COME Sunday, the Demons will face their biggest challenge to date: last year’s Grand Finalists.
The Cats, who are two wins from their three games, have shown a few signs of weakness early in the season, but senior coach Simon Goodwin is ready for whatever they bring to the MCG.
“They’re a high-quality side - they have been for a number of years,” Goodwin said on Thursday afternoon.
“They can play in multiple ways and they’re a good side for a reason. They’re experienced and they handle the game in all phases.
“I think it’s just a great opportunity for us as a footy club and a great challenge.”
The last time these two sides met, the Cats claimed a three-point victory, and had things all on their terms.
While the Dees hung in the game, Geelong dominated time in possession and was plus 61 in uncontested marks.
And it’s a style it could revert back to.
“I think the good thing about Geelong is they can play in multiple ways,” Goodwin said.
“I’ve seen them last year at times play fast and certainly surge from contests and long down the line plays, and I’ve seen them play with great control.
“Last year against us they played with great control in their back half.
“We’ll prepare our players for both and see if we can defend the way we’ve been defending.
“Whatever Geelong want to bring, we’ll be ready and prepared for and looking forward to it.”
One player to keep an eye on at the first bounce this weekend is Mark O’Connor.
The Irishman has been tasked with some negating roles in 2021, silencing Lachie Neale and Tom Mitchell in consecutive weeks.
And after Clayton Oliver received some attention from Matt De Boer against the Giants in Canberra, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a similar battle in Round 4.
“I expect him to go to someone,” Goodwin said.
“He’s done two pretty good jobs in the last few weeks.
“That’s one thing we’ll plan for and make sure that it helps the team more than anything.
“There are certain ways you can manipulate taggers to help the team and we’ll certainly look to have the plans to be able to do that.
“But we’ll expect him to go to someone and Clayton’s someone that got some attention last week.”
To hear more from Goodwin about the clash ahead, watch the media conference below.