FRIDAY night footy will finish with a bang this home and away season with three fixtures holding top-four implications revealed in the latest fixture release on Tuesday afternoon.
The AFL has announced the fixtures for rounds 20 to 22 – the final round won’t be revealed until closer to then – starting with Fremantle hosting Melbourne at Optus Stadium in just its second Friday night fixture in the Perth Stadium.
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Melbourne and Collingwood will then meet the following Friday night at the MCG in the first Friday night fixture between the two sides since round 20, 2007.
St Kilda will then host Brisbane at Marvel Stadium on the penultimate Friday night of the home and away season in another clash that could determine top-four and top-eight status heading into the final round.
After a lull during the mid-season bye period, the Saturday night and Sunday afternoon primetime slots have also been stacked under the watch of AFL GM of Finance, Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld.
Round 20 features Geelong against the Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium on the last Saturday in July ahead of Richmond versus Brisbane at the MCG.
Footy returns to Geelong the following Saturday night when St Kilda heads down the highway to face Chris Scott’s side, before Carlton heads to the Gabba to clash with Brisbane on the Sunday.
Then round 22 delivers two mouth-watering Saturday night clashes with Melbourne versus Carlton at the MCG and the Western Derby at Optus Stadium, ahead of two massive Sunday games – Richmond versus Hawthorn at the MCG before Sydney versus Collingwood at the SCG.
"Rounds 20 to 22 will continue the great momentum we’ve seen all season with our final rounds showcasing top of the table clashes around the country," Auld said.
"Fans will be excited that as the season draws to a close it will be the best of the best who make finals. At this stage, the top eight is still wide open."
Thursday night football is not on the agenda between rounds 18 and 22.
With a Showdown to come in round 23, Sydney and Greater Western Sydney is the other crosstown rivalry to feature in this block with the New South Wales sides to meet at the SCG in round 20.
Friday, July 29
Fremantle v Melbourne at Optus Stadium, 6.10pm AWST (SEVEN)
Saturday, July 30
Collingwood v Port Adelaide the MCG, 1.45pm AEST (FOX)
Sydney v GWS Giants at the SCG, 2.10pm AEST (FOX)
St Kilda v Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm AEST (FOX)
Geelong v Western Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium, 7.25pm AEST (SEVEN)
Adelaide v Carlton at Adelaide Oval, 7pm ACST (FOX)
Sunday, July 31
Gold Coast v West Coast at Metricon Stadium, 1.10pm AEST (FOX)
Richmond v Brisbane at the MCG, 3.20pm AEST (SEVEN)
Essendon v North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium, 4.40pm AEST (FOX)
Friday, August 5
Melbourne v Collingwood at the MCG, 7.50pm AEST (SEVEN)
Saturday, August 6
Hawthorn v Gold Coast at UTAS Stadium, 1.45pm AEST (FOX)
GWS Giants v Essendon at Giants Stadium, 2.10pm AEST (FOX)
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle at Marvel Stadium, 4.35pm AEST (FOX)
Geelong v St Kilda at GMHBA Stadium, 7.25pm AEST (SEVEN)
Port Adelaide v Richmond at Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm ACST (FOX)
Sunday, August 7
North Melbourne v Sydney at Marvel Stadium, 1.10pm AEST (FOX)
Brisbane v Carlton at the Gabba, 3.20pm AEST (SEVEN)
West Coast v Adelaide at Optus Stadium, 2.10pm AWST (FOX)
Friday, August 12
St Kilda v Brisbane at Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm AEST (SEVEN)
Saturday, August 13
Western Bulldogs v GWS Giants at Marvel Stadium, 1.45pm AEST (FOX)
Adelaide v North Melbourne, 1.40pm ACST (FOX)
Gold Coast v Geelong at Metricon Stadium, 4.35pm AEST (FOX)
Melbourne v Carlton at the MCG, 7.25pm AEST (SEVEN)
Fremantle v West Coast at Optus Stadium, 5.40pm AWST (FOX)
Sunday, August 14
Richmond v Hawthorn at the MCG, 1.10pm AEST (FOX)
Sydney v Collingwood at the SCG, 3.20pm AEST (SEVEN)
Essendon v Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium, 4.40pm AEST (FOX)
Friday, August 19 - Sunday, August 21*
Brisbane v Melbourne at the Gabba
Carlton v Collingwood at the MCG
Essendon v Richmond at the MCG
Geelong v West Coast at GMHBA Stadium
GWS Giants v Fremantle at Manuka Oval
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs at UTAS Stadium
North Melbourne v Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium
St Kilda v Sydney at Marvel Stadium
Port Adelaide v Adelaide at Adelaide Oval
*Dates and start times to be confirmed at a later date