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Match preview: Western Bulldogs v Brisbane

Pick a Winner: WB v BL Duck and Browny preview the Bulldogs v Lions
If the Dogs tag Zorko will he break free? - AFL,Western Bulldogs,Brisbane Lions
If the Dogs tag Zorko will he break free?

SUMMARY
Many will expect the Bulldogs to chalk up their third win on the trot against a winless Brisbane side on the road, but this clash is unlikely to see the Dogs run rampant. Due to a long injury list, the home side will likely go in younger and less experienced than the Lions, and without a consistent form line. Brisbane was brave against Collingwood last week but couldn't finish off the Pies when they had the chance late in the final term. A mouthwatering match-up between star Lions forward Eric Hipwood and impressive Bulldog draftee Aaron Naughton should be worth the admission price alone, while the Dogs will be hoping superstar midfielder Marcus Bontempelli overcomes a hip complaint, so he can go to head to head with the Lions' brilliant playmaker Dayne Zorko.

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, May 5, 7.25pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R20, 2017, Western Bulldogs 14.19 (103) d Brisbane 13.11 (89) at the Gabba
R5, 2017, Western Bulldogs 17.20 (122) d Brisbane 14.6 (90) at Etihad Stadium
R5, 2016, Western Bulldogs 17.18 (120) d Brisbane 10.7 (67) at Etihad Stadium
R23, 2015, Brisbane 19.16 (130) d Western Bulldogs 19.8 (122) at the Gabba
R12, 2015, Western Bulldogs 22.14 (146) d Brisbane 11.8 (74) at Etihad Stadium

THE SIX POINTS
1. The Bulldogs sit a lowly 15th for scoring, averaging just 74 points per game, but they’re first for marks inside 50 averaging 14. The Lions are 16th for scoring, 16th for inside 50s and 17th for marks inside 50.

2. The Western Bulldogs have had the better of Brisbane recently, winning the last three matches, and four of the last five.

3. The Lions have yet to win an opening quarter this season, kicking a total of just 88 points while conceding 213. The Bulldogs haven’t started games well either, winning three opening quarters while conceding 157 points to their 147.

4. This is the 14th time the sides will play at Etihad Stadium, with the Bulldogs winning eight games to five. Brisbane doesn’t enjoy a good recent record at the venue, losing seven of their last nine.

5. Another loss for Brisbane and it will be the first time since 2011 they’ve lost their first seven games of a season. The club's worst ever start to a season occurred in 1991 when they lost their first nine matches.

6. Dayne Zorko sits sixth overall in the Schick AFL Player Ratings, with 562 ranking points. Marcus Bontempelli is the Bulldogs' highest ranked player, sitting in 10th position with 528 points.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
Returning to his brilliant best against Collingwood last week after being subdued by taggers in recent rounds, Dayne Zorko will need to produce another starring performance against a very competent Bulldog midfield.

PREDICTION: Western Bulldogs by 21 points