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Match preview: St Kilda v Melbourne

Pick a Winner: StK v Melb Duck and Browny preview the Saints v Demons
It's a big week for Seb Ross - AFL,Melbourne Demons,St Kilda Saints
It's a big week for Seb Ross

SUMMARY
Over the past few years, St Kilda and Melbourne have been compared as sides with similar age profiles and having the talent to perhaps break their respective premiership droughts. The early part of the season hasn't inspired either team's supporter base though. The Saints are languishing in third-last coming into round seven, having won once and drawing with Greater Western Sydney. Meanwhile, the Demons have been inconsistent and haven't built on their encouraging 2017, when they missed out on making finals by a sliver of percentage. St Kilda's skills have been deplorable at times this year and it needs to sharpen up that aspect of its game. For the Demons, they need to be consistent across four quarters and week to week in order to establish their finals credentials. The midfield battle will be critical and while Jack Steven has been superb for the Saints, he needs a few teammates to lift. 

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, May 6, 3.20PM AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE TIMES
R21, 2017, Melbourne 14.12 (96) d St Kilda 10.12 (72) at the MCG
R1, 2017, Melbourne 18.12 (120) d St Kilda 13.12 (90) at Etihad Stadium
R17, 2016, St Kilda 15.20 (110) d Melbourne 11.8 (74) at Etihad Stadium
R6, 2016, St Kilda 20.15 (135) d Melbourne 15.6 (96) at Etihad Stadium
R17, 2015, St Kilda 12.11 (83) d Melbourne 6.10 (46) at the MCG 

THE SIX POINTS
1. Melbourne led by 32 points at half-time when these teams last met. St Kilda reduced the margin to 10 at the final change before the Dees steadied. Cameron Pedersen picked up the three Brownlow votes with 26 disposals, six tackles and two goals.

2. Melbourne beat St Kilda twice last year, with the first meeting ending a 14-game losing sequence against the Saints. The Demons haven't won three in a row against St Kilda since 2002-04.

3. Melbourne is the No.1 ranked team for hit-outs, largely due to Max Gawn's influence. In contrast, the Saints are third-last.

4. This will be the 13th time these teams have met at Etihad Stadium. St Kilda has won eight to the Dees' four.

5. No team has kicked fewer goals this season than the Saints' 52. They have kicked fewer than 10 goals in four of their past five matches. 

6. One of the few positives for St Kilda this season has been the form of Blake Acres. The wingman is up to No.123 in the Schick AFL Player Ratings – up 70 spots from the start of the year. 

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR…
Midfielder Seb Ross was the runaway winner of last year's Trevor Barker Award but has been up-and-down this season, and did not meet the high standard he has set for himself last week against Hawthorn.

PREDICTION: Melbourne by 17 points.