MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Dustin Martin of the Tigers celebrates after the final siren during the 2019 AFL Second Preliminary Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Richmond enter the 2019 Grand Final as heavy favourites and so they should.

The Tiger army will dwarf the travelling GWS support, turning the neutral MCG venue into an overwhelming home ground advantage, which is sure to intimidate the relatively young and inexperienced Giants.

The Tigers have dealt with devastating injuries and periods of poor form during the early part of the season, slipping down to ninth spot before the bye.

However, despite losing their backline general Alex Rance, the 2017 premiers have won their past 11 matches, including a 27-point win over GWS in round 17, and are primed to take them down once again.

The midfield battle will be where the game is won or lost, with Stephen Coniglio ruled out, the Tigers have the upper hand in this department.

Richmond boast four premiership players, two Brownlow medallists and a Norm Smith medallist in their midfield – Shane Edwards, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin – totalling 864 games of experience.

Should the Giants opt to go with a midfield ensemble of Sam Reid, Jacob Hopper, Josh Kelly and Toby Greene, they will have just 416 games to rely upon.

Although Richmond’s midfield group is one of, if not the best in the competition, their defence and forward lines will still be integral to their victory.

Down back, All-Australians Dylan Grimes and Bachar Houli will play a pivotal role inĀ  absorbing pressure and rebounding quickly, while forward duo Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch will be tasked with nullifying GWS’ intercept defenders and converting in front of goal.

Richmond should look to take a leaf out of Collingwood’s book, after the Pies wrestled themselves back into the Preliminary Final against the Giants through heavy forward pressure, tallying 26 tackles inside 50 to the Giants’ six.

If not for some poor kicking in front of goal, Collingwood could be facing the Tigers this week and so Damien Hardwick should be putting the impetus on his men, especially Jason Castagna and Daniel Rioli to ferociously pursue GWS’ defenders.

Grand Finals are no sure thing and the Tigers will need some luck to secure their 12th premiership, but if they and their fans can set the tone early and unsettle the inexperienced Giants, a strong start could be enough to carry Richmond to glory.