WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday July 28, 2.10pm
North Melbourne will look to sure up their spot in the top 8 and make it six wins from their last seven when they face Melbourne.
The Kangaroos are coming off a thrilling game against Richmond. They were able to hold on for a four point win, showing they have the composure to win close games. Drew Petrie was critical in the win with seven goals, making it 14 in two weeks. North will move the ball quick and long to give him the best chance of kicking another bag.
Melbourne’s previous performance on the other hand was not as impressive. They lost to Port Adeliade by 28 points despite leading in most of the key indicators, their main problem was that they just broke down in going forward. The Dees will want to turn that around this week for former captain Brad Green’s 250th game, a win would be the perfect reward for his service.
The Demons make three welcome returns to the team this week. Brent Moloney comes back from his spell in the VFL, James Seller returns to add some height in the backline and Jordie McKenzie will probably go to Andrew Swallow. They lose two mature aged recruits in James Magner and Thomas Couch as well as Ricky Pettard. Conversely the Kangaroos go in unchanged.
Players To Watch
Sylvia is the barometer of the Melbourne team, when he is playing well the team is comoetitive, as seen in the Fremantle game. He provides so much for the Demons, not only can he win the contested ball and clearances but he often heads forward for a goal, something Melbourne are struggling to find.
After a breakout year last year, Goldstein is yet to reach the same heights this year. Ruckman are key come finals time and now would be a good time to hit form. Without Mark Jamar or Mitch Clark Melbourne’s ruck stocks are severely depleted, with this in mind he should be in for a big day and he will deliver the North midfielders first hands to the ball.
Melbourne have had an underwhelming year to date, with six rounds left there is not much time for improvement. However wining this game would be a good step forward and a sign of respect for a quality player in Brad Green.
Even with this in mind North Melbourne will be too strong. The are one of the in form teams of the competition and are gearing up for finals. This should be an easy win for a finals bound team and the Kangaroos will make sure of it.
North Melbourne by 35pts
B: Scott McMahon, Scott Thompson, Michael Firrito
HB: Shaun Atley, Nathan Grima, Jamie Macmillan
C: Ryan Bastinac, Daniel Wells, Ben Cunnington
HF: Leigh Adams, Robert Tarrant, Samuel Wright
F: Lachlan Hansen, Drew Petrie, Lindsay Thomas
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Andrew Swallow, Brent Harvey
I/C: Matt Campbell, Liam Anthony, Kieran Harper, Sam Gibson
Emg: Cruize Garlett, Cameron Richardson, Aaron Mullett
B: Daniel Nicholson, James Sellar, Tom McDonald
HB: Joel Macdonald, James Frawley, Colin Garland
C: Rohan Bail, Jack Grimes, Jack Trengove
HF: Colin Sylvia, Stefan Martin, Lynden Dunn
F: Neville Jetta, Jared Rivers, Brad Green
Foll: Jake Spencer, Jordie McKenzie, Nathan Jones
I/C: Brent Moloney, Sam Blease, James Strauss, Jeremy Howe
Emg: Matthew Bate, Jordan Gysberts, James Magner
In: Brent Moloney, Jordie McKenzie, James Sellar
Out: Ricky Petterd, Thomas Couch, James Magner