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It’s a crunch Friday night for the Wester Bulldogs as they look to keep their finals hopes alive with a win over Hawthorn under the roof. Join The Roar for live scores and rolling coverage from 7pm (AEST).
Brisbane will be disappointed with their showing against Melbourne last week as they dropped two ladder positions after a 64-point loss.
With the top spot in sight, they have made a couple of changes in hope of regaining momentum towards September. They will welcome versatile forward Zac Bailey and captain Dayne Zorko back into their starting line-up.
In other news, 2020 Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale signed a three-year extension to his deal, which was due to expire at the end of next year. This will tie the gun midfielder to the club until at least the end of the 2026 season.
The key to the Lions’ success tonight will lie with Neale and his counterpart, Hugh McCluggage, as they face a Bulldogs midfield high on confidence and brimming with talent.
The Bulldogs are flying high after a really impressive win over the Hawks last week. Aaron Naughton is proving himself to be among the best forwards in the game with an impressive three-goal haul as he edges closer to the top of the Coleman Medal standings.
However, the Bulldogs will be without gun half-back, Caleb Daniel, who was really impressive last week; but they will welcome back versatile midfielder, Lachie Hunter, into the side after some time on the sidelines with personal issues.
This game stands to be the battle of the mids. The on ball brigade of Jarryd Lyons, Neale and McCluggage for Brisbane, and Adam Treloar, Josh Dunkley and 200th-gamer Jack Macrae for the Dogs, will be where the game is won and lost for either team.
This one is a coin flip. I am picking the Lions to bounce back at home by 6 points.
B: J. Payne, H. Andrews, M. Adams
HB: B. Starcevich, D. Rich, D. Zorko (c)
C: J. Berry, Z. Bailey, H. McCluggage
HF: C. Rayner, E. Hipwood, L. McCarthy
F: D. McStay, J. Daniher, C. Cameron
FOLL: O. McInerney, J. Lyons, L. Neale
I/C: C. Ah Chee, K. Coleman, J. Tunstill, N. Answerth
EMG: J. Prior, D. Fort, R. Lester, R. Mathieson
IN: Zorko, Bailey, Ah Chee (R15 medi-sub)
OUT: Robertson, Robinson, T Berry
B: H. Crozier, R. Gardner, T. O’Brien
HB: B. Williams, A. Keath, B. Dale
C: L. Hunter, J. Macrae, A. Scott
HF: J. Johannisen, J. Ugle-Hagan, T. Liberatore
F: M. Bontempelli (c), A. Naughton, C. Weightman
FOLL: J. Sweet, J. Dunkley, A. Treloar
I/C: J. Schache, R. West, D. Bedendo, R. McComb
EMG: S. Darcy, B. Khamis, L. McNeil, R. Garcia
IN: Bedendo, Hunter
OUT: Daniel, Richards