Sunday night offers an intriguing battle at Marvel Stadium with the Saints and Dogs doing battle in what is a huge game for both sides.
Yes, it may just be the start of the season but the Saints can make a major statement in this game and the Bulldogs can show what they’re made of after failing to do so against Collingwood in Round 1.
There are plenty of changes for both sides with the Saints bringing in the likes of Jake Carlisle, Nick Coffield and Nick Hind to replace Luke Dunstan, Dean Kent and Dylan Roberton.
The Bulldogs bring in Billy Gowers, Lin Jong, Patrick Lipinski, Ed Richards and Laitham Vandermeer for Ben Cavarra, Zaine Cordy, Lachie Hunter, Easton Wood and Lewis Young.
The changes were required after the Bulldogs were humbled by the Pies and the Saints slipped up to lose a thriller against North Melbourne.
The Bulldogs go in as favourites and have won three of the previous five battles against the Saints. Although the Saints have managed to beat the Bulldogs comfortably in the times when they have managed to defeat them.
Josh Bruce lines up against his old side for the first time. He kicked a goal against Collingwood in Round 1, one of their few highlights. The Saints will understand his playing style so it will be interesting to see the impact he has on the game.
Alongside the likes of Sam Lloyd and Aaron Naughton, Bruce spearheads a Bulldogs forward line that’s going to need to lift to beat a St Kilda back line that was strong against North Melbourne, despite the loss, holding them to 56 points.
The Bulldogs’ midfield could be difficult to contain for the Saints. The loss of Jack Steven over the off-season to Geelong has taken a major toll on the midfield so there is a big question mark over their ability to compete with the higher quality midfields of the competition.
A big game for both sides but who will come out on top? There are big games all around for all sides but this one is big for both the Dogs and Saints in terms of making statements.