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The AFL hits the road to Ballarat in Round 8 as the inconsistent Western Bulldogs clash with the season surprise packets, the Brisbane Lions. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 1:45pm (AEST).
According to the bookies, the Bulldogs come into this Round 8 clash as favourites, but it’s hard to see how.
They might have won four of their last five over the Lions, but their record at Mars Stadium in Ballarat is just one and two, to go with a two and five record across the first seven weeks of the new season.
They did get the better of a poor and understrength Richmond side for their second win of the season last Sunday, but the Bulldogs are a side who have been inconsistent at best with the basic skills.
Those basic skills, or lack thereof, will come back to bite them if they play like they did in prior losses to sides like Fremantle, Carlton and Collingwood the three weeks prior to their shock win last week.
Undoubtedly, the key for them will be getting quality ball to Marcus Bontempelli in the forward line, with Billy Gowers also due for a big game in leading that charge.
The Lions were outstanding last week though in a confidence-boosting win over the Swans, as they went inside 50 77 times throughout the contest, and dominated the ball out of the middle.
They have been an entertaining team to watch, the Lions, ever since their come from behind victory in Round 1 over the West Coast Eagles.
Chris Fagan’s side are second for clearances and third for inside 50s throughout the season, so will continue to look playing a quick brand of footy and catch the Bulldogs on the hop as they try to defend the counter moves up the ground.
If the Lions kicking is accurate – and with Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons, Eric Hipwood and Charles Cameron in great form just to name a few – then they will put up another big performance and be incredibly tough to stop.
It’s hard to see the Lions not coming away with the win here. They have been playing good footy and are an entertaining side to watch when they get it right. Should that be the case on Saturday afternoon, the final score might get a bit lopsided.
Lions by 31.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this AFL contest as the Bulldogs clash with the Lions from 1:45pm (AEST), and don’t forget to get involved by adding a comment in the section below.
First bounce: 1:45pm (AEST)
Venue: Mars Stadium, Ballarat
TV: Live, Fox Footy, Seven (QLD Only)
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, AFL Digital Pass, 7Plus (QLD only)
Betting: Bulldogs $1.64, Lions $2.05
Overall record: Played 37, Bulldogs 19, Lions 18
Last meeting: 2018 Round 8 – Bulldogs 16.11 (107) defeat Lions 14.9 (93)
Last five: Bulldogs 4, Lions 1
Record at venue: Never played
Umpires: Brendan Hosking, Robert Findlay, Cameron Dore
B Jason Johannisen, Jackson Trengove, Hayden Crozier
HB Caleb Daniel, Zaine Cordy, Easton Wood
C Lachie Hunter, Tom Liberatore, Ed Richards
HF Billy Gowers, Aaron Naughton, Sam Lloyd
F Toby McLean, Marcus Bontempelli, Mitch Wallis
FOL Tim English, Josh Dunkley, Jack Macrae
I/C Matthew Suckling, Bailey Smith, Will Hayes, Lachie Young
EMG Lewis Young, Fletcher Roberts, Patrick Lipinski, Bailey Williams
B Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Daniel Rich
HB Alex Witherden, Darcy Gardiner, Mitch Robinson
C Jarrod Berry, Lachie Neale, Hugh McCluggage
HF Cam Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Lincoln McCarthy
F Charles Cameron, Daniel McStay, Oscar McInerney
FOL Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons
I/C Tom Cutler, Zac Bailey, Ryan Lester, Noah Answerth
EMG Ben Keays, Josh Walker, Jacob Allison, Archie Smith