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Match Preview: Round 4 v Richmond

The Lions impressed on Adelaide Oval last weekend, falling just five points short of Port Adelaide without skipper Dayne Beams, who was a late withdrawal with illness.

While the Tigers bounced back from their Grand Final rematch loss to the Crows to see off Hawthorn by 13 points at the MCG.

This weekend one thing is certain; Toby Nankervis is in for a big challenge against Stefan Martin, who was the Lions' best last week, not only against Justin Westhoff but also with his work around the ground.

The Tigers will keep the Lions guessing this week with a squeeze on for selection; there are no obvious omissions or injuries, while Josh Caddy, Nathan Broad and possibly Dion Prestia will all be available.

Where and when:

MCG, Saturday, April 14, 2.10pm, AEST  

Last five meetings:

R17, 2017: Richmond 16.16 (112) d Brisbane Lions 12.9 (81) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2017: Richmond 17.17 (119) d Brisbane Lions 10.7 (67) at the Gabba
R14, 2016: Richmond 17.15 (117) d Brisbane Lions 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R3, 2015: Richmond 21.11 (137) d Brisbane Lions 8.10 (58) at the Gabba
R16, 2014: Richmond 12.7 (79) d Brisbane Lions 7.12 (54) at the MCG

The six points:

1. The Lions could get the winning edge in the clearances, given they're ranked second (with an average of 43.3 per game) to the Tigers' equal-13th (36 per game). Dayne Zorko and Rhys Mathieson lead the team with 12 each, Martin is second with 11 and Jarrod Berry third with 10.

2. Former Crow Charlie Cameron has wasted no time settling into life as a Lion. His three goals in each round have seen him soar up the rankings in the AFL Player Ratings. He was 172nd overall after last year's Grand Final, and is now 129th after just three games.

3. Despite holding a 0-3 tally so far this season, the Lions have been strong in the last three matches. They were within a goal of St Kilda during the fourth quarter in Round one, drew level with Melbourne in the final term the following week, and took unbeaten Port to the death before coming away empty-handed.

4. Daniel Rich could be a welcome return the Lions' side for the match, having missed the last two rounds due to an ankle injury sustained in the season-opener against St Kilda. Rich will be a test this week to determine his likelihood of returning.

5. The Lions haven't defeated Richmond since Round 7, 2009.

6. Saturday will be the Lions' only game at the MCG this year. 

It's a big week for... Darcy Gardiner

Coming off the back of a fine match against Port Adelaide last weekend, Gardiner is expected to again be a crucial contributor against Richmond's high-pressure, small forward-line.

Gardiner's versatility could see him take on many matchups, including the possibility of grabbing Dustin Martin when he moves up forward. Martin kicked five goals against the Crows in Round 2 and will need to be contained if the Lions are to have any chance of nabbing a victory. 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs