Where and when: MCG, Monday April 22, 3.20pm AEST
Last time they met: MCG, round 21, 2018: Hawthorn 10.11 (71) d. Geelong 8.12 (60)
After leading by 26 points at three-quarter time, Hawthorn was forced to withstand a late Geelong comeback at the MCG. The Cats got within six points with seconds remaining, before Jaeger O’Meara sealed victory with a goal in the 30th minute.
What it means for Hawthorn: It’s been an indifferent start to the year. Victory – and a big scalp – on Easter Monday will make the Hawks a genuine finals contender.
What it means for Geelong: After a flying start to the year, last week’s defeat to the Giants was a setback. Winning here will get the Cats back on track.
How Hawthorn wins: With O’Meara. Its midfield is simply too light on talent to cope without him, Tom Mitchell, Liam Shiels and Shaun Burgoyne.
How Geelong wins: By dominating out of the middle. Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly and Joel Selwood have the chance to completely overwhelm a depleted Hawks onball group.
The stat: Four of the last five games between these two sides have been decided by fewer than 11 points.
The match-up: Tom Stewart v Luke Breust
One of the game’s most in-form defenders against one of the League’s best small forwards. Stewart has started the season brilliantly, while Breust will act as Hawthorn’s biggest threat having kicked eight goals to open the year.
It’s a big week for: Jaeger O’Meara (Hawthorn)
All eyes will be on one man at Hawthorn ahead of this Easter Monday clash. O’Meara missed the Hawks’ last game with St Kilda due to a hip complaint. Without him, Hawthorn’s midfield looks mightily lean. All of the attention this week will be on whether he gets up for the Cats.
Father Dougals’s Tip: Geelong by 6. The Cats are having a better year, Hawks still miss Titch.
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