It's building.

The tension, excitement, and nerves grow as each day goes by in anticipation of the 2023 Grand Final this Saturday.

The Brisbane Lions meet with an old enemy in Collingwood in a 2003 replay 20 years on. Of course, so much has changed since then; the players and the rules in particular, but one thing hasn't changed.

Both sides have that game-changing player that no matter what position they play, can flip the game on its head and change the direction of the momentum in literally seconds.

Looking back, 2003 had the likes of Nathan Buckley, Michael Voss, Simon Prestigiacomo, and Jason Akermanis, to name a few.

So, we took a look at the stats to see who the likely game-changers are for each side in the build-up to the final gameday of the year.

2. Controlling the air

Both side's defences have picked up their game this year as we prepare to see arguably the battle of the best full-backs in the game. Both sides are ranked top six for kicks (Collingwood 6th, Brisbane 3rd) so superiority in the air will be closely examined this Saturday.

Brisbane's game-changer: Harris Andrews

It seems obvious to pick these two players but in reality, it's their teammates who have picked up the responsibility of playing more as a lockdown defender allowing Andrews to free himself up and attack every contest to come down with the intercept mark or kill the play with a spoil. You sense this weekend he will have his hands full with Mason Cox, Brody Mihocek and Darcy Cameron. Andrews averages 7.48 intercepts and 9.7 spoils per game. Andrews has lost 15.9% of his one-on-ones.

Collingwood's game-changer: Darcy Moore

Moore will also have his hands full with Eric Hipwood, Joe Daniher, and occasionally Oscar McInerney. Thanks to Isaac Quaynor's excellent year, Moore has also freed himself up with 8.6 intercepts and 6.9 spoils per game. The difference between these two defenders isn't much, but for the Magpies, they will be hoping Moore will be able to have a free run and jump at the contest.

Darcy Moore during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between St Kilda and Collingwood (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)