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Match Preview: Round 22 v Melbourne Demons

Ben Guthrie, AFL.com.au  August 15, 2017 11:00 AM

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The equation is simple for Melbourne: win its final two games and it will play finals for the first time since 2006.

That quest starts this Sunday at the MCG against the Lions, with the Demons fully expected to take care of business and win comfortably.

However, most Melbourne players have never been in this kind of position before so it will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure. 

The Lions have been very competitive in recent weeks and are coming off their biggest win of the season against Gold Coast in the latest QClash at the Gabba on the weekend.

Desperate to jump off the bottom of the ladder, the Lions will be keen to spoil the Demons' finals chances and could spring a surprise if their quality midfield fires.    

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Sunday, August 20, 1.10pm AEST  

LAST FIVE TIMES

R9, 2016, Melbourne 19.17 (131) d Brisbane Lions 9.14 (68) at the MCG
R16, 2015, Melbourne 8.12 (60) d Brisbane Lions 4.12 (36) at the MCG
R19, 2014, Brisbane Lions 11.8 (74) d Melbourne 6.15 (51) at Etihad Stadium
R17, 2013, Brisbane Lions 13.16 (94) d Melbourne 11.9 (75) at TIO Stadium
R5, 2013, Brisbane Lions 17.20 (122) d Melbourne 14.10 (94) the Gabba 

THE FIVE POINTS

1. After 20 matches, Melbourne is the equal-highest disposal side in the competition, averaging 406 touches per game. The Demons are one of only two sides averaging more than 400 per game.

2. Melbourne and the Lions are set to clash for the 44th time, with the Demons winning 23 games to 20. The Demons have won the past two games ending the Lions' run of five consecutive wins.

3. In Melbourne's favour is its record against the Lions at the MCG, with the Demons winning 13 games to three at the venue. The Lions last beat Melbourne at the MCG in round one, 2012.

4. The Lions' win over the Suns last weekend was the second time they have won by more than 50 points this season. However, the Lions have not won consecutive games since rounds six and seven, 2015.

5. Both Dayne Beams and Lewis Taylor were named in AFL Media's round 21 Team of the Week.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Lewis Taylor

Taylor has been in career-best form for the Lions of late and will keen to cause a few headaches for the Demons defence on Sunday. Lightning quick and with excellent footwork and vision, Taylor will be a big part of the Lions game plan to vanquish the Demons. If Taylor can get plenty of touches and hit the scoreboard a few times the Lions will be in with a great chance. 

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