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Match preview: Brisbane v Geelong

Where and when: the Gabba, Saturday August 17, 2.10pm AEST 

What it means for Brisbane: A chance to rubber-stamp its credentials as a premiership contender. The Lions would love to win – obviously – to strengthen their grip on a top-two spot, but more importantly they'd like to play a brand of footy that proves to themselves and others they'll be real players in September.

What it means for Geelong: Since the bye the Cats have been patchy, following a win with a loss four straight times. This match marks not only a chance to string together successive wins, but remind the competition why they've been table-toppers since round one.

The stat: Let's go with two stats. Since Ash McGrath's after-the-siren "Miracle on Grass" win in 2013, Brisbane has lost eight straight matches to Geelong. The average margin has been 50 points. This match also pits the team that has scored the most points (Brisbane) against the team that has conceded the least (Geelong).

The match-up: Tom Hawkins (No.27 overall in the Official AFL Player Ratings) has more success against the Lions than any other club, kicking 50 goals from 15 matches. When the teams met last year, Tomahawk bagged seven against Harris Andrews, who was playing his first game back from a month out with concussion. Watch for in-form Marcus Adams (No.521) to start on Hawkins and Andrews to take the springy Esava Ratugolea.

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