MELBOURNE is on track to make just one unforced change from its Grand Final team ahead of Saturday night's rematch, in stark contrast to opponents Western Bulldogs.

Both sides made four changes apiece between last year's decider and this year's round one clash, but things have been far from settled for the Western Bulldogs this year.

Last week's win over St Kilda saw virtually a different side take to Marvel Stadium, with 10 different players (including medi-sub Luke Cleary) rotated into the side.

CLARRY'S BACK Star Demons midfielder returns for GF rematch

Josh Bruce made a welcome return from a torn ACL, while Ryan Gardner has now locked down a key defensive role after being heartbreakingly omitted from the Grand Final team.

Josh Bruce in action for the Western Bulldogs against St Kilda in R18, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Changes between the Grand Final and round 18 sides


Western Bulldogs





Jake Melksham

Tom McDonald (ankle)

Ryan Gardner

Easton Wood (retired)

Luke Dunstan

Clayton Oliver (thumb)

Jordon Sweet

Stefan Martin

Adam Tomlinson

Harrison Petty (H&S)

Ed Richards

Caleb Daniel (knee)

Toby Bedford

Jake Bowey

Riley Garcia

Taylor Duryea (knee)



Buku Khamis

Zaine Cordy (H&S)



Rhylee West

Lachie Hunter (H&S)



Josh Bruce

Aaron Naughton (H&S)



Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Josh Schache (H&S)



Lachlan McNeil

Roarke Smith



Luke Cleary

Laitham Vandermeer

In promising news for the Dogs, up to four of its Grand Final 22 are expected to be available after a stint in health and safety protocols, including key forward Aaron Naughton and midfielder Lachie Hunter.

Aside from a mid-season blip, things have been smooth sailing for premiers Melbourne both on the field and in the rehab group.

MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list

Clayton Oliver and Harrison Petty are expected to return against the Dogs, but premiership defender Jake Lever could be touch-and-go after hurting his shoulder against Port Adelaide.

Interestingly, the Bulldogs have had one more player than Melbourne feature in all 17 matches this season, but the Dees have used a competition-low 33 players compared to the Dogs' 39.

Angus Brayshaw celebrates a goal during round eight, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Played every game this year


Western Bulldogs

Angus Brayshaw

Bailey Dale

Bayley Fritsch

Josh Dunkley

James Jordon

Ryan Gardner

Christian Petracca

Tom Liberatore

Charlie Spargo

Jack Macrae


Adam Treloar