INS: Meg Downie

OUTS: Sinead Goldrick

Melbourne has made just one change for its final game of the regular AFLW fixture, with Meg Downie coming in to face Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.

The defender will make her season debut after a lengthy stint on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

Downie, who sustained the high ankle sprain in a practice match against Geelong in January, returned at a VFLW level a fortnight ago – she played limited minutes before getting through a full game last week.

She’ll be looking to find her feet at the top level once again, ahead of Melbourne’s finals campaign.

06:12 Mins
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AFLW | RD 9 | Before the Bounce

Ben Gibson and Libby Birch sit down to preview the final game of the home and away season

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The ones that miss

As announced, Sinead Goldrick will sit out the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury.

The Irish talent had surgery earlier this week, alongside Krstel Petrevski (hamstring), with the pair now beginning their rehab together.

Chantel Emonson and Niamh McEvoy haven’t been able to work their way back into the side just yet. They’ll be the two emergencies for this week.

A Finals shaper

The current top six are all set to play each other this weekend and shape the 2021 AFLW Finals Series.

Melbourne officially locked in its spot last weekend with an impressive win over Fremantle, but its final ladder position is still up in the air, with several things to play out.

If they win, and if other results go their way, the Dees give themselves a chance of a home final, while another trip interstate could be on the cards if they were to lose.

The final standings won’t be known until Sunday.

Oppo analysis

Melbourne and Brisbane last met at Hickey Park in Round 3 of the 2019 season, with the Dees coming away 39-point victors on the road.

But with the Lions equal top of this year’s ladder, Saturday’s clash is set to be another big challenge for the red and blue.

Brisbane has won its last four matches and only fallen once this season – it lost to Adelaide in Round 4 – so Melbourne will need to replicate its efforts of Round 8 if its to get over the line again.

For those keen to get to the ground, there are still some tickets available through Ticketmaster, with fans reminded that all attendees must secure a ticket before arriving.

The game will be shown live on Channel 7 (depending on location) and Fox Footy, as well as being streamed via the womens.afl, the AFLW app and Kayo.

Prior to Melbourne’s match, the Casey Demons VFL will host North Melbourne in a practice match from 10am. Attendees will need to leave prior to the AFLW match, and re-enter with a valid ticket.