Jack Redden was impressive against the Blues last week. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Darren England
Western Bulldogs v Brisbane
Saturday June 7 – 7:40 PM (AEST)
Western Bulldogs: LLWLL
The Lions will like their chances of notching back-to-back victories for the first time this season via victory over the Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Lions may still be rooted to the bottom of the AFL ladder, but they gave their supporters something to cheer about last weekend upsetting Carlton by seven points at the Gabba. Vice-captain Tom Rockliff demonstrated his importance to the team with an astonishing 36 disposals in Saturday night’s match. Justin Leppitsch’s squad has been cursed by a number of injuries this year, and the coach will have to make at least one forced selection this week, with ruckman Trent West rupturing his ACL in the win over the Blues. Stefan Martin is West’s obvious replacement after playing two strong games for the reserves, as he continues his return from a long injury lay-off. Leppitsch could spring a surprise though, and opt for basketball convert Archie Smith, who is playing just his second year in the game.
The Bulldogs head into this clash with just one win in the past six matches, but they will fancy their chances at home against the Lions. The Bulldogs lacked firepower up front last week against the Dockers, but they will welcome back one or two key attackers. Forward Liam Jones returns after serving a two-match suspension, while Jarrad Grant has impressed in the VFL since returning from a foot injury. The Bulldogs midfield is also set to gain a familiar face, with former captain Matthew Boyd expected to return from a hamstring problem. Defenders Christian Howard and Fletcher Roberts are likely to lose their spots in the first team after poor performances against Freo.
The Western Bulldogs are expected to win this match, but the Lions will be quietly confident heading into Saturday night’s clash. The Lions won last time these two sides met, and after a solid performance against Carlton last week got them over the line, they’ll be hungry to taste victory again at the expense of Brendan McCartney’s men.
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