WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday June 17, 4.40pm
LAST TIME: Western Bulldogs 24.13 (157) d Port Adelaide 15.7 (97), round 22, 2011 at AAMI Stadium
These sides may be firmly entrenched in the bottom 10, but over recent weeks, they have shown promising signs for the future. Whilst the Bulldogs have been coming down off some great years challenging for a Grand Final berth, Port Adelaide’s recent history has been poor, which is why their run of three wins from the last four games has been so enjoyable to watch.
They have started the climb back up the ladder, and despite an unsubstantiated attack on coach Matthew Primus from certain members of the media, things are on the up at Alberton Oval.
The Western Bulldogs have had a disappointing year so far in terms of results but new coach Brendan McCartney would be quietly happy with the progress of his younger charges.
The experienced core of Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffin and Daniel Cross have been good but the improved play of Tom Liberatore, Mitch Wallis, Luke Dahlhaus, Jordan Roughead and Liam Jones has been the real highlight of the season so far.
With both sides on four wins, today presents an opportunity to create a gap between them and the bottom four of the competition.
Port Adelaide clearly have the stronger forward line, but the Bulldogs have a back six more than capable of handling any forward threats. Jay Schulz will be vital, if he gets off the leash at any point, the Power are a massive chance of claiming another scalp.
The Power have been more impressive this season, thanks largely to the positive that they’ve come from, but the Bulldogs still have a lot of class around the ball.
The Power’s form out of Adelaide has yet to be proven, and at Etihad, a stadium the Dogs are very comfortable with, they won’t have enough to win today.
Bulldogs by 21
B: Easton Wood, Brian Lake, Ryan Hargrave
HB: Robert Murphy, Mark Austin, Dylan Addison
C: Daniel Cross, Matthew Boyd, Mitchell Wallis
HF: Adam Cooney, Liam Jones, Tory Dickson
F: Daniel Giansiracusa, Ayce Cordy, Luke Dahlhaus
Foll: William Minson, Ryan Griffen, Liam Picken
I/C: Shaun Higgins, Jordan Roughead, Christian Howard, Patrick Veszpremi, Thomas Liberatore, Clay Smith, Fletcher Roberts
In: Liam Jones, Christian Howard, Clay Smith, Fletcher Roberts
Out: Daniel Pearce (Hip)
New: Fletcher Roberts (Sandringham Dragons)
B: Jackson Trengove, Alipate Carlile, Jacob Surjan
HB: Danyle Pearce, Troy Chaplin, Hamish Hartlett
C: Darren Pfeiffer, Domenic Cassisi, Kane Cornes
HF: John McCarthy, Justin Westhoff, Matthew Broadbent
F: Chad Wingard, Jay Schulz, Brett Ebert
Foll: Brent Renouf, Bradley Ebert, Matt Thomas
I/C: Paul Stewart, Matthew Lobbe, Jarrad Redden, Tom Logan, Andrew Moore, Cameron Hitchcock, Ben Jacobs
In: Matt Thomas, Matthew Lobbe, Tom Logan