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|6.2 (38)||First Quarter [+]||2.2 (14)|
It’s a Saturday night game to savour, as the Geelong Cats host the Melbourne Demons at GMBHA Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:25pm AEDT.
You get the sense that, already, this is an important clash for both squads playing tonight. One squad – Geelong – is striving to lock in a 2-0 beginning to their season.
The other, Melbourne, is desperate to avoid slumping to a 0-2 start, given drama that’ll naturally begin to surround that form line.
Geelong’s opening round was decent but not brilliant – they defeated Collingwood in a scrappy game that never reached any major heights.
Melbourne’s was, well, considerably worse that that – being pummelled by Port Adelaide in a game they were comfortable favourites in. So, yes. A lot is riding on this clash.
Last year’s two regular season fixtures between these two were very close fought encounters, before their elimination final saw Melbourne crush a listless Cats side. I’m not expecting that to happen tonight.
A lot of the focus in this clash will be observing how Geelong limits the influence of Max Gawn – something which worked exceptionally well for Port last weekend and which will be vital today.
Melbourne’s task is to see its talented midfield unit back to form, given its underwhelming performance last weekend.
In terms of selection changes, it’s very simple for the Cats. They’ve made none.
Melbourne, reacting to last week’s loss, have made three. Corey Wagner, Charlie Spargo and Marty Hore all depart the side.
The Demons will be welcoming three new players to their side: former Suns Stephen May and Kade Kolodjashnij make their first appearances, while Jay Lockhart will debut for the club.
This is a game that Melbourne are really, really going to want to win. A 0-2 start will heap the pressure, particularly if they perform as badly as last Saturday.
I’m tipping they’ll be a helluva lot better than the Port Adelaide clash, but I think Geelong will be better still.
It should be close, and I wouldn’t be surprised per se if the Demons win, but I’ll be backing the Cats to win at home.
Geelong by 14 points