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Match preview: Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney

Pick a Winner: Melb v GWS Duck and Browny preview the Demons v Giants
Rory Lobb has one of the toughest tasks coming up against Max Gawn - AFL,Melbourne Demons,GWS Giants
Rory Lobb has one of the toughest tasks coming up against Max Gawn

After Melbourne secured its long-awaited finals berth with a 17-point victory over West Coast last weekend, its match-up against the Giants could prove vital in determining the order of the top eight. A Demons loss could see the teams face off in week one of the finals at Spotless Stadium, while if Melbourne defeats GWS Simon Goodwin's side could lock in a home final potentially against Geelong. Either team has the chance to push into the top four, should Fremantle cause an upset against Collingwood. The Giants could also finish in the top four if the Swans and Hawks draw and GWS makes up enough percentage points in the process. Needless to say, despite knowing they will feature in September, both GWS and Melbourne have plenty to play for. 

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Sunday, August 26, 3.20pm
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the broadcast guide 

R20, 2017, GWS Giants 14.13 (97) d Melbourne 10.2 (62) at UNSW Canberra Oval
R1, 2016, Melbourne 12.8 (80) d GWS Giants 10.18 (78) at the MCG
R23, 2015, Melbourne 15.13 (103) d GWS Giants 11.11 (77) at Etihad Stadium
R2, 2015, GWS Giants 15.11 (101) d Melbourne 8.8 (56) at UNSW Canberra Oval
R21, 2014, GWS Giants 15.8 (98) d Melbourne 3.16 (34) at the MCG



1. The Giants blew Melbourne away in the first quarter when they faced off in round 20 last season, kicking 8.6 to 3.0 to effectively end the contest. GWS star Josh Kelly polled the three Brownlow votes with 27 disposals and three goals.

2. Melbourne is the highest-ranked team for scoring, inside 50s, marks inside 50, contested possessions and centre clearances. The Giants are the highest-ranked clearance team in the AFL.

3. The Giants have had the better of the Demons recently, winning four of the past six matches and have been comfortable winners by an average margin of 44 points.

4. Melbourne has won more quarters this season than any other side with 57 and the most final quarters with 15. GWS has won 48 quarters and 12 final terms.

5. Another win and Melbourne will have 14 for the season, its most in a home-and-away season since 2004. The Giants will be aiming for 14 wins or more for the third straight season.

6. Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn was the highest-rated player in the competition in the Schick AFL Player Ratings last round, compiling a career-high 30.4 points.

Greater Western Sydney ruckman Rory Lobb is the man in charge of leading the Giants' ruck department and he will be up against it with Max Gawn standing at the opposite end of the centre circles. It will be a crucial match-up in the context of the game.

PREDICTION: Melbourne by 24 points