Where and when: MCG, Sunday May 26, 1.10pm AEST
Last time they met: MCG, round 23, 2018: Melbourne 15.12 (102) defeated Greater Western Sydney 8.9 (57)
A five-goal third term sealed a vital top-eight scalp for Melbourne as it hurtled towards its first finals series in 12 years. Ruckman Max Gawn set the tone for the Dees, while Stephen Coniglio, who spent time forward, was the Giants’ best.
What it means for Melbourne: A clear signal that Melbourne’s season is back on track. The Demons showed signs against West Coast they were returning to their exciting 2018 form but couldn’t quite get over the line.
What it means for GWS: A rare win at the MCG. Leon Cameron acknowledged the Giants’ abysmal record at the ground Grand Finals are played at, and a win just two weeks later will help.
How Melbourne wins: Employing the strong defensive pressure and discipline shown against the Eagles, as well as improving their skill execution, particularly in front of goal.
How GWS wins: Shutting down James Harmes. The hard-running midfielder has been highly influential in the Demons’ past three matches and is capable of breaking the game open with a goal or two.
The stat: Nathan Jones enjoys playing the Giants. The Melbourne co-captain averages 27 disposals a game against GWS, his highest average against all sides in the competition.
The match-up: Max Gawn v Shane Mumford
They’re two of the most influential ruckmen in the competition, who are more than capable of dominating a match at their peak. Gawn is currently ranked first in the AFL Player Ratings, with Mumford 361st overall.
It’s a big week for: A Giant MCG hoodoo
Hot off a comprehensive 93-point win over Carlton, GWS will have its confidence up, but will be facing its bogey ground. The Giants have played 16 games at the MCG over its 7.5 years in the AFL for just two wins.
Father Dougal’s Tip: Giants by 3 points.
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