Will Richmond rise or are the Giants glory-bound? All you need to know about the AFL Grand Final as excitement for the decider reaches fever pitch
- GWS Giants and Richmond Tigers will compete for AFL premiership on Saturday
- The ball will drop at 2.30pm at Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of thousands
- If the Giants win it will be their first premiership since entering the AFL in 2012
- Tigers are vying off their 12th premiership, the second trophy in three years
The Greater Western Sydney Giants could win their first flag as they prepare to take on the Richmond Tigers in the 2019 AFL Grand Final.
While the Tigers hope to add to their growing trophy cabinet, the underdogs could make club history as the ball prepares to drop in the coming hours.
Scores of fans have begun to flood the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a day which promises nail-biting footy and entertainment.
Here, Daily Mail Australia explains all the things you need to know for the season decider.
Tigers fans arrive at the MCG for the 2019 AFL Grand Final on Saturday
A GWS Giants with orange hair and face paint poses for the camera on Saturday
A trio of Richmond Tigers supporters make their way to the ground on Saturday
GWS fans were all smiles as they arrived at the ground on Saturday, in the hope their team can win their first trophy
WHEN DOES THE GAME START?
The game is scheduled for 2.30pm at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Viewers seeking action from their TV screens can tune in on Channel 7.
WHO IS THE GRAND FINAL ENTERTAINMENT?
Paul Kelly is headlining the Virgin Australia Pre-Game Show and will be supported by Dean Lewis and Tones and I.
Scores of fans flood the gates at the Melbourne Cricket Ground before the decider between the Tigers and the Giants
One eager Richmond fan went all out with face paint resembling a tiger
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
If Richmond Football Club win Saturday’s final they will be crowned premiers for the 12th time in the club’s history.
The Tigers last won the cup in 2017 against Adelaide Football Club, where they beat the Giants in the preliminary final.
There is arguably more on the line for grand final rivals and underdogs GWS, who first entered the AFL in 2012.
In their debut season, GWS won only two matches and lost by more than 100 points five times. They were wooden spoons for their first two years in the competition.
A win on Saturday – their first grand final appearance – would mark the club’s first season victory.
AFL Premiership Cup ambassador, Steve Johnson (centre) arrives at uhe AFL North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast on Saturday
Fans line up for the AFL 2019 Grand Final between the Tigers and the Giants
Matching Richmond fans don Tiger print as they arrive at MCG with yellow wigs and face paint
HOW’D THEY GET THERE?
Richmond and GWS were two of the eight teams to earn a sport in the final series. They finished third and sixth respectively.
It is the first time since 1980 that first or second place did not secure a spot in the last game.
The Giants defeated Collingwood 56 to 52 to nail themselves a position in Saturday’s decider, while Richmond battled from 21 points down to knock off Geelong Cats on Friday.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brownlow Medalist Dustin Martin, 28, is expected to deliver on the grand stage but all eyes will be on GWS tagger Matt de Boer, who managed to keep the Richmond midfielder to just 15 touches in round three.
During the same game, Martin was suspended for striking Adam Kennedy off the ball in a match the Giants won by 49 points.
Marlion Pickett, 27, will play his first AFL game for the Richmond Tigers on Saturday. Pickett will be the first player to debut in the the VFL or AFL Grand Final since Collingwood’s Keith Batchelor in 1952.
He was picked for the Tigers in the mid-season draft in May and called up for the final after Jack Graham was ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Dustin Martin (left) was snapped during a Tigers training session on Friday while Matt de Boer (right) posed during a media session on Monday
AFL 2019 GRAND FINAL ODDS
GWS Giants $3.10
(Through Sportsbet at 10.30am AEST Saturday September 28)
AFL GRAND FINAL SCHEDULE
10am: Under-17 NAB All Stars Futures game
1.00pm: Team sheet submission
Retiring players: Michael Rischitelli, Mark Lecras, Sam Gilbert, Aaron Sandilands, Dale Thomas, Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith, Dale Morris, Liam Picken, Scott Thompson, Daniel Wells, Jarryd Roughead, Jordan Lewis, Shaun Grigg, Brett Deledio.
Umpires: Scott Jeffery, Shane McInerney.
Brownlow Medallist: Nat Fyfe.
Football Woman of the Year: Shelley Ware.
NAB AFL Rising Star: Sam Walsh.
NAB AFL Women’s Rising Star: Madison Prespakis.
NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year: Mac Monaghan.
NAB AFL Women’s Leading Goalkicker: Stevie-Lee Thompson.
Australian cricketers: Meg Lanning, Pat Cummins.
1.34pm – 2.10pm: Grand Final entertainment
2.11pm: Umpires enter the field
2.13pm: Giants players enter the field
2.16pm: Tigers players enter the field
2.26pm: National anthem
2.28pm: Coin toss
2.30pm: Opening bounce for the AFL Grand Final