TWO OF the AFL's up-and-coming sides will come together in the nation's capital. The re-tooled Greater Western Sydney line-up has surpassed external expectations with victories in two of its three games, already doubling its win tally from 2013. The Bulldogs are also making progress and showed some good signs in last week's narrow victory over Richmond. The battle in the ruck could go a long way towards deciding this one. Shane Mumford has been an excellent pick-up for the Giants and currently leads the AFL in hit-outs with 151, while the Bulldogs' All Australian ruckman Will Minson is third with 124.
WHERE AND WHEN: StarTrack Oval, Saturday April 12, 4.40pm AEST
LAST TWO TIMES
R15, 2013, Western Bulldogs 13.9 (87) d GWS 12.11 (83) at Manuka Oval
R5, 2012, Western Bulldogs 15.14 (104) d GWS 9.8 (62) at Manuka Oval
THE SIX POINTS
1. These teams have only met twice, with the Bulldogs winning on both occasions. Last year the Giants led at every change before the Dogs snatched a four-point win in a thriller.
2. The Giants are the AFL's best tacklers, laying 90.7 per game. The Dogs are strong in that area too with 69.7 per game to sit eighth.
3. The Bulldogs have had a competitive start to the year, but are struggling with inside 50s, sitting last with 41 per game. GWS has improved in that area, currently fourth with 54 per contest.
4. The Giants have won one of their seven games in Canberra to date. The Dogs are frequent visitors to the capital, holding a 6-2 win-loss record there.
5. GWS' Stephen Coniglio and Callan Ward are equal-second in clearances in 2014, behind Joel Selwood. Bulldog Tom Liberatore is equal-fourth.
Prediction: Bulldogs by 13 points