It’s do or die for the Brisbane Lions when they face the Bulldogs at The Gabba this Saturday.
Here’s three things you need to know.
3. Jack 'Train' Payne EnRoute to The Gabba
Saturday night’s loss to Melbourne was made tougher after powerhouse Dan McStay was forced from the ground following a nasty head knock.
This weekend’s clash will be Payne’s first since injuring his knee in the Round 21 loss to Hawthorn in Launceston.
While Deven Robertson will clock up his 16th game for the Lions this season, with the second-year midfielder last pulling on the Lions colours in the Round 19 QClash demolition of the Suns.
The question on everyone’s minds however is which player from Fagan's 22 will make the transition forward?
Keidean Coleman has been named in the pocket, which could be also be a sign of a potential small forward brigade ahead of Saturday nights must-win clash.
2. Scrap in the Middle
Another weekend, another midfield battle.
With the Bulldogs boasting one of the most impressive midfields in the competition, it presents a dynamic challenge to the Lions hopes of securing a preliminary final berth.
Spearheaded by 2021 AFLPA MVP Marcus Bontempelli and All-Australian Jake Macrae, the Dogs have class across the field that could prove troublesome if the Lions don’t bring their renowned pressure game.
Lachie Neale will be looking to produce another finals-worthy performance, after clocking a finals record 46 disposals in Adelaide last weekend.
The most interesting match-up will be where big-bodied midfielder Jarrod Berry lines up. After running with young Fremantle star, Andrew Brayshaw in Round 21, could we see ‘the Bont’ clamped by Berry’s strong tank and physicality?
1. The ‘Gabbatoir’ Advantage
The last time the Lions played the Bulldogs was back in Round Four – and what a journey it’s been since then.
A road-weary Brisbane side drove to Ballarat from Melbourne in April after an unexpected three-week road trip.
Fortunately for the Lions, their second crack will take place at the Gabba, and they’ll be looking to continue to make the ‘Gabbatoir’ their fortress.
What might worry Luke Beveridge’s side is Brisbane’s impressive stats when playing at home.
It’s been 168 days since the Lions last lost at the Gabba and with a 63% winning record against the Bulldogs at home, it's Brisbane’s to lose you would think.
But regardless of the outcome, this is the final chance for members and fans to see the Lions at the Gabba this season - Get your tickets here, folks!
There’s no home game with higher stakes this season, so if there’s any reason to get to the Gabba, this is it.