3:20 PM (AEST) Sunday, June 18 at Etihad Stadium, Docklands
The final game of Round 13 in the AFL will take place at Docklands when the defending premiers Western Bulldogs take on Melbourne.
Western Bulldogs: Dale Morris, Fletcher Roberts, Jason Johannisen; Shane Biggs, Easton Wood, Robert Murphy; Lachie Hunter, Luke Dahlhaus, Matthew Boyd; Tom Liberatore, Zaine Cordy, Jake Stringer; Toby McLean, Travis Cloke, Liam Picken; Tom Boyd, Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae.
Melbourne: Jayden Hunt, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta; Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost, Jordan Lewis; Christian Salem, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones; Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Mitch Hannan; Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian Petracca, Jeff Garlett; Cameron Pedersen, Bernie Vince, Jack Viney.
There have been 162 games between these two sides with Melbourne holding a slight advantage, picking up 85 wins to the Bulldogs 76, with a further game drawn. The Dees though have won 13 of the last 17 clashes including their most recent encounter in Round 8 last year by 32 points.
The Bulldogs began their premiership defence with a first round victory over Collingwood and a 23 point win in the Grand Final rematch against Sydney in the second Round. After going down to the Dockers by 16 points, the Bulldogs pipped the Roos by 3 points. They comfortably strolled home to beat the lowly Lions by 32 points. They then suffered another narrow loss, by 2 points against the Giants before they pipped the Tigers by 5 in Round 7. The following week they fell to the Eagles by 8 before Geelong ran away with a 23 point victory in Round 9. Round 10 saw a return to form, with a thumping 40 point win over St Kilda, but after the bye the Bulldogs were thumped 88-42 against the Swans in the Grand Final replay.
Melbourne started the season with two solid wins over St Kilda by 5 goals in Round 1 and then Carlton by 3 goals the following week. They then lost to Geelong 126-97 before suffering a narrow 2 point loss to the Dockers and then a 13 point loss to the red hot Tigers. They then hammered Essendon by 38 points before losing by just 3 points to the Hawks in Round 7. Melbourne then produced a stunning 41 point flogging of the table topping Adelaide Crows before losing to the Roos by 14. Their Round 10 match against the Suns saw the Dee’s win 122-87. After the bye Melbourne beat the Magpies by just 4 points.
Midfield – The Bulldogs were dominated through the middle against the Swans which saw their strong defence working overtime. While they did a good job, their midfield was also unable to produce decent opportunities for their forwards. The Dee’s have been very competitive and consistent in this area all year.
If the Dogs don’t aim up in the middle, they could get done by the Dees. On paper though, the defending champs should be good enough to win.
Western Bulldogs $1.67