Dogs Set To Dine On Demons

Picture: The Daily Telegraph/adelaidenow.com.au
Matthew Boyd has been a major ball-winner for the Bulldogs since coming back from injury. Image courtesy of adelaidenow.com.au/The Daily Telegraph
Last Five Matches

Round 4, 2012 – Western Bulldogs 88 d Melbourne 67 at MCG
Round 15, 2011 – Western Bulldogs 127 d Melbourne 63 at Etihad Stadium
Round 7, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 70 d Melbourne 66 at MCG
Round 8, 2009 – Western Bulldogs 104 d Melbourne 97 at MCG
Round 15, 2008 – Western Bulldogs 95 d Melbourne 64 at Etihad Stadium


Form

     Rd 9       Rd 10       Rd 11       Rd 12       Rd 13   
Melbourne    L  L  L  B  L
Western Bulldogs    W  W  B  L  L

A change of coach but not a change of fortune for Melbourne . The Demons were competitive at times against St Kilda, but even against a team just one place above them on the table, they were always chasing the game and ended up going down by 35 points . Neil Craig’s team has a few winnable games left this season, starting with Saturday night’s showdown with the Bulldogs .

Much like the Dees, the Bulldogs are in a rebuilding stage, but their hasn’t lasted for over a decade. It was the old firm of Ryan Griffen and Matthew Boyd carrying the load in the 60-point loss to Richmond last week, but a stack of rookies have been given a chance at the Whitten Oval this season and plenty are showing a bit of promise. Next week the ‘Dogs take on GWS, so they, too, have a couple of golden opportunities to pull themselves further off the bottom of the table.

Demons ruckman Jake Spencer has been rubbed out for three weeks for his bump on Saint Ben McEvoy, with Max Gawn coming back in to the side. The Bulldogs lose Brett Goodes to a wrist injury while Mitch Wallis and Tory Dickson return.


Key Men

(Demons) Colin Garland – Only a handful of Demons could lay claim to showing any consistency this season, but one of them is Colin Garland. He has the ability to play forward or back and can line up on a variety of opponents. Last week against the Saints he had probably his best game of the year collecting 28 touches and nine marks. Unlike the majority of his teammates, he is one player who is almost certain of having a future with the Melbourne footy club.

(Bulldogs) Will Minson – The way Will Minson is going, he’s halfway to a spot in the All-Australian team. He has had a sparkling season, despite the lowly standing of his side. He’s a prime reason why Tom Liberatore leads the league in clearances and Ryan Griffen and Matthew Boyd sit in the top 30. He’s the league leader in hit outs, but it’s his ability to tap the ball to the advantage of his teammates is a prime reason why his midfield is functioning relatively well.


Prediction

The Bulldogs have won the past six against the Demons, but both teams seem to have regressed since they last met in round four last year. The ‘Dogs hit a purple patch in rounds nine and ten recording wins over St Kilda and Port Adelaide to snap a seven-game losing streak. Melbourne can barely even say it has been competitive in games this season, but at least they hung in there against the Saints. Matthew Boyd and Ryan Griffen are probably a class above the rest of the players on the field, and the likes of Rob Murphy, Adam Cooney and Will Minson are betting than anything the Dees have to offer. Western Bulldogs by 24 points .

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