From milestones to huge clashes, what should you be looking out for this weekend?
10. Who’s the tribal leader?
On Saturday night, the Tigers will run out on Adelaide Oval to take on the Power with Shane Edwards as their skipper. But will he embrace the responsibility? Or will someone else stand up? With skipper Trent Cotchin going down with a hamstring injury to go with vice-captains Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance, who exactly will be the one to lead by example in round four?
9. The duo of Gawn and Preuss
With ex-Roo Braydon Preuss being named in the Demons side for his first game of the year, it will certainly be interesting to see how the two ruckmen work together. Max Gawn will need to learn to share the duties if the two can successfully work together in conquering the SCG center circle.
Pruess turned many heads when electing to be traded to the Demons during last years trade-period, wanting more opportunities to play senior footy. Joining the two-time All-Australian over the summer, the public questioned Pruess’s decision over the ruckmen joining a side who already has such a formidable big-man. At their best, this duo could be unstoppable.
8. The Streak
An unknown but relevant stat, Sydney superstar Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin has a 15-game winning streak against the Demons. Starting in round eight, 2005, Buddy has never lost to the Demons. Franklin once again meets Melbourne on Thursday night at in his own home, the SCG.
Will the ‘Budweiser’ kick a bag and continue his outstanding streak against the Demons going?
7. The apprentices vs the masters
A mini-battle inside the Friday night blockbuster that is the Pies taking on the Bulldogs at the MCG, also known as the Travis Cloke cup. With the Bont hitting his strides early, Liberatore finding his form again as well as Jack Macrae continuing his stellar 2018 campaign, what’s not to look forward to on Friday night?
While the young Dogs brigade looks impressive, so does the seasoned veterans in the Pies, touted as the best midfield possibly ever assembled. Whoever gains ascendancy in the middle of the MCG on Friday night may just record another W.
6. The Lions’ big test
The Bombers were finally able to get themselves on the winner’s list last week with an important victory over the abysmal Demons. Meanwhile, the Lions are expressing not only that they can win games but do so in an exciting fashion, the two sides meet on Saturday afternoon and will both be vying for another shot at adding another win to their form.
Can the Lions show that they aren’t just a flash in the pan or will they crumble at the hand of a resurging Bombers outfit?
5. ‘Traditional Rivals’
Last year, the Suns and Blues finished 17th and 18th respectively. Now one year on, both sides have shown dramatic improvement. The Suns could easily be 3-0, while Carlton hasn’t been far off the mark on all three of their clashes.
The two young sides come head to head on Sunday afternoon, the loser of this one will certainly be scrutinised by the public.
4. Do the Tigers have a plan B?
Sitting at 1-2 and missing vital parts of their team in Martin, Cotchin, Rance, Riewoldt, Houli, and Short. Can the Tigers tweak their game plan week when they take on a Power outfit that will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss at the hands of the Lions last week.
Coach, Damien Hardwick will have to come up with a plan B quick smart if he wants to keep the Tigers faithful hopeful of another deep September appearance.
3. Gresham VS Wingard
The two small forwards are excitement machines and will face each other in a face-paced match on Sunday afternoon. Wingard played his first game in brown and gold last weekend, booting three goals straight to seal a magnificent five-goal-comeback win for the Hawks.
At the other end of the field, Jade Gresham has been labelled St Kilda’s best player by former St Kilda forward Nick Reiwoldt. Kicking five goals for the year so far and emerging through the midfield, we would have to think whoever has the most influence on Sunday afternoon will take home the chocolates for their team.
2. Henry VS Cameron
We’ve pulled the trigger early as Henry hasn’t even been named to play yet, but the youngster is certainly a likely in for the Cats. The athletically gifted Henry meets a white-hot Jeremy Cameron on Saturday afternoon when the Giants take on Geelong at the Cattery.
Cameron is coming off a seven-goal game against the Tigers in their 49 point win on Saturday night. With Henry returning from a hamstring injury, he will need to be at his best, a match-up worth drooling over.
1. A Derby for the ages
While players and coaches have tried to play down Saturday night’s clash between the Dockers and Eagles, many spectators and media have built it up. Derby 49 is set to be a blockbuster, with Andrew Gaff facing the Eagles cross-town rivals for the first time since being handed an eight-game suspension for his hit on youngster Andrew Brayshaw.
The Dockers go in as outsiders to walk away with a win but last years events will certainly be enough to spur the young Dockers outfit on, but they may have to do it without their skipper Nat Fyfe who suffered a concussion in last weeks win against the Saints.