Another debutant

After an impressive two-point victory over North Melbourne in the opening round of the season, the Dees have made just the one change to their side for Round 2.

Irish recruit Niamh McEvoy, who was unavailable due to illness last week, will play her first senior game of Aussie Rules footy on Friday night.

McEvoy is a star Gaelic Footballer who was recruited out of Dublin and she has earned the chance to debut for the Dees, alongside teammate Sinead Goldrick who impressed last week.

The 29-year-old will bring some flare to the field and will be exciting to watch as she finds her feet at the top level.

McEvoy’s inclusion comes at the expense of Maddy Guerin who will be an emergency with Brenna Tarrant for the clash with the Western Bulldogs.

Oppo watch

The Dogs got their season off to the perfect start with a 25-point victory over St Kilda last Sunday, and pose as a dangerous threat in Conference B.

Led by star midfielder Ellie Blackburn, the Bulldogs are a fast-paced team who have the ability to put a score on the board.

Dangerous forward Bonnie Toogood booted two goals last week, while No.1 draft pick Gabby Newton had 13 disposals on debut against the Saints.

While it is a largely different Dogs outfit to the one that won a premiership in 2018, they have a number of top draft selections and are a hard team to stop when they have momentum on their side.

Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are the pioneers of women's football playing the inaugural game in 2013, and have since developed a fierce rivalry with epic encounters over the past two seasons.

There's more than points on the line this week as the two sides battle for the Hampson-Hardeman Cup at Whitten Oval.

What it means

The Dees banked a crucial win in their opening game of the season, but with the conference system in place, they still sit in a vulnerable position.

The top three (out of seven) teams in each conference will make the AFLW finals series, and as it stands, Melbourne sits fifth on the ladder.

Coming up against a side also in Conference B means this result has a double effect for the Demons.

Look out for

Libby Birch hasn’t had to wait long to face her former side.

The ex-Dog, who was traded to Melbourne over the off-season, will return to her first home ground in new colours.

Birch made a sensational debut for the Dees last week, earning herself four votes in the AFLCA MVP Award for a great effort in defence.

She will once again be a pivotal factor in Melbourne’s chances this week.

Match info

Get along to Whitten Oval on Friday night to support the girls away from home.

It’s a great opportunity for the Dees to take to the big stage, with the game kicking off from 7:40pm.

For more information, take a look at the full GAME DAY GUIDE.

Full team