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Saints' prayers may not be answered soon

Cyril sidelined, turf concerns, Phillips commits Footy Feed with Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards

A GRIM start to the season for St Kilda doesn't show any signs of abating as it prepares for an upcoming run that will make it tough to post wins over the next month. 

The Saints, 1-3, host Greater Western Sydney on Saturday afternoon at Etihad Stadium. At 3-1 and sitting on top of the ladder, the Giants are one of the most formidable teams in the competition.

Worryingly for St Kilda, its crowds are dropping off. Only 19,324 showed up at Etihad against Adelaide in round three on a Saturday night, and a much smaller attendance figure will be expected against GWS.

MATCH PREVIEW: Can the Saints become Giant killers?

St Kilda's lowest ever crowd at the Docklands venue is 14,018, against Port Adelaide in round 19, 2001.

After the Giants is Hawthorn, which also sits 3-1. Melbourne follows that game – which the Saints lost to twice last year – before a trip to Optus Stadium to face Fremantle.

The Saints, on a three-match losing streak, might take confidence from their upset win against GWS last year, also at Etihad, when they won by 23 points in round seven.

Furthermore, Collingwood's surprise win against Adelaide and Essendon's form reversal to end Port Adelaide's unbeaten run, both in round four, should give St Kilda faith it can turn its season around.

However, the absence of defender Dylan Roberton (heart) is a blow, while Tim Membrey (right knee), Jimmy Webster (hip) and Rowan Marshall (concussion) need to pass tests to be declared fit to play.

Another factor that cruels the 16th-placed Saints' finals chances is its meagre percentage of 68.