Power-Demons to open AFL round 17

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Port Adelaide will host Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night after the AFL locked in the two premiership contenders to open the round 17 fixture.

The league will wait before confirming the rest of next week's schedule as it works within rapidly changing COVID-19 protocols and interstate border restrictions.

However, Essendon and Adelaide are reportedly being lined up to play in the highly sought-after Friday night time slot.

It comes after the AFL Players Association stepped in to prevent the Western Bulldogs and Sydney playing against each other on Friday night.

That fixture would have meant both the Bulldogs and Swans played off a five-day break for the second time this season.

Clubs are only permitted to have one five-day break between matches this season under the AFLPA's collective bargaining agreement.

The Thursday night match will be Melbourne's first trip to Adelaide Oval since being upset by the Crows in round 10.

They will take on Port Adelaide side desperate to beat a fellow top-four side for the first time this season.

"(We) look forward to witnessing two top-four teams kick off round 17 in what should be a great contest," AFL fixtures boss Travis Auld said.

Other fixtures remain up in the air and will be confirmed "in the coming days".

GWS and Gold Coast will likely clash in Victoria and Hawthorn will hope the Tasmanian government allow them to host Fremantle in Launceston.

Venues for the West Coast-North Melbourne and Brisbane-St Kilda matches - due to be played at Optus Stadium and the Gabba respectively - will depend on rulings by the Western Australia and Queensland state governments.

The MCG is due to host the Carlton-Geelong and Richmond-Collingwood matches.

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