Where and when: MCG, Wednesday April 24, 7.35pm
Last time they met: MCG, round five, 2018: Melbourne 8.8 (56) lost to Richmond 15.12 (102)
The final margin hides the fact this was a hotly contested, physical game. Richmond, boosted by an even contribution across the park, wore down the Demons to blow out the difference from 19 points at three-quarter time to 46 by the final siren.
What it means for Richmond: The continued righting of the ship. After a disastrous opening few rounds with two 40-plus-point losses and injury to star players, the Tigers sit at 3-2 coming into this match.
What it means for Melbourne: Salvaging of pride. Last weekend was a horror show for Melbourne, comprehensively outplayed by an improving St Kilda. In an even season, every win counts, but one over Richmond would be a confidence boost.
How Richmond wins: Speed. Fortunately for the Tigers, they have it in spades. Melbourne were slow and beaten on the outside last week and Richmond is in a good position to exploit it again.
How Melbourne wins: Clearances have been Richmond’s Achilles heel the past few years, and Melbourne has some of the stronger inside midfielders in the competition. Using Max Gawn’s ruck work to advantage is vital.
The stat: Richmond superstar Dustin Martin regained some form last week against Sydney but playing Melbourne has often been an issue for the midfielder. Martin averages 22 disposals against the Dees, which most players would be pleased with, but it’s his second-lowest return.
The match-up: Tom Lynch v Sam Frost
With Oscar McDonald out of favour, Melbourne’s one recognised key back is Frost (229th overall in the Official AFL Player Ratings). He will be up against Tom Lynch (207th), who was goalless last week, but kicked 16 in the first four rounds.
It’s a big week for: Tom McDonald
It’s been a horrible start for the Melbourne key forward. He hasn’t been helped by poor delivery inside 50, but McDonald has only kicked two goals this year. Was moved into the Saints huddle at half time last week in a bid to get him involved in at least part of the game.
Big call: Jack Riewoldt will return with a bang after missing three games with a wrist injury and kick four goals.
Mottsy’s Tip: Tigers by 40 points
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