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Preview: Lions v Suns

Michael Whiting  July 2, 2013 12:52 PM

This will be the sixth, and possibly most anticipated, installment of the QClash. For the first time since the Suns' dramatic upset in the inaugural clash in 2011, the teams are evenly matched on paper and on the ladder. There are genuine bragging rights up for grabs and the mantle as Queensland's number one team. The young Suns midfield has been on fire in the past month, with Dion Prestia and Jaeger O'Meara particularly damaging in helping out skipper Gary Ablett. The Lions have shown a much more consistent effort since the bye, with the remarkable come-from-behind win over Geelong sandwiched between solid efforts against Fremantle and Hawthorn. The last two QClashes have been decided by less than two goals and it wouldn't surprise to see the same at the weekend.

WHERE AND WHEN: The Gabba, Saturday July 6, 4.40pm (AEST)

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide and odds 

R3, 2013, Brisbane Lions 13.16 (94) d Gold Coast 13.14 (92) at Metricon Stadium
R17, 2012, Brisbane Lions 8.11 (59) d Gold Coast 5.18 (48) at Metricon Stadium
R4, 2012, Brisbane Lions 17.9 (111) d Gold Coast 6.10 (46) at the Gabba
R21, 2011, Brisbane Lions 18.15 (123) d Gold Coast 8.13 (61) at the Gabba
R7, 2011, Gold Coast 18.16 (124) d Brisbane Lions 17.14 (116) at the Gabba 

1. The Lions defeated Gold Coast in a thriller in round tree at Metricon Stadium, winning by two points. Jonathan Brown kicked five goals for the winners and Gary Ablett had 27 possessions for the Suns. 

2. The Lions have won four of the five clashes between the clubs, including the past four after the Suns won the inaugural game in round seven, 2011, at the Gabba. 

3. Three of the five games have been close, decided by less than two goals. The Lions won the other two by more than 10 goals. 

4. Gold Coast has been strong in the contested possessions this season, ranked fourth, while the Lions have struggled, ranked 14th. 

5. The Lions' defence has been under the pump this season, conceding 105 points per game - the third most in the AFL. Only Greater Western Sydney and Melbourne have conceded more. 

6. Gold Coast's Dion Prestia has rocketed up the Official AFL Player Ratings this season. He finished 2012 ranked 252nd overall, and after 42 disposals last week, has vaulted to 148th after 14 rounds.