Sir Doug Nicholls Round will kick off in spectacular fashion when former Sun Jack Martin takes on his old club in Carlton colours on a Friday night in Darwin with the AFL reverting to a schedule running from Friday night to Monday night for round 13.
However, the more standard weekend of football may be shortlived with the AFL still contemplating compressing the fixture in rounds 14 and 15 before giving clubs a more conventional lead-in to finals as they continue to race through a season being played during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jack Martin will play his old side for the first time when the Blues take on the Suns in Darwin.Credit:Getty Images
The clash, which traditionally draws more than 80,000 spectators to the MCG, will be played in Darwin for the first time and remains the centrepiece of a round that will also see games played in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
The Blues are in a hub in Perth preparing for games against West Coast and Fremantle in rounds 11 and 12 and they will travel to the Top End for the game at TIO Stadium.
Hawthorn, who is also based in Perth at the moment, will travel to Adelaide to play Port Adelaide on Saturday while the Western Bulldogs will play Melbourne at Metricon Stadium.
The Northern Territory announced last week it would restrict visitors from hot zones in Brisbane, which threw the game into some doubt initially. However the AFL remained confident it would go ahead.
Fremantle host Sydney at Optus Oval on the Saturday night while West Coast host the Giants at that venue the following day, as Brisbane host St Kilda at the Gabba in two huge clashes that will determine top eight spots.
In other round 13 matches, Collingwood will play North Melbourne at the Gabba on Monday night while Geelong will travel to Adelaide to play the Crows on Sunday which will mean the Cats will have played in five states by the end of that round.
The current streak of consecutive games will end on Monday August 17, allowing three nights free of football before round 13 begins.
Friday, August 21
Gold Coast v Carlton, TIO Stadium, 7.20pm ACST
Saturday, August 22
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne, Metricon Stadium, 1.45pm AEST
Port Adelaide v Hawthorn, Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACST
Essendon v Richmond, TIO Stadium, 7.10pm ACST
Fremantle v Sydney, Optus Stadium, 6.10pm AWST
Sunday, August 23
Adelaide v Geelong, Adelaide Oval, 12.35pm ACST
Brisbane v St Kilda, Gabba, 3.35pm AEST
West Coast v Greater Western Sydney, Optus Stadium, 4.10pm AWST
Monday, August 24
Collingwood v North Melbourne, Gabba, 7.10pm AEST
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