Where and when: Mars Stadium, Saturday, May 11, 1.45pm
Last time they met: Marvel Stadium, round eight, 2018: Western Bulldogs 16.11 (107) defeated Brisbane 14.9 (93)
The Bulldogs won their third straight game and kept the Lions winless for the season, but not without a scare as the visitors charged to within seven points in the final term. Stars Marcus Bontempelli and Dayne Zorko kicked four goals each and Jack Macrae amassed a whopping 47 disposals.
What it means for the Western Bulldogs: An impressive win against Richmond has the Dogs 3-4 and in the hunt. Squaring the ledger to keep the top eight within arm’s reach is vital.
What it means for Brisbane: Week after week, the Lions are proving to be a legitimate top-four hopeful. They ended a decade of defeats against Sydney but finding their best in Ballarat, with different conditions to Queensland and at a ground they’ve never played before, is a new challenge.
How the Western Bulldogs win: Another Aaron Naughton five-goal domination wouldn’t hurt. The Bulldogs’ spread, link-up play and pressure on the ball carrier overwhelmed the Tigers. They’ll aim to reproduce that level.
How Brisbane wins: Quick and direct. Chris Fagan’s side is second for clearances and third for inside 50s, highlighted by 77 entries against the Swans – six short of the record set by Melbourne in round eight, 2018. That much ball coming at you is a tough ask for any opposition defence to cope with.
The stat: Western Bulldogs have won five of the past six games against Brisbane.
The match-up: Eric Hipwood v Jackson Trengove
Hard to imagine Jackson Trengove (293rd overall in the Official AFL Player Ratings) couldn’t break into the Bulldogs’ team until round six. The defensive unit has looked more resolute with his presence and he completely blanketed Richmond forward Tom Lynch. Athletic tall Eric Hipwood (366th overall) is likely his next assignment.
It’s a big week for: Charlie Cameron (Brisbane)
He is the Lions’ barometer. The dynamic forward has been kept goalless twice this season, and both games ended in losses. If he fires, Brisbane is a big step towards a successful interstate trip.
Big call: Charlie does fire with five-plus goals.
Mottsy’s Prediction: Brisbane by 25 points
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