The AFL has today announced that Fremantle’s round 23 fixture against Melbourne at Patersons Stadium will be played on Saturday night 1 September.

Bounce down is at 5.40pm (WST) and the match against the Demons is looming as a contest that could decide whether Fremantle qualify for the AFL finals, which begin the following weekend.

Tickets and membership cards that have already been issued for this match are valid and will scan for entry into the ground.

The AFL schedule of games for round 23 will be as follows (local time in each case):

Friday August 31
Hawthorn v West Coast Eagles at the MCG, 7.50pm (Channel 7)

Saturday September 1
Geelong Cats v Sydney Swans at Simonds Stadium, 1.45pm (Channel 7)
Adelaide Crows v Gold Coast Suns at AAMI Stadium, 1.40pm (Foxtel / Fox Sports)
GWS Giants v North Melbourne at Skoda Stadium, 4.40pm (Foxtel / Fox Sports)
Fremantle v Melbourne at Patersons Stadium, 5.40pm (Foxtel / Fox Sports)
Essendon v Collingwood at the MCG, 7.40pm (Channel 7)

Sunday September 2
Carlton v St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, 1.10pm (Foxtel / Fox Sports)
Richmond v Port Adelaide at the MCG, 3.15pm (Channel 7)
Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs at the Gabba, 4.40pm (Foxtel / Fox Sports)

It was the AFL’s view that the sides who appear likely to finish in the higher positions of the ladder should play on Friday / Saturday in the final round, to maximise fixture options for week one of the 2012 Toyota AFL Finals Series and recovery time for players.

The matches scheduled for Sunday September 2 do not feature sides currently in the top eight at this point of the season, with Carlton and St Kilda both currently two games behind the eighth-placed side.

West Coast Eagles will be able to return to their home state on Friday night with a later-timed Virgin airlines flight while the Sydney Swans and North Melbourne will both be able to return respectively to their home states by Saturday night, with matches scheduled during the afternoon / twilight period.

The MCG will have the large-capacity match between Essendon and Collingwood scheduled as a Saturday night game, while Fremantle was scheduled at home on Saturday night as it currently pushes for a finals position.

The schedule for week one of the 2012 Toyota AFL Finals Series will be announced on either Saturday night 1 September, following the completion of the Saturday night matches, or on the evening of Sunday September 2.

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