Melbourne boast a terrific record against the Western Bulldogs.
The Dees have dominated the Dogs of late and can continue that trend.
While both sides have been inconsistent of late, the Dees are playing the better football. Crucially, they appear to have found a forward mix that works, playing just one designated key forward (Ben Brown) and rotating Luke Jackson and Max Gawn through the forward line.
This has seen Melbourne’s forward pressure increase, with the likes of Kozzy Pickett, Alex Neal-Bullen, Charlie Spargo and even Jake Melksham last week tackling hard and forcing turnovers.
The Bulldogs defence is a clear weakness and they are liable to give up big scores, having conceded more than 100 in three of their last five matches.
Melbourne also welcomes back Clayton Oliver, and the success that he and particularly Christian Petracca have had against the Dogs speaks for itself.
The Dees remain a formidable defensive outfit – they have conceded more than 12 goals only once this season – and have answers for all the Dogs avenues to goal. The Dogs are typically a high scoring team but have scored more than 80 against Melbourne only once in the last five years.
Melbourne have also overcome their famous Marvel hoodoo, having won the last four there and covering in three of the last four, including against the Dogs last year.
The reigning premiers look more than capable of covering a line under double figures.
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Bayley Fritsch has a tremendous record against the Dogs, with multiple snags in his last four games including six in the Grand Final. Ben Brown is coming off arguably his best game of the season last week, he is a confidence player when he finds form he tends to hold it. Melksham bagged a snag last week and he will only see more forward minutes with Bedford out of the side.
It’s often the small and medium forwards who do the damage against the Dogs. Fritsch looks a nice price for a bag this week.