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Opposition Analysis: Melbourne

June 16, 2017 5:46 PM

Rewind: Western Bulldogs vs Demons (Round 8, 2016) Take a look back at the last time the Bulldogs and Demons came face-to-face.

Melbourne will go into Sunday's clash against the Western Bulldogs unchanged, opting against bringing back ruckman Jake Spencer from injury.

In defence the Demons are a unit that provides plenty of dash led by rebounding defenders Jayden Hunt and Michael Hibberd. Hunt’s willingness to take the game on and utilise his pace is vital in how the ball is transitioned from defence into attack. The addition of Hibberd has also been important with his left foot able to hurt the opposition.

An underrated component of the back six is small defender Neville Jetta who is able to not just nullify small forwards but also help provide run and carry. Bernie Vince may split his time between half back and through the midfield and is capable of playing a run-with role when needed.

The midfield has been a real strength for the side in 2017 with the emergence of Clayton Oliver alongside the addition of Jordan Lewis being crucial. Oliver has been a revelation in his second year and is a constant threat around stoppages.

Co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney have both continued to play a key role in the midfield with their leadership and presence at the contest a feature. Jones’ form has been strong and is still seen to be a barometer for the midfield group.

The forward line features Christian Petracca who provides a dynamic option inside 50. Petracca may also spend time through the middle, with his goal kicking and power making him a constant threat. Small forward Jeff Garlett is clever around goal with his speed always dangerous for opposing defenders.

Jack Watts is another to watch with his ability to impact not just in the air but on the ground adding another element to the mix up forward. Watts’ willingness to provide a target up the field and act as a link between defence and attack makes him another player to watch in the forward half.

Below is the Demons' final 22 for this weekend against the Dogs:

Full back O McDonald T McDonald N Jetta
Half back M Hibberd S Frost B Vince
Centreline J Hunt J Lewis N Jones
Half forward C Oliver J Watts M Hannan
Full forward T Bugg C Petracca J Garlett
Followers C Pedersen D Tyson J Viney
Interchange C Salem J Melksham A Neal-Bullen
  J Harmes    
Emergencies J Spencer S Weiderman B Kennedy