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Four things to watch: Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs

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westernbulldogs.com.au lists the hot topics ahead of Thursday's clash with the Power. (Photo: AFL Media) - Western Bulldogs

westernbulldogs.com.au lists the hot topics ahead of Thursday's clash with the Power. (Photo: AFL Media)

1. Two worlds collided

We’ve played in six different stadiums over the past decade when we’ve faced off against the Power, including Metricon Stadium back in 2009 and Darwin’s TIO Stadium in 2010 and again in 2013.

Since then it’s been a mish-mash of Etihad Stadium, AAMI Stadium, Adelaide Oval and of course, Mars Stadium last year.  There weren’t a lot of great memories of many of these encounters, especially over in Adelaide.

There was, however, the thrilling season-defining win against the Power back in June 2016 at Adelaide Oval.   It’s was the only time we’ve ever won there, but win we did, and what a win it was.  The Dogs were attacking, relentless, and Luke Beveridge described it at the time as one of the best wins he’s been involved in.  

With the INXS thing and possibly the most ‘parochial’ crowd in the game against us, it’s a tough ask over there, but anything to not have to hear this song as well.

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2. That's the thing about...

The Dogs went into the bye week with consecutive losses to Melbourne, Collingwood and of course, the Crows at Adelaide Oval in what really did seem to be some kind of major weather event.

But before that there were three straight wins, and the young Dogs looked to be finding their feet, infecting the outer with a fresh batch of optimism.

The Power on the other hand are fresh off a win over the defending premiers, with the Dogs, Demons, Saints and the Blues to come… so you know what they’ll be thinking. 

So what to expect on Thursday night? Hard to say, but one thing is for sure, if we do get over the line, over there, the optimism returns and a new outlook again awaits.

Footy’s good like that.

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3. Sneak attack

Eight places separate us and them on the ladder at the mid-point of the season, and obviously percentage is a big difference too, with about 35% separating the pair.

But we’re virtually neck and neck across the rest of the major statistical categories, including clearances, contested possessions, tackles, and crucially, we are identical on the inside 50 count.  In short, we’re doing a lot right.

The big one, of course, is scoring, but if you can get it in the same amount as the oppo, which the stats say we can do, then you’ll have every opportunity to take home the points.

It may be easier said than done, but sneak a couple of extras through and we’ll absolutely have a game on our hands.

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4. Thursday night's alright

Of course, scoring is only part of the equation, albeit an important one, and Richmond showed last week with the right amount of pressure, the Power can be restricted enough to keep the door open.

Though they’d done enough in the first half to hold on against Richmond last Friday night, the Tigers turned up the heat and held the home team to just 1.7 in the second half, which incidentally is exactly what the Dogs’ managed against the Crows a couple of weeks back.

So what better place than under the  ̶F̶r̶i̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶  Thursday Night Lights to ratchet it right up and try and silence the crowd. And even in the absence of the Fridays-only #RoamingBrian we can surely take something from BT’s strong-arming of an unruly Port fan in last week’s edition.   

Bring some of that aggro and we’re in for a show.