Western Bulldogs v Sydney Swans

Etihad Stadium – Sunday 19 August – 3:15PM

Sydney will look to maintain their spot in the top two when they take on the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The two sides previously clashed in round 10, where the Swans demolished the Dogs by 92 points at the SCG.

Unfortunately for the Dogs, things haven’t got too much better since that day and it looks likely to continue as Sydney try to build further upon their vital percentage.

With Hawthorn and Geelong to finish off the home and away season, Sydney need just need to get through this game with out any hiccups. A loss would open up the door for Collingwood or Hawthorn to take Sydney’s top two position.

To help their push for a top two position, the Swans will welcome back Sam Reid to the side while Jed Lamb, Mitch Morton and Matthew Spangher are all pushing for selection as pressure for spots in the Swans line up heat up. Trent-Dennis Lane looks likely to be omitted after not making the best of his opportunities while Armstrong will face similar scrutiny from the match committee.

While Sydney marches onwards to victory, 2012 has been a dog of a year for the Western Bulldogs. Luckily for the Dogs, there are only three games left to play before they can switch their attention to an assault on the top eight in 2013.

The Bulldogs have lost all bar one game since their last clash against Sydney with that win coming against the lowly Port Adelaide in round 11.

To help try and instil some pride back in to the team, the Bulldogs look likely to welcome back star midfielders Ryan Griffen and Adam Cooney from injury spells while Wood and Panos are also vying for selection.

Ryan Hargrave will miss this week after receiving a one-week suspension from the MRP while Sherman and Hooper would be very lucky to retain their spots in the 22.

There isn’t much hope for the Western Bulldogs in winning the match, though that doesn’t mean there is nothing for the Dogs to play for. All 22 players that line up will be playing for their pride. Pride as a player and pride for their club.

Any who don’t display these attributes may miss more than just next week, as Brendan McCartney and his team look at list management at seasons end.

In the mean time, Sydney should win this game in a canter.

Prediction: Sydney by 72 points

Western Bulldogs

B: Lukas Markovic, Jordan Roughead, Fletcher Roberts
HB: Easton Wood, Brian Lake, Robert Murphy
C: Ryan Griffen, Matthew Boyd, Liam Picken
HF: Dylan Addison, Tory Dickson, Daniel Giansiracusa
F: Jason Johannisen, Ayce Cordy, Shaun Higgins
Foll: William Minson, Clay Smith, Mitchell Wallis
I/C: Adam Cooney, Liam Jones, Nathan Djerrkura, Zephaniah Skinner, Michael Talia, Lin Jong, Tom Campbell

In: Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen, Shaun Higgins, Easton Wood, Ayce Cordy, Liam Jones, Lukas Markovic
Out: Ryan Hargrave (Suspension), Jarrad Grant, Andrew Hooper, Justin Sherman

Sydney Swans

B: Rhyce Shaw, Heath Grundy, Alex Johnson
HB: Nicholas Smith, Ted Richards, Martin Mattner
C: Nick Malceski, Jarrad McVeigh, Lewis Jetta
HF: Daniel Hannebery, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Ryan O’Keefe
F: Craig Bird, Sam Reid, Adam Goodes
Foll: Shane Mumford, Josh P. Kennedy, Kieren Jack
I/C: Brett Meredith, Mike Pyke, Ben McGlynn, Luke Parker, Matt Spangher, Mitch Morton, Tony Armstrong

In: Brett Meredith, Sam Reid, Matt Spangher, Mitch Morton
Out: Trent Dennis-Lane

New: Mitch Morton (Richmond)

For all the thoughts of each teams supporters, head on over to BigFooty…

Western Bulldogs

Sydney Swans