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Match Preview: Melbourne v Sydney

Darcy O'Loghlen  August 10, 2018 9:34 AM

Melbourne will wear pink guernseys in support of the BCNA (Photo: Adam Trafford)

Melbourne will wear pink guernseys in support of the BCNA (Photo: Adam Trafford)

Match Details

Melbourne v Sydney
MCG
Sunday August 12, 3.20pm AEST

Summary

With the finals line-up up in the air, Sunday’s game between Melbourne and Sydney could go a long way to determining the shape of the top-eight come September.

With both teams sitting on 12 wins, a loss won’t necessarily draw curtains on finals hopes – however with each side facing a tough run home, a win will be vital in allowing breathing room over the next fortnight.  

Melbourne will enter the match in-form, putting 21 goals on the board last week against Gold Coast. All up, Melbourne had a spread of 10 goalkickers in the percentage boosting, 96-point win against the Suns.

The Swans are also coming off a win, squeezing past Collingwood by two points at the SCG. Lance Franklin starred for the Swans, booting six to keep their season alive against the Pies.

In the bigger picture, Melbourne have partnered with the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) for this match to bring the iconic Field of Women back to the MCG.

To raise awareness around breast cancer rates in Australia, the iconic Pink Lady will form on the arena from 1.00pm, while Melbourne will also don special pink guernseys in support of the cause.   

Team news

Melbourne
Cam Pedersen and Jayden Hunt will come into the side, with Joel Smith (collarbone) and Bernie Vince (omitted) confirmed as outs. 

Sydney
Sydney have made the one change, including Norm Smith Medallist Dan Hanneberyin their final team. Daniel Robinson has been omitted from the team that defeated Collingwood in round 20.

Players to watch

Jesse Hogan
The one-two punch of Jesse Hogan and Tom McDonald up forward in 2018 has been massive for Melbourne, with the pair splitting 86 goals between them. After four majors last weekend against the Suns, Hogan took his season tally to 46 goals, moving to sixth on the Coleman Medal leaderboard.

Lance Franklin
‘Buddy’ Franklin was up-and-about against the Pies in round 20, exposing their backline and kicking six goals from 10 scoring shots. Simon Goodwin has given the task of taking on Franklin to Sam Frost, while Oscar McDonald may also play a role in minding the key forward. In his 287 games, Franklin has never played in a losing side to Melbourne.

In the media

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin on Sydney’s Lance Franklin
“We'll have some plans in place but no doubt he's a huge challenge. I think we saw last week again what he's capable of doing, he can single-handedly take the game away from you. We're aware of that and we'll make sure we'll have some plans in place.”

Sydney’s Oliver Florent on Melbourne
“We know that they’re a strong side. We’re going to have to bring our best to beat them on the weekend. We don’t get many opportunities to play at the MCG, so when we do we always look forward to having a good slog on that ground.” – via sydneyswans.com.au.

2018 so far

Ladder position (as of publication date)
Melbourne: 4th (W12, L7)
Sydney: 8th (W12, L7)

Last five matches
Melbourne: WWLWW
Sydney: LWLLW

Scoring record
Melbourne points for: 295. 207 (2011) – highest in the AFL
Melbourne points against: 221. 158 (1514) – ninth lowest in the AFL

Sydney points for: 234. 151 (1581) – 12th highest in the AFL
Sydney points against: 201. 189 (1443) – seventh lowest in the AFL

Did you know…

  • Playing his 259th game, Nathan Jones will move into outright fifth spot on the games played list for Melbourne. He’ll overtake Steven Febey, who played 258 games between 1988 and 2001.
  • Jones is also on track to record his 6000th career disposal in this match. He will be the first Melbourne player to do so (excluding Jordan Lewis) and the 65th in VFL/AFL history.

Melbourne Milestones

Nathan Jones: 6000 career disposals (needs 18 more)

Head-to-head history

Total
Played: 206 games
Melbourne: 92 wins
Sydney/South Melbourne: 112 wins
Drawn: 2 games

At the MCG
Played: 94 games
Melbourne: 49 wins
Sydney/South Melbourne: 43 wins
Drawn: 2 games

Past decade
Played: 9 games
Melbourne: 1 win
Sydney: 7 wins
Drawn: 1 game

Biggest wins
Melbourne: 107 points (round 6, 1939 at the MCG)
Sydney/South Melbourne: 124 points (round 17, 1986 at the SCG)

Highest home and away season attendance
52,614 – round 21, 1998 at the MCG

Last time we met
Round 15, 2017: Melbourne 7. 8 (50) defeated by Sydney 11. 19 (85) at the MCG

Match Day Hub

All the info for the Field of Women match can be found here.