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The finals hopes of both the Geelong Cats and Melbourne Demons lay heavily on the result of this blockbuster Saturday night game. Join The Roar for live scores and blog of the encounter, starting from 7:25pm (AEST).
Both sides have shown they possess the quality all around the park to make deep runs into finals. However, the Cats and Demons have entirely different approaches to the game.
Geelong is the second-best defensive team in the competition, conceding just 72 points a game. 2018 has seen the emergence of both Tom Stewart and Mark Blicavs down back, who have gone a long way to fill the void left by retired stars Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan. Lachie Henderson returns to the Cats side, further strengthening their elite defence.
The Demons are the best offensive team in the AFL. They have averaged 105 points per game (19 more than Geelong) and have kicked over 140 points in three games this year. Melbourne averages a huge 61 insides 50 a game and the potent combination of Tom McDonald and Jesse Hogan has made them incredibly dangerous.
Melbourne is the best centre clearance side in the competition, while Geelong is the second worst side out of the middle. The Demons are also the best contested possession side to the Cats’ eighth. Geelong will need to get a hold of the visiting midfielders, or the Demons could take complete control of the game.
Last time these two met was in Round 1, when Max Gawn infamously shanked the chance to put Melbourne in front in the dying seconds. Geelong held on for a crucial three-point win.
Gawn was dominant with 47 hit-outs and 20 disposals. Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett both had 39 possessions in a gallant effort.
Rhys Stanley has the most critical job for the Cats. Max Gawn is the league’s best tap ruckman, and if he is allowed to play his own game, the Demons midfield will be far too dominant for their Geelong counterparts.
Join The Roar for live scores and blog of the match, starting from 7:25pm (AEST).