It’s a Friday night canine vs. feline showdown!

We’re back in front of our Vic fans and we couldn’t be more excited.

The pride is strong, our claws are sharpened, it’s time to get into this week’s match preview.

Last Time We Met

Last time: Western Bulldogs 10.7 (67) d Brisbane 7.11 (53) Round 3, 2023

In our last encounter, the Western Bulldogs clinched their first win of the season, overcoming the Lions 10.7 (67) to 7.11 (53). Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was the star of the show, booting five goals while Marcus Bontempelli led the charge for the Dogs with 28 disposals, proving their bark was as good as their bite.

The game was a tense thriller, with the margin never stretching beyond 15 points. Eric Hipwood's late goal cut the gap to just two points, but Aaron Naughton’s crucial plays secured the Dogs' victory. Lachie Neale as per usual found plenty of the footy, showcasing his class and work rate, while Brandon Starcevich was a steady presence in an under-the-pump defence.

But this time, folks, our boys are ready to roar with a vengeance in the back end of season 2024! We’re hungry for redemption and with our sights set on the Dogs we’re keen to turn their bark into a mere whimper.

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Excited About

Lions Locked In!

Exciting times are buzzing around the Lions’ den with two big re-signings during the week! Hugh McCluggage, the midfield maestro with 166 games and a finals series to remember, signed a seven-year deal, making him a Lion for life. Reflecting on his journey, Hugh expressed pride in the past seven years but emphasised that the team has "unfinished business" and a strong desire to continue improving under coach Chris Fagan. Something all Lion’s fans can agree with and will be excited to see.

Adding to the excitement, Bruce Reville, the fan-favorite who made his debut this season after being picked as a Category B rookie in 2023, has extended with the club until 2025. With chants of 'Bruce' echoing around the Gabba, Reville’s journey from cutting meat and driving forklifts to AFL stardom is nothing short of incredible.

It’s safe to say, off the back of these re-signings, its injected a surge of energy and excitement into the group, not only for this week's showdown against the Bulldogs but also with the thrill of having these two key players locked in for the future.

Match-ups we're keen for

Marcus Bontempelli vs Hugh McCluggage

This matchup is set to be a canine vs. feline clash of the titans.

Marcus Bontempelli has been the alpha on the field this season, even as the Bulldogs have had a rollercoaster ride with injuries and results. The Bulldogs skipper is dishing out 26.3 disposals, 6.7 clearances, and five tackles a game. Despite spending a fraction of his time up forward, he's still managing to kick a career-high 1.3 goals per game, with 16 for the season.

Meanwhile, our man Hugh McCluggage has given Brisbane fans something to roar about by turning his back on free agency this week and signing a seven-year deal. The Lions' vice-captain is averaging 25.5 disposals, 16.3 kicks, 4.6 clearances, and three tackles a game. Come Friday night we know Hugh will be ready to lead the charge as we come up against a tough Bulldogs outfit.

Lion’s fans, brace yourselves for a dogfight of a game where only the king of the jungle (or the top dog) will come out on top!

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