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Match Preview: Round 14 v GWS Giants

Mick Mattingly, AFL.com.au  June 21, 2017 8:49 AM

Matchpreviewgiantsweb.jpg

A refreshed Greater Western Sydney line-up will head to the Gabba to take on the Brisbane Lions on the back of a bye. A few selection questions await, including doubt over Josh Kelly's fitness and if the Lions pick Josh Schache after his five-goal haul in the NEAFL last weekened.

The Lions have shown some stronger form over the last few weeks. Dayne Zorko, Dayne Beams and Tom Rockliff will meet a highly-rated Giants midfield head on in a tough battle that could shape things. Their young guns will also need to stand up this weekend if they are any chance of beating a GWS side that will be out to make a statement after being upset by the Blues at Etihad Stadium two weeks ago. The Lions will need to bring their best defensive game to stand a chance against the favoured Giants, who have won their last three matches against the Lions by an average of 51 points.

WHERE AND WHEN: Gabba, Saturday, June 24, 4.35pm AEST

LAST FIVE TIMES

R17, 2016, GWS 22.14 (146) d Brisbane Lions 9.13 (67) at the Gabba
R10, 2015, GWS 14.13 (97) d Brisbane Lions 10.7 (67) at Spotless Stadium
R13, 2014, GWS 19.11 (125) d Brisbane Lions 12.8 (80) at the Gabba
R21, 2013, Brisbane Lions 18.15 (123) d GWS 9.9 (63) at the Gabba
R8, 2012, Brisbane Lions 19.18 (132) d GWS 5.10 (40) at the Gabba

The Five Points

1. If Josh Kelly does get up from his hip concern, the Lions will be out to curb his influence. The in-demand midfielder gathered 26 disposals, kicked three goals and laid six tackles in a best afield performance against the Lions in their last encounter.

2. The Lions will need to shut down the Giants' ball movement and scoring ability. GWS has kicked over 100 points six times in 2017, averaging exactly 100 points a game.

3. Brisbane will have to put the Giants defenders under a lot of pressure by giving their forwards a better chance this week. The Lions are currently ranked 17th for inside 50s, averaging only 46.7 per game.

4. Being at the Gabba, the clash could be the Lions' best hope of beating the Giants. The clubs share the honours with two wins apiece from their four clashes at the venue.

5. Giants coach Leon Cameron will no doubt be putting some time into in-form Lions midfielder Dayne Zorko. He gathered 32 disposals and kicked two goals last week, and sits seventh overall in the Official AFL Player Ratings.

It’s a big week for … Ryan Bastinac

Bastinac will play his 150th match on Saturday against the Giants. After a slow start to the season, Bastinac was one of the Lions' best against Port Adelaide last weekend, collecting 21 disposals and bagging a team-high three goals. Another performance like that will be a huge boost for the Lions, especially against the Giants' star-studded midfield.