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Match preview: Melbourne v Richmond

Pick a Winner: Melb v Rich Duck and Browny preview the Demons v Tigers
Simon Goodwin needs a response from his players after the big loss to Hawthorn - AFL,Melbourne Demons,Richmond Tigers
Simon Goodwin needs a response from his players after the big loss to Hawthorn

SUMMARY

After a demoralising 67-point loss to Hawthorn, Melbourne must hit back, and hit back hard. The Demons were thoroughly outplayed against the Hawks, allowing Alastair Clarkson's team to pile on 18 goals while only scoring six themselves. Melbourne must figure out how to make the most of its inside 50 entries, with the Demons leading the competition in that category. Its efficiency, though, has been a major problem for Simon Goodwin's side. The Demons must also settle down its back 50, with the club prone to leaking plenty of points to the opposition. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been excellent and sit third on the ladder after four rounds. Richmond's tackling pressure has remained a constant and its ability to win the territory battle has been crucial to its wins. Led by Alex Rance and David Astbury, the Tigers' defence has also been stingy. This is a massive game, on a big stage for both clubs on Anzac Day Eve. If Melbourne can cause an upset, it could go a long way to steering its season back on course.

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Tuesday, April 24, 7.25pm
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE MEETINGS

R5, 2017, Richmond 12.16 (88) d Melbourne 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R5, 2016, Melbourne 20.9 (129) d Richmond 14.12 (96) at the MCG
R4, 2015, Melbourne 12.11 (83) d Richmond 6.15 (510 at the MCG
R9, 2014, Melbourne 14.7 (91) d Richmond 9.20 (74) at the MCG
R8, 2013, Richmond 15.16 (106) d Melbourne 11.6 (72) at the MCG

THE SIX POINTS

1. Melbourne led by 20 points at three-quarter time against Richmond the last time the teams played before the Tigers kicked five goals to two behinds in the final quarter. Jack Riewoldt was the difference between the sides, kicking six goals.

2. The Demons have taken the ball inside 50 more times this season than any other side, with an average of 59.8. The Tigers aren't far behind in third, averaging 57 per game.

3. Richmond's win in 2017 was its first over Melbourne since early in 2013. The Demons won three consecutive matches in 2014-16.

4. Last weekend against Hawthorn the Demons kicked their lowest score under coach Simon Goodwin, 6.12 (48). It was also their heaviest loss under Goodwin.

5. No team has had more hit-outs this season than Melbourne, thanks to Max Gawn who is the top-ranked ruckman with 55 more than the next best player.

6. Richmond superstar Dustin Martin was the second-ranked player in the Schick AFL Player Ratings last weekend, scoring 27.7 points to edge him clear of Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield in the overall rankings.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

After the heaviest loss of his coaching career at Melbourne, Simon Goodwin will be urging his players to respond against the Tigers. It starts at selection this week, with Goodwin likely to make a statement after a horror performance against the Hawks.

PREDICTION: Richmond by 16 points

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs