North and Bulldogs look to NAB edge

Where: Etihad Stadium

When: 3:40 pm EST

Coverage: Fox Footy

Today’s game at Etihad stadium sees the Western Bulldogs line up against North Melbourne. Two sides renowned for playing tough footy, expect a contest with plenty of fire, even if it does lack flair. Both sides are aiming for berths in the final 8 this season, both have something to prove – though neither can make the final.

What the Bulldogs want to see:

Good football.

That’s it really.

2011 was tough on everyone down at Whitten Oval, but 2012 under Brendan McCartney must be different. Obviously you can’t read too much into the NAB Cup, but to play competitively is a good indictment on a team and their mental state. Geelong failed to do that yesterday, and as a side who were once at the same level as the Cats, albeit without the star factor, the Dogs will want to start their rise today.

Liam Jones will be key as the Bulldogs continue to fast-track the young forward into a star Gorilla to replace the now unemployed Barry Hall, whose boxing career ended this week in bizarre circumstances. At the other end of the park, look for Brian Lake to continue his resurgence after a tumultuous 2011 that affected his mentality, body and the public’s perception of the once All-Australian.

What the Kangaroos want to see:

Brad Scott would have seen his brother’s side go down to Richmond yesterday in unexpected circumstances. Both brothers like to use the corridor, and while Geelong failed to do that yesterday, watch out for North to play as hard as ever.

New captain Andrew Swallow will want to have a big one, as will young Jack Ziebell. Expect Drew Petrie to be crucial up forward, even though the pressure will be on Lachlan Hansen to take some of the brunt off of the big forward. North want to continue to surprise their critics, and a win today will go nicely for them as they look to push for the finals in 2012

Prediction: I’ve got a good feeling about the Bulldogs, but I believe that North should come out on top today. It’s been a round of shellackings, but I fancy the Roos to win by about 3 goals.

North by 20.

TEAMS

NORTH MELBOURNE
1. Hamish McIntosh, 3. Ryan Bastinac, 4. Liam Anthony, 7. Jack Ziebell, 8. Daniel Wells, 9. Andrew Swallow, 10. Ben Cunnington, 11. Michael Firrito, 12. Lindsay Thomas, 13. Leigh Adams, 14. Gavin Urquhart, 15. Luke Delaney, 16. Scott Thompson, 18. Shaun Atley, 19. Sam Wright, 22. Todd Goldstein, 23. Kieran Harper, 24. Levi Greenwood, 25. Robbie Tarrant, 27. Aaron Edwards, 29. Brent Harvey, 31. Cameron Delaney, 32. Cruize Garlett, 33. Matt Campbell, 34. Jamie MacMillan, 35. Aaron Black, 39. Cam Pedersen, 41. Aaron Mullett, 43. Sam Gibson

WESTERN BULLDOGS
1. Jarrad Grant, 3. Mitch Wallis, 7. Shaun Higgins, 8. Patrick Veszpremi, 10. Easton Wood, 13. Daniel Giansiracusa, 14. Clay Smith, 16. Ryan Griffen, 18. Fletcher Roberts, 20. Daniel Pearce, 21. Tom Liberatore, 22. Dylan Addison, 23. Jordan Roughead, 26. Zephaniah Skinner, 29. Tory Dickson, 30. Christian Howard, 31. James Mulligan, 32. Michael Talia, 35. Tom Hill, 36. Brian Lake, 37. Lukas Markovic, 40. Luke Dahlhaus, 41. Andrew Hooper, 43. Jack Redpath, 44. Brodie Moles, 45. Tom Campbell, 46. Lin Jong, 48. Matthew Panos, 49. Ayce Cordy

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