Western Bulldogs v Geelong

Source: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
The Bulldogs celebrate a goal against the Gold Coast last week. Source: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
The Western Bulldogs  will face defending premier Geelong  on Friday night full of confidence after winning four of their past five matches. After failing to win any of their opening three games, many predicted that the Dogs would struggle in 2012 but they have turned the corner. Although they haven’t beaten any real finals aspirants, they are showing signs of improving and adapting to new coach Brendan McCartney’s style of play.

While the Bulldogs are improving, Geelong has been going in the opposite direction. Defeats to Adelaide and Collingwood in the past two weeks mean that they are outside the top eight and another loss this weekend could see them as low as thirteenth.

Where It Will be Won – The Bulldogs lead the competition for disposals and contested possessions this season and will again be looking to ensure they get good use of the ball. Matthew Boyd  and Ryan Griffen  will be key to ensuring they don’t give the likes of Joel Selwood  and Joel Corey  too much of the ball by dominating the clearances and winning the hard balls, giving their other players more time and space.

Prediction – Although it would appear that these sides are going in opposite directions, the Cats have had a much tougher start to the season than their opponents. The Bulldogs are yet to beat a top eight team this season and Geelong represents a big step up from the likes of the Gold Coast Suns and GWS. The Cats have won eight of the past ten clashes between the pair and are likely to improve that record on Friday night. Geelong 1-39

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