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Match Preview: Round 8 v Bulldogs

Ryan Davidson, AFL Media  May 9, 2018 8:49 AM

 - Brisbane Lions

The Lions will be looking to chalk their first win as they head on the road to take on the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium. 

Due to a long injury list, the home side will likely go in younger and less experienced than the Lions, and without a consistent form line.

Brisbane was brave against Collingwood last week but couldn't finish off the Pies when they had the chance late in the final term.

A mouthwatering match-up between star Lions forward Eric Hipwood and impressive Bulldog draftee Aaron Naughton should be worth the admission price alone, while the Dogs will be hoping superstar midfielder Marcus Bontempelli overcomes a hip complaint, so he can go to head-to-head with the Lions' brilliant playmaker Dayne Zorko.

Where and When:
Etihad Stadium, Saturday, May 5, 7.25pm AEST

Last Five Meetings:
R20, 2017, Western Bulldogs 14.19 (103) d Brisbane Lions 13.11 (89) at the Gabba
R5, 2017, Western Bulldogs 17.20 (122) d Brisbane Lions 14.6 (90) at Etihad Stadium
R5, 2016, Western Bulldogs 17.18 (120) d Brisbane Lions 10.7 (67) at Etihad Stadium
R23, 2015, Brisbane Lions 19.16 (130) d Western Bulldogs 19.8 (122) at the Gabba
R12, 2015, Western Bulldogs 22.14 (146) d Brisbane Lions 11.8 (74) at Etihad Stadium

The Six Points: 

1. The Bulldogs currently sit 14th on the ladder with a 3-2 record, while the Lions are desperate and raring for a win after again falling just short in the final moments against Collingwood on Sunday.

2. This is the 14th time the sides will play at Etihad Stadium, with the Bulldogs winning eight games to five.

3. Dayne Zorko sits sixth overall in the AFL Player Ratings, with 562 ranking points. Marcus Bontempelli is the Bulldogs' highest ranked player, sitting in 10th position with 528 points.

4. Nick Robertson is expected to return to the Lions' backline after missing Round 7 due to a one-match suspension.

5. Bulldogs' Bontempelli remains a chance for Saturday's match. If the star midfielder manages to get through Thursday's training, he can expect to make his return against the Lions this weekend.  

6. The Bulldogs sit a lowly 15th for scoring, averaging just 74 points per game, but they’re first for marks inside 50 averaging 14. The Lions are 16th for scoring, 16th for inside 50s and 17th for marks inside 50.

It's a big week for... Dayne Zorko

Returning to his brilliant best against Collingwood last week after being subdued by taggers in recent rounds, Dayne Zorko collected 34 touches, ten tackles and four goals at the Gabba. 

Zorko will need to produce another starring performance against a very competent Bulldog midfield.

Bulldogs' Senior Coach Luke Beveridge hasn't given up any hints on his team's game plan for defending against Zorko. 

“We'll give it some serious thought. Obviously, I really liked Dayne Beams' game as well. They've got some prime movers who you need to keep an eye on." Beveridge told media post-match last weekend. 

“So we'll definitely consider it. It was a fascinating game, it was a shootout, it was a good one to watch.”

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