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Match Preview: Lions v Port Adelaide

The Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide Power both head into Round 3 with 2-0 tally chalked on the ladder. 

The Lions have had a red-hot start to the 2019 season, defeating the reigning premiers in Round 1 and coming from behind to take the four points over North Melbourne in Round 2.

Saturday afternoon's match at the Gabba will be the Lions' first chance to start their season with a 3-0 tally since 2010.

Here's a look at Round 3 against Port Adelaide:

Where and when: Gabba, Saturday, April 6, 6.25pm AEST

Last time they met: Adelaide Oval, Round 3, 2018: Port Adelaide 14.13 (97) defeated Brisbane 14.8 (92)

Port almost blew an 18-point three-quarter time lead but held on against a gallant Lions side. Allen Christensen's snap at goal with just over a minute remaining was marked on the goal line by Jared Polec to save the day. Stefan Martin was easily the best player afield. 

What it means for the Lions: A chance to start three-from-three for the first time since 2010. After beating the premier in Round 1, another win would really start dragging the casual sporting fans in Brisbane back to the Gabba. 

What it means for Port Adelaide: Written off by many as a genuine finals contenders prior to the season, a win over the red-hot Lions would frank Ken Hinkley's men as a team to watch. 

How Brisbane wins: By staying composed. The midfield has shown it can win enough footy, and if they use it well – which has been problematic at times in the first fortnight – the forward line is potent enough to kick a winning score.

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How Port Adelaide wins: Aside from nullifying the Lions at the centre bounce, Port must pressure the Lions manically when defending. The Lions love to play with pace but are prone to turning the ball over. Port should also not be afraid to possess the ball and slow the game down. 

The stat: Port Adelaide have owned the ball in their first two victories, averaging an AFL-best 433 disposals a match.

Both times Port has had 93 more possessions than its opponent. They also lead the League for marks inside 50 (14). 

The match-up: Stefan Martin v Scott Lycett

It's quickly becoming apparent the influence a good ruckman on the result with the new 6-6-6 rules at centre bounces.

Martin (ranked sixth among ruckmen in the Official AFL Player Ratings) was a huge influence last week, while Scott Lycett (up 55 places to 231st overall) is already looming as one of the most astute off-season acquisitions after a terrific opening two weeks. 

Big call: Eric Hipwood to break free from his slow start with five goals.

Prediction: Lions by 19 points 

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