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Match preview: St Kilda v North Melbourne

Pick a Winner: StK v NM Duck and Browny preview the Saints v Kangaroos
Ben Brown's Coleman Medal aspirations are on the line against the Saints - AFL,North Melbourne Kangaroos,St Kilda Saints
Ben Brown's Coleman Medal aspirations are on the line against the Saints

SUMMARY

St Kilda's Good Friday loss to North Melbourne earlier this year saw its season fall into a tailspin, and despite finals being out of the question for both sides, that alone should motivate the Saints. For the Roos, their key forward Ben Brown sits two goals behind Coleman Medal leader and Richmond star Jack Riewoldt going into round 23, so they will likely look for him whenever possible to boost his tally. Furthermore, several players on both sides will be doing all they can to earn a new contract. North has key talls Jarrad Waite and Scott Thompson yet to sign up, and both will want to make compelling cases for new deals. Similarly. Jack Lonie is coming off a four-goal haul against Hawthorn last week and his impressive form in the past few weeks must be making the Saints think hard about signing him on again.

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, August 26, 4.40PM AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE TIMES

R2, 2018, North Melbourne 13.17 (95) d St Kilda 5.13 (43) at Etihad Stadium
R22, 2017, St Kilda 18.19 (127) d North Melbourne 12.6 (78) at Etihad Stadium
R13, 2017, St Kilda 12.17 (89) d North Melbourne 10.12 (72) at Etihad Stadium
R19, 2016, North Melbourne 12.13 (85) d St Kilda 8.14 (62) at Etihad Stadium
R7, 2016, North Melbourne 11.16 (82) d St Kilda 11.9 (75) at Etihad Stadium

THE SIX POINTS

1. North Melbourne led St Kilda by 11 points at the final break earlier this season before kicking seven goals in the last term, to two behinds. Brown booted six goals.

2. The Kangaroos have dominated the Saints recently, winning seven of the past nine matches, with three by more than 50 points. Overall, it's much tighter: 78 wins apiece and two draws.

3. North is ranked seventh for goals per game with 12.8. Meanwhile, St Kilda is equal 15th, going at 10 goals per game.

4. The teams have played 23 times at Etihad Stadium with the Saints leading 12 wins to 11.

5. Accuracy hasn't been a strength of St Kilda this season – they are ranked second last, at 42.6 per cent. The Kangaroos are sixth for accuracy, at 49.4 per cent.

6. St Kilda small forward Jack Lonie had a career-best game in the Schick AFL Player Ratings last week, notching up 23.5 points in the Saints' four-point loss to Hawthorn.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

Big Roo Ben Brown will enter the clash knowing how many goals he will need to take home his first Coleman Medal, seeing as this game is the last of the home and away season. He has slowed down in recent weeks, having booted multiple goals once in his past four matches, and will likely need a bag to be victorious.

PREDICTION: North Melbourne by 11 points.