BLOCKBUSTER is an overused term in footy, but a top of the table clash under Thursday night lights at the MCG fits the bill.
With free tickets for kids, $12 tickets for adults and funds to be raised for the Breast Cancer Network Australia, this is a big night for the Melbourne Football Club and its fans.
Adding to the significance is the value of the four points, with the Demons dropping their past three outings.
But fresh off the bye, midfield coach Adem Yze is confident the group will respond strongly against Brisbane.
“We had a good little break – four days away from the club and just refreshed,” Yze told Melbourne Media.
“To [the players’] credit, they’ve trained really well.
The losses to Fremantle, Sydney and Collingwood have given the Dees plenty of lessons around their own game, but Yze certainly doesn’t see any major issues going forward.
“We just feel like we’re not playing our method, or our way, for four quarters,” he said.
“We’ve had really good patches within those games and within all those losses we’ve been up.
“We’re just going to get back to basics and play our way, and who better to do it against [than] against the top team.”
The Lions, who sit just 0.2 percent clear of Melbourne, are shaping up as the team to beat in the race for the 2022 AFL premiership.
And they will be eager to get some practice on the MCG, playing there for the first time since Round 1, 2020, and looking for their first win on the hallowed turf in eight years.
“They’ve got quality players all across the field,” Yze said.
“They’ve got a good solid method – they like to get the ball quickly into their forward line.
“We feel like it’s going to be a real midfield battle.
“Our boys are really looking forward to it and hopefully we can give our forwards a lot of supply and give us a chance to hit the scoreboard.”
Brisbane will be looking to break that streak without skipper Dayne Zorko (hamstring) and Darcy Gardiner (lungs) this week.
But Melbourne will also be without its leader in Max Gawn who suffered a syndesmosis injury against the Magpies.
In the absence of the five-time All Australian ruckman, 20-year-old Luke Jackson will take some additional responsibility into the game.
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“To be fair, we’ve given him (Jackson) a lot more exposure this year anyway,” Yze said.
“We’ve tried to help Gawny with that and give Jacko more exposure throughout games earlier this year.
“So, it’s not going to be too different.
“We’re really excited to see what he can bring.”
To watch the full match preview with Yze, play the video below.