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Opposition Analysis: Geelong Cats

May 19, 2017 3:42 PM

AFL 2017 Round 05 - St Kilda v Geelong

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Cameron Guthrie and Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats celebrate a goal during the round five AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium on April 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images/AFL Media)

Heading into tonight’s clash both sides are coming off losses with Geelong defeated by Essendon, whilst the Western Bulldogs had a narrow loss against West Coast in Perth. These results meant that both of the teams moved to a 5-3 record for the season which maintained their places in top 8 heading into tonight’s match at Simonds Stadium.

The Cats have made two changes with ruckman Rhys Stanley succumbing to an ankle injury and George Horlin-Smith being omitted. There places have been taken by returning midfielder Scott Selwood and Lachie Henderson.

In defence, the Cats are in a period of transition following the retirement of Corey Enright and swingman Harry Taylor spending more time up forward.  Irishman Zach Tuohy has given them great dash out of defence with his ability to break the lines with his speed and skill a standout. Henderson is a key part of their defensive setup with his intercept marking being quite strong.

In recent weeks Taylor has been splitting his time between both ends of the ground and may find himself down back at stages throughout the game.

The midfield is headlined by reigning Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield and skipper Joel Selwood who are described by many as “Dangerwood”. The pair are two of the elite players in the competition and have a great balance between winning their possessions both inside and outside of the contest.

Mitch Duncan and Cam Guthrie are likely to play through the midfield at stages with Guthrie also having the ability to play across half back if the Cats need to change their setup. Mark Blicavs provides the side with versatility through being able to not only play on ball but also as a ruckman too. Blicavs is able to cover the ground like few players can and is always one to watch.

In the forward line Tom Hawkins is still regarded as one of the better key forwards in the game with his contested marking a feature.

Hawkins has been ably supported by Daniel Menzel whose form in 2017 has been strong. Menzel has strong hands and a good goal sense which must be restricted. Taylor may start up forward to provide Hawkins with some aerial support. Steven Motlop is the X-Factor of the group with his work at ground level and line breaking pace always a danger. Lastly is Sam Menegola who will play both through the middle and as a high half forward with his impact around stoppages a key for the Cats.

Below is how the Cats are named to line up tonight against the Dogs:

Full back T Stewart T Lonergan Z Tuohy
Half back J Kolodjashnij L Henderson A Mackie
Centreline M Blicavs J Selwood C Guthrie
Half forward J Parsons H Taylor S Motlop
Full forward D Menzel T Hawkins N Cockatoo
Followers Z Smith P Dangerfield S Selwood
Interchange J Bews M Duncan S Menegola
  M O'Connor    

IN: S. Selwood, L. Henderson
OUT: R. Stanley, G.Horlin-Smith