THE BATTLE for top spot between Melbourne and Western Bulldogs has been brought forward from round 20 to this Saturday night as one of three fixture changes for round 19.
The Demons will tackle the Dogs at the MCG, while two other games planned for next week will also shift. The Brisbane-Gold Coast QClash will take place on Saturday afternoon at the Gabba (3.10pm) before Adelaide hosts Hawthorn later that day at Adelaide Oval (5.40pm ACST, 6.10pm AEST)
Carlton's clash with North Melbourne scheduled for Sunday has been swapped and will now take place at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon at 1.45pm EST.
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The Sydney-Fremantle game slated for Saturday afternoon at GMHBA Stadium will take its place in the Sunday afternoon slot and be played at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast at 12.30pm EST.
Geelong's home Grand Final re-match against Richmond will remain at the MCG after the AFL knocked back the Cats' request to have it moved to GMHBA Stadium. A time is yet to be determined.
Sydney, Greater Western Sydney and Essendon remain in Queensland given the COVID-19 situations in Victoria and New South Wales with the Bombers-Giants game to be played on Sunday at a venue and time yet to be determined.
FULL STATEMENT AFL update on round 19
Port Adelaide's game against Collingwood at Adelaide Oval will proceed on Friday night at 7.10pm local time, giving the Pies time to fly out of South Australia that night, pending the approval of the South Australian government. The earlier start time – due to the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony – will give the Pies adequate time to fly out of South Australia that night.
The West Coast-St Kilda game has been moved forward from the Saturday night timeslot into a 2.35pm (4.35pm EST) start.
The three games originally scheduled for round 19 that won't take place will instead be played in round 20. Timeslots and venues will be confirmed for Gold Coast-Melbourne, Western Bulldogs-Adelaide and Hawthorn-Brisbane will confirmed in coming days.
The AFL also confirmed Supplementary Protocols have been in place for 12 teams from Sunday – Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Geelong, GWS, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs.
Friday, July 23
Port Adelaide v Collingwood at Adelaide Oval, 6.40pm ACST
Saturday, July 24
Carlton v North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium, 1.45pm AEST
Brisbane v Gold Coast at the Gabba, 3.10pm AEST
West Coast v St Kilda at Optus Stadium, 2.35pm AWST
Adelaide v Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval, 5.40pm ACST
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs at the MCG, 7.25pm AEST
Sunday, July 25
Sydney v Fremantle at Metricon Stadium, 12.30pm AEST
Geelong v Richmond at the MCG, TBC
Essendon v GWS Giants at TBC