Christian Petracca during the match between Melbourne and Brisbane at the MCG in round five, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

CHRISTIAN Petracca knows he must fight fire with fire when Geelong become the latest opponents to pay him close personal attention on Saturday night.

The Melbourne star has worn tags from Brisbane's Jarrod Berry and Richmond's Marlion Pickett in his past two games.

While Petracca still has contributed, he hasn't had quite the influence he showed in his impressive start to the season.

Noting that the Cats put work into Carlton midfield aces Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh last weekend, Petracca has no doubt he will have to deal with another tag in Saturday night's MCG blockbuster against the Cats.

"It's something I will plan for and do some research, but I also have to fight for it," Petracca said.

"I can't just (accept) I'm going to get tagged, I also need to do a better job of being aggressive and still playing my game, back myself in."

Christian Petracca and Marlion Pickett compete for the ball during the match between Richmond and Melbourne at the MCG in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Petracca spoke on Monday morning after reviewing his game in the Demons' Anzac Day Eve win over the Tigers.

"I actually played pretty well when he was on me," Petracca said of Pickett.

"I got to the right positions and got to the drop of the ball at contests. My stoppage stuff was pretty good.

"I will always try to base my game on process, rather than the outcome.

"(They've been) low-possession games the last two weeks, but that's just because they've been on me.

"We won (against Richmond), which is the more important thing, and we won clearance - which is something we've been trying to work on the last few weeks."


After losing at home to Brisbane, the bye and then a scrappy win over Richmond, the Demons have a massive fortnight ahead against unbeaten Geelong and sixth-placed Carlton.

"When you play against the two best teams, it's a really exciting opportunity to see as a team where we sit," Petracca said.

"We're 5-2, I feel like we've had a really good start to the season.

"I feel like we can play some better footy ... Geelong have played some great footy."

While the Cats will lose captain Patrick Dangerfield to another hamstring injury, they are set to regain star defender Tom Stewart.

Petracca said Melbourne's attack might lack big names such as Geelong pair Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins, but it's more about how well the Demons bring the ball into attack.

Youngster Daniel Turner kicked three goals for Melbourne against Richmond.


"We're doing a much better job of hitting the right options and being more smart with the footy, rather than just blazing away," he said.

"I've tried to work on that over the off-season, just being a bit more calm with the footy.

"It frustrates me sometimes when we talk about, 'Oh, we don't have a key forward, we don't have a Jeremy Cameron', but the personnel we have down there are capable of doing a great job.

"Sometimes, it's the delivery - us mids need to do a better job. We're doing a really good job over the first seven weeks of just hitting the right options."