TWO TEAMS on a serious mission in 2021, the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne, will go head to head at Marvel Stadium from 3.10pm AEDT in what shapes as a fascinating AAMI Community Series battle.

And there's more excitement to follow when pre-season flag fancy Brisbane locks horns with the rising Suns from 6.10pm AEST.

It will be a new-look midfield for Melbourne with All-Australian Clayton Oliver missing, Angus Brayshaw (foot) set to play in a VFL practice match, and vice-captain Jack Viney still working his way back from foot surgery in January.

MATCH CENTRE Follow all the stats LIVE

Skilful defender Christian Salem (hamstring tightness) will also miss the game but the club expects both him and Oliver (general soreness) to play in round one against Fremantle on March 20. There is better news for forgotten defender Harry Petty, who will play his first competitive game since 2019 after missing all of last season with a groin problem. 

Harrison Petty during a Melbourne training session at Casey Fields in December, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos

Running Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen will also miss the clash after he was named as an emergency, but the Dogs have named an otherwise strong side that includes the newly signed Anthony Scott for his first run as an AFL-listed player.

Meanwhile, Brisbane forward Dan McStay (knee) will miss his side's clash against Gold Coast, giving Tom Fullarton a chance to push for a round one spot. 

Joe Daniher will team up with Eric Hipwood as the key Lions forward targets in a powerful-looking Brisbane side that features Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale, skipper Dayne Zorko and a fitter, stronger Cam Rayner. 


Mercurial Sun Izak Rankine is absent from his side's line-up but former No.1 draft pick Matt Rowell has been named, along with ex-Richmond wingman Oleg Markov.