The AFL 2021 Grand Final is finally here.
Melbourne is playing its first grand final in 21 years and tonight is trying to break the AFL’s longest active premier drought, which dates back to 1964.
They face the Western Bulldogs, in a 1954 flag-maker rematch, trying to repeat their 2016 exploits by becoming the second team this century to win the flag out of the top four.
Watch Fox Footy’s massive lineup of Weekly Grand Final coverage on Kayo, including live pre-match, half-time and post-match coverage with full top-team analysis of the sector. New to Kayo? Try 14 days for free>
GRAND FINAL LIVE
LIVE BLOG: Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs for 2021 flag
CRYSTAL BALL: Experts predict winner, medalist Norm Smith and first goal
ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE: full line-up, pre-game and half-time start time
GF SPRINT: AFL tradition continues with a twist
WHAT TIME DOES THE GRAND FINAL START?
The AFL 2021 Grand Final begins at 7.15pm AEST (5.15pm AWST) on Saturday, September 25 and will be played at Optus Stadium in Perth.
It will be the first AFL Grand Final played in Western Australia, and the second ever played outside Victoria, after the deciding 2020 flag was played at Gabba in Brisbane.
Victoria will still have a holiday for the Grand Final on Friday, September 24, the day before the game.
Pre-game entertainment begins at 6:15 p.m. AEST (4:15 p.m. AEST).
HOW CAN I WATCH THE AFL GRAND FINAL?
The AFL 2021 Grand Final will be streamed live on Seven and 7Plus (select platforms only), and you can stream it on Kayo after the game.
The Grand Final can only be streamed on 7Plus TVs on Apple TV, Telstra TV, Fetch TV, Samsung Tizen, LG 2017 and later with the native app, Android TV, and PlayStation 4 and 5. You cannot watch it on mobile devices.
Otherwise, to watch it live on TV, you will need free channels, or even a simple antenna plugged into your TV’s coaxial input.
A last-minute agreement was reached to allow the Grand Final to be broadcast on mobile devices via the AFL app.
Footy Fox will have a huge range of live pre-match, half-time and post-match coverage with a comprehensive analysis of the best team in the business.
If you are outside of Australia you can watch the Grand Final as well as Fox Footy coverage and TV shows on WatchAFL.
WHO IS PLAYING IN THE AFL GRAND FINAL?
The Melbourne Demons take on the Western Bulldogs in the 2021 AFL Grand Final on Saturday, September 25 at 7:15 p.m. AEST / 5:15 p.m. AWST.
The Demons are trying to win their first post as AFL Premier in 57 years.
The Bulldogs hope to repeat their magical run of five years ago, when they became the only team in the current Finals format to win the flag outside of the top four.
MORE GRAND FINAL NEWS
BLOWTORCH: Tactic Dogs must heed, tag error Dees can no longer make
“WILL MAKE ME WALK UNTIL THE DAY OF DIE”: the regret of Dog 2018 still burns
SIMPLY DEE BEST: Melbourne coach claims ultimate honor
WHISTLE-BLOWERS: Top referees of the year nominated for GF, including rookie
WHEN WILL THE GRAND FINAL END?
Here is the Grand Final race sheet with the pre-match and post-match event schedules.
4:22 p.m. WST / 6:22 p.m. EST: Welcome home, Dr Richard Walley
4:29 p.m. WST / 6:29 p.m. EST: Start of pre-game animations – Abbe May, followed by Baker Boy, followed by John Butler, Stella Donnelly, Vikki Thorn, Donna Simpson, Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, followed by Eskimo Joe, followed by Colin Hay and all The interpreters
4:46 p.m. WST / 6:46 p.m. EST: Pre-game entertainment ends
4:50 p.m. WST / 6:50 p.m. EST: rebel activation
4:55 p.m. WST / 6:55 p.m. EST: Referees enter the arena / Delivery of match balls to referees
4:58 p.m. WST / 6:58 p.m. EST: Western Bulldogs enter the arena / Team Photo
5:01 p.m. WST / 7:05 p.m. EST: Melbourne enters the arena / Team photo
5:10 p.m. WST / 7:10 p.m. EST: Arrival at the Premiership Cup – Glen Jakovich presents the Premiership Cup to presenters Garry Lyon and Chris Grant (team)
5:11 p.m. WST / 7:11 p.m. EST: National Anthem, Amy Manford
5:13 p.m. WST / 7:13 p.m. EST: Two sirens – draw
5:15 p.m. WST / 7:15 p.m. EST: Start of the Toyota AFL 2021 Grand Final
The times below are approx.
5:45 p.m. WST / 7:45 p.m. EST: Quarter time
5:46 p.m. WST / 7:46 p.m. EST: Colgate Grand Final Sprint
5:51 p.m. WST / 7:51 p.m. EST: Start of second trimester
6:21 p.m. WST / 8:21 p.m. EST: Half time
6:29 p.m. WST / 8:29 p.m. EST: Half-time entertainment – Birds of Tokyo accompanied by the WA Symphony Orchestra
6:48 p.m. WST / 8:48 p.m. EST: Beginning of the third trimester
7:18 p.m. WST / 9:18 p.m. EST: Three-quarter time
7:25 p.m. WST / 9:25 p.m. EST: Beginning of the fourth trimester
7:55 p.m. WST / 9:55 p.m. EST: Final Siren – Conclusion of the Toyota AFL 2021 Grand Final
8:06 p.m. WST / 10:06 p.m. EST: Post-match presentation / Team photo
Press conference – Finalists: This post-match press conference will begin 20 minutes after the winning club has reached the pitch.
Press conference – Prime Ministers: To be performed after the finalists’ press conference.
Medalist Norm Smith will accompany his coach to his press conference.
WHEN DID MELBOURNE LAST A GRAND FINAL?
Melbourne is playing its first grand final since 2000, when it lost to the big favorite Essendon.
Melbourne hasn’t won the Grand Final since 1964, the AFL’s longest active drought and fourth-longest drought ever, behind South Melbourne / Sydney (72, 1933-2005), St Kilda (68 years, 1897 -1966 excluding two undisputed years in World War I) and Footscray / Western Bulldogs (62 years, 1954-2016).
CAN I GET TICKETS TO THE AFL GRAND FINAL?
Just over 10,000 tickets went on sale to the general public on Thursday, September 16, but they sold out in nine minutes, with more than 130,000 people in a virtual line to grab them.
WHAT JUMPS WILL THE TEAMS WEAR?
The Melbourne Demons will wear their navy and red sweater with navy shorts and red socks in the decider, given they are on the higher ranked side.
The Western Bulldogs will be wearing their traditional sweaters with white shorts as the âawayâ club at this year’s AFL Grand Finals.
This allays fears that dogs will be forced to wear their white sweater rather than their traditional royal blue sweater with a red and white hoop.
WHO PRESENTS THE FIRST HIP CUP?
If the Melbourne Demons manage to win the AFL Grand Final, former club captain Garry Lyon will present the Premiership Cup to coach Simon Goodwin and current captain Max Gawn.
Lyon are two times better and fairer and three times All Australian who, by making 226 appearances for the club, are tied for 14th on the club’s all-time record list.
If the Western Bulldogs manage to win the AFL Grand Final, former captain Chris Grant will present the Premiership Cup to coach Luke Beveridge and captain Marcus Bontempelli.
Grant has played 341 games and scored 554 goals for the club over his 18-year career and was three times All Australian and two times better and fairer.
He is second behind Brad Johnson for most club games.
AFL GRAND FINAL ENTERTAINMENT
WA-based artists will headline the entertainment of the Grand Final, with Tokyo Birds the main event during the extended half-time break.
The Birds of Tokyo performed before and after the match at the 2013 Grand Final, as well as the 2019 Grand Final Parade. The group is best known for the songs âPlansâ and âLanternsâ.
Eskimo Joe – known for “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” and “From the Sea” – will also perform, alongside native hip hop artist Baker Boy, who traveled to Perth and entered quarantine.
Baker Boy, the young Australian of the year 2019, was part of Fox Sports’ Indigenous Round celebrations.
The performance theme will be ‘Australian Anthems’ and other WA-based artists will also be involved: multi-award-winning artist Abbe May, critically acclaimed musician Stella Donnelly, multi-award-winning duo Gina Willians and Guy Ghouse and sisters Donna Simpson and Vikki Thorn of Australian folk-rock group The Waifs.
Men at Work lead singer Colin Hay will perform as part of the pre-match show with Baker Boy.
The sun will set at half-time and an extended half-time break will allow for a performance under the lights. Sunset is expected at 6:14 p.m. local time during the second quarter.
WHO PARTICIPATES IN THE SPRINT OF THE AFL GRAND FINAL?
Four players from Fremantle will face four players from the West Coast in the traditional Grand Final Sprint in the quarter.
Eagles speedster Jack Petruccelle is emerging as the favorite with teammates Liam Ryan, Josh Rotham and Tom Cole against Dockers Liam Henry, Andrew Brayshaw, Luke Ryan and Ethan Hughes.
Players will try to be the fastest over 100 meters, running along one of the 50-meter arcs.
AFL GRAND FINAL ODDS
Melbourne ($ 1.70) is the small favorite to beat the Western Bulldogs ($ 2.20) in the 2021 Grand Final, according to Pointsbet.
After opening as an underdog at $ 2.30 after their preliminary final on September 11, there was more support for the Bulldogs.
ODDS FOR THE NORM SMITH MEDAL
Melbourne’s Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver are joint favorites at $ 7 with Western Bulldogs’ Marcus Bontempelli $ 8 to be voted best on floor.
Demon Captain Max Gawn is $ 9 while Jack Macrae ($ 11) and Jack Viney ($ 15) are the next best.
The biggest underdogs are Harrison Petty and Roarke Smith, both listed at $ 201.
WHO WILL BE THE FIRST SCORER IN THE GRAND FINAL?
Melbourne pair Ben Brown and Bayley Fritsch and Aaron Naughton of the Western Bulldogs are tied favorites to score the Grand Final’s opening goal, at $ 10 with Pointsbet.
Bulldogs small forward Cody Weightman ($ 13) and Demons tall Tom McDonald ($ 14) are on the next betting lines, followed by the $ 15 group, which includes Kysaiah Pickett and Christian Petracca of Melbourne, and Marcus Bontempelli and Tim English of the Bulldogs.
Best value may be Bulldogs midfielder Tom Liberatore at $ 31; he’s kicked the first goal three times this season, more than anyone in the game.
Bulldogs’ Bailey Smith ($ 21), who is in great shape and scored the first goal in the preliminary final victory over Port Adelaide, has done so twice this year.
For the Demons, Fritsch, Brown, Pickett, James Harmes and Alex Neal-Bullen have all kicked the first goal twice this year.
All odds at 3.30 p.m. on Saturday September 25
AFL GRAND FINAL WEATHER
It’s a beautiful day in Perth, with a high of 25 degrees and partly cloudy conditions.
East winds of 30-45 km / h will decrease to 25-40 km / h before the start of the game, and there is a 0% chance of rain.
Sunset is expected at 6:14 p.m. local time, which will be in the second quarter of the match.