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|11.17 (83)||Third Quarter [+]||6.7 (43)|
|8.10 (58)||Second Quarter [+]||4.5 (29)|
|2.4 (16)||First Quarter [+]||3.4 (22)|
Top spot is on the line as reigning premiers Melbourne look to bounce back from a horror month against the team that displaced them at the head of the ladder, Brisbane. Join The Roar for live scores and rolling coverage from 7:20pm (AEST).
After three straight losses, the machine that many felt the Demons were appears to be somewhat malfunctioning. Ranked 17th in the league when it comes to pressure, the Dees are miles from the dominant force they became in 2021.
Max Gawn’s injury only adds to their woes and the challenge of attempting to lift themselves out of a slump becomes only more difficult tonight, up against a Brisbane side that many feel is the one most likely to prevent a Demons repeat in 2022.
Collingwood, Sydney and Fremantle have towelled up Melbourne in recent weeks, whilst the Lions have also suffered at the hands of the Dockers, with wins over the Giants and Saints on either side of that Round 12 loss.
The Demons enter the match knowing that their current form is far from acceptable, and the Lions remain concerned that their tendency to leak goals at crucial times could make them susceptible to a Melbourne team determined to prove to its fans that there is nothing to worry about, and that another assault on the flag is imminent.
It sets up a thrilling clash between two sides that meet again later in the home-and-away season, and potentially again in the big dance come September.
Team news sees Steven May return for the Demons after his disciplinary suspension, with Luke Jackson set to take up the majority of the ruck work left vacant by Gawn’s absence. Sam Weideman also makes a return to a team in desperate need of a boost up forward that he could well provide.
The Lions are relatively fit and healthy right now, yet the unavailability of Dane Zorko and Darcy Gardiner now looks even more threatening, with Zac Bailey a late out due to health and safety protocols.
A fourth straight loss for the Demons may not be catastrophic, but it will certainly be derailing considering the closeness of the top eight. With their poor form, captain Gawn out of action and the Lions healthy and winning ugly across the past month, logic suggests the visitors might well be able to throw the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons and steal a win at the MCG, a place they rarely have the privilege of playing.
Brisbane to stamp their claim on a premiership with a 28-point win that subsequently sees the Demons at a loss as to what has gone wrong in 2022.
B: J. Harmes, H. Petty, S. May
HB: J. Jordon, J. Lever, C. Salem
C: A. Brayshaw, C. Petracca, E. Langdon
HF: B. Brown, B. Fritsch, T. Sparrow
F: A. Neal-Bullen, S. Weideman, C. Spargo
FOLL: L. Jackson, C. Oliver, J. Viney (c)
I/C: T. Bedford, M. Hibberd, J. Bowey, K. Pickett
EMG: A. Tomlinson, L. Dunstan, J. Hunt, M. Brown
IN: Weideman, May, Bedford
OUT: Turner, Gawn, Brown
B: J. Payne, H. Andrews (c), M. Adams
HB: B. Starcevich, D. Rich, N. Answerth
C: J. Berry, T. Berry, 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: D. Robertson, M. Robinson, K. Coleman, J. Tunstill
EMG: C. Ah Chee, J. Madden, D. Fort, R. Lester
IN: Payne, Tunstill, T Berry
OUT: Gardiner, Zorko, Bailey