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Analysis: Why the Giants could still make a September surge

Daisy's dream for 2020, Dimma's pre-finals warning Mitch Cleary with your Friday Footy Feed

LAST week's lifeless loss to Hawthorn saw many disregarding the premiership chances of Greater Western Sydney.

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

There's no doubt the performance warranted plenty of criticism.

However, a closer look at that line-up, and more specifically how it will change over the next month, could make the doubters second-guess themselves.

The reinforcements are coming.

Toby Greene and the Giants had a night to forget in Canberra against the Hawks. Picture: AFL Photos

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that the Giants are missing a large chunk of their No.1 side.

FULL INJURY LIST Who's ruled out and who's a test?

Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Matt de Boer, Jacob Hopper, Harry Himmelberg, Jeremy Finlayson, Sam Taylor and Aidan Corr all missed the loss to the Hawks.

Jeremy Cameron and Brett Deledio won't face the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

That's half of the club's best 22.

In a perfect world, replacements like Daniel Lloyd, Matt Buntine, Zac Langdon, Isaac Cumming and Tommy Sheridan would step in, but they've been sidelined too.

The result is that GWS coach Leon Cameron had to steal Toby Greene and Zac Williams to strengthen his midfield ranks in recent weeks, but as good as they've been, it has hurt the team at their respective ends.

Greene is without doubt one of the game's best one-on-one forwards, and if you're a defender, you'd be rapt to see him walking to the first centre bounce.

Williams is on track to make the All Australian squad this year.

His offensive run from half back sets up so many attacking moves for GWS, and causes havoc for the opposition up the ground.

Without him, Heath Shaw is the only dasher, but his leg speed is best used closer to goal.

Zac Williams has had to plug holes for Leon Cameron's injury-ravaged line-up. Picture: AFL Photos

Key defenders Taylor and Corr might be underrated, even unheard of outside of Sydney, but they're crucial parts of the Giants' back half.

Corr is the forgotten man, having played just two games this year because of calf issues. He has a rare combination of athleticism, height, strength and leg speed.

In last year's semi-final loss to Collingwood when Jordan De Goey had a night out, Corr was the Pie's ideal match-up. He was out injured.

Lachie Keeffe and Jake Stein have provided admirable assistance for Phil Davis and Nick Haynes as key defenders, but against the very best tall forwards, they can be found out.

Then there's the scoring end.

Cameron (58 goals), Finlayson (36) and Himmelberg (33) have formed a dangerous trio.

The only other Giants in double figures for goals are Greene (20), Coniglio (15) and Lloyd (10).

Himmelberg also leads the competition for goal assists.

That seriously hurts.

Despite all this doom and gloom, there are positives for GWS.

The team sits sixth on the ladder and is likely to host a home final, and when the team runs onto Giants Stadium in September, the 22 will look completely different to what it did last week.

Kelly, de Boer, Himmelberg and Corr will face the Bulldogs on Sunday, while Cameron, Taylor, Finlayson and Hopper could return in round 23. Coniglio and Deledio are striving for a comeback during the finals.

MATCH PREVIEW Giants v Bulldogs

The Giants need look no further than Sunday's opposition to see how an influx of quality can revitalise a team with finals on the horizon.

The Dogs of 2016 began their premiership quest in the rehab room on their run home to September, and ended it a with a fairytale flag.

Can the soon-to-be reinforced Giants do the same?

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs