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Four Things To Watch: Geelong Cats v Western Bulldogs

May 19, 2017 9:53 AM

Beveridge previews Cats clash Luke Beveridge spoke to the media ahead of Friday night's round nine match against Geelong

Down at Kardinia Park

We have to go back to Round 21, 2009 for the last time the Bulldogs celebrated a win over Geelong; almost eight full years.

That night at the Docklands the Dogs held off a rampaging Gary Ablett who took 40 touches and three Brownlow votes back up the highway with him, and Joel Corey, now our midfield coach, picked up 39 of his own in his 195th game.

If kind-of depressing stats are your thing, we can go one better – the last time the Dogs had a win down in Sleepy Hollow itself was 14 years ago and the ground was still called Kardinia Park.

The good news is, we’re due.

Kickin’ for chicken

If you notice a group of over-zealous Cats fans behind the goals tonight, don’t be alarmed, they have their reasons. 

To promote the opening of a new Simonds Stadium stand, the Cats will be offering their fans free chicken burgers if they can put off Bulldogs players lining up for goal.

How it works is if one of our boys puts one out on the full within the forward 50, Geelong fans will receive 1779kjs as a reward. 

So, take from that what you will. 

High stakes

It may be a bit early in the season to start throwing around the ‘must-win game’ tag, but with both sides coming off a loss, three straight in Geelong’s case, a defeat on tonight will put a bit of extra pressure on the loser’s top eight prospects.

Two months into the season both teams sit on 20 points with 5-3 win-loss records in fifth and eighth spot respectively. Knocking on the door are the ninth-placed Dockers; one game out of the eight, in good form, and with the Blues in Perth to come.

History says the final eight is virtually set after round eight, with an average of just 1.5 changes from here on according to Champion Data.

Last season, there was no change. Stakes are high.

Bevo swings the axe

That gasp you heard at around 6:25 last night was the sound of every Bulldogs fan when they saw the team announcement.

Beveridge has made five changes to the side that went down to West Coast last week, with Tom Liberatore one of the group sent back to the VFL.

While we love Libba, and all of the boys who will miss out this week for that matter, the ins are pretty handy too: Murphy, Morris, Cloke, Dickson and Wallis.

That last time the Dogs made this many changes was for last year’s elimination final, so history says plugging in five fresh faces can have a galvanising effect.

So, here goes… this is going to be a ripper. 

Is it 7:50 yet?