fremantle until rounds 22 and 23, which could provide a late-season curveball, but with 14 games at the MCG, there's no place like home.

Difficulty rank: 5th
- Sarah Black


Play twice: Richmond, Brisbane, West Coast, Essendon, Melbourne

Bye: Round 13

First four weeks: Western Bulldogs (a), Richmond (h), Hawthorn (a), Brisbane (a)

Pros: Plenty of eyeballs in the opening month, with two Thursday night clashes (including Easter Thursday) and a Friday night. Only have to travel twice in the first 13 weeks. 

Cons: Thursday and Friday's drop from 11 to eight and just three remain as home fixtures. In the first seven rounds, the Pies face one five-day break and two six-day breaks. Travel to Perth twice in the final five weeks.

Circle it: A round two blockbuster against Richmond on Thursday night will be hard to top. A win over the reigning premiers would be a perfect platform for the season. 

Make or break: The Pies won't leave the MCG from rounds 16-18 but will face 2019 finalists Brisbane, Richmond and Geelong in a pivotal stretch.

We say: It's a very similar feel to recent seasons. Will play three Marvel Stadium matches (two as home games), 14 at the MCG and five interstate for the ninth consecutive season. The double-up matches against Richmond, Brisbane and West Coast will be tough, while Melbourne could also prove tricky if they bounce back. 

Difficulty rank: 4th
- Mitch Cleary

Geelong Cats

Play twice: Greater Western Sydney, Brisbane, West Coast, Hawthorn, St Kilda

Bye: Round 12

First four weeks: Greater Western Sydney (a), Gold Coast (h), West Coast (a), Hawthorn (h)

Pros: Six Friday nights – the club's most in a season since 2012 – including two in Geelong and three at the MCG. Will host both Easter Monday (Hawthorn) and the Country Game (Essendon).

Cons: Missed out on a blockbuster clash against a big Victorian club after matches against Carlton and Richmond in recent years. Hawthorn on a Friday night in round 12 will be a tricky encounter to end the post-bye hoodoo.

Circle it: Round 5 v St Kilda, GMHBA Stadium. Gary Ablett (350) and Joel Selwood (300) need five more games for respective milestones, the Cats granted their wish for the match in Geelong.

Make or break: West Coast. Brisbane. Collingwood. It's a three-week stretch from rounds 16-18 that will determine Geelong's season against three of the top-five teams from 2018. 

We say: It's a similar draw to 2019 with nine games at Geelong, six interstate, five at the MCG and two at Marvel Stadium again. The biggest windfall is the increase of three Friday nights to six. Playing Richmond and Collingwood just once as away games will hurt the coffers but will assist in the Cats' push for a premiership. 

Difficulty rank: 3rd
- Mitch Cleary

GWS Giants

Play twice: Richmond, Geelong, Western Bulldogs, Sydney, Essendon

Bye: Round 14

First four weeks: Geelong (h), Melbourne (a), Western Bulldogs (h), Essendon (a)

Pros: Nine free-to-air games is gold for the Giants for maximum exposure to fans, while they also get to host big Victorian clubs Richmond, Collingwood, Essendon and Geelong at Giants Stadium.

Cons: Playing the premiers twice isn't ideal for GWS, and double-ups against potential top-eight opponents the Dogs, Bombers and Cats also makes it a tough draw next year.

Circle it: Toby Greene might have a pack of Dogs waiting for him in Canberra in round three and the budding rivalry is sure to add another chapter.

Make or break: In the month leading up to the bye, the Giants travel three times and good results against West Coast, Carlton and the Bulldogs on the road will be crucial to set up the back-end of the season.

We say: There's little doubt the draw is a difficult one to negotiate for this year's runner-up, but it's a challenge they'll welcome. A good home record will be vital to the club's chances of making the top four, which they need to do to give themselves a crack at a flag.

Difficulty rank 2nd
- Adam Curley

West Coast Eagles

Play twice: Richmond, Geelong, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Fremantle

Bye: Round 12

First four weeks: Melbourne (h), St Kilda (a), Geelong (h), Port Adelaide (a)

Pros: After beginning last season on the road against Brisbane with a heavy defeat, they'll start 2020 at home against Melbourne. The Eagles have four Friday night games and nine night games overall, with three trips to the MCG to prepare the 2018 premiers for another flag tilt.

Cons: West Coast has the hardest draw of any club in terms of the teams it has to play twice, facing three of last year's top-four clubs on two occasions.

Circle it: Former Cat Tim Kelly made the huge move to West Coast during the Telstra AFL Trade Period, and he'll be back at GMHBA Stadium in round 16 for a Friday night return against Geelong.

Make or break: The Eagles' last month of the home and away season will be testing. The round 20 derby against Fremantle is always a big game, and then the Eagles get on the road to meet the Lions at the Gabba. They're back at Optus Stadium in round 22 but face strong travellers Collingwood, before closing the season against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium. After their round 23 loss to Hawthorn cost the Eagles a top-four spot this year, they'll be hoping for a better end to 2020.

We say: Travelling is part of the territory for the Eagles, and there's 10 trips away from Perth in 2020. West Coast has a tough hand with its double-ups, but will be confident it can get off to a strong start in the opening month of the year.

Ranked: 1st
- Callum Twomey