The second semi-final on this weekend takes place on Saturday night with the Brisbane Lions hosting the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba. As always, we bring you our match prediction and best Same Game Multi for this huge clash right here!
Gabba, Saturday 4th September 7:20pm (AEST)
It’s do or die in all remaining finals games from this point onwards, so you can expect an intense and entertaining clash between the Lions and the Bulldogs on Saturday night. Due to holding home ground advantage, it will be the Lions who start as the narrow favourites to advance to the preliminary finals where Port Adelaide awaits.
Brisbane managed to secure a finals double-chance in the dying stages of their Round 23 win over West Coast and made the most of it with a loss to Melbourne last weekend. The Lions were thoroughly outplayed by a white-hot Demons outfit in a 33-point wire-to-wire defeat. The Lions only route through to the final four is now via a home semi-final at the Gabba on Saturday night.
The Lions have just made a pair of changes to the side that lost by five goals last weekend. The only forced change will see Daniel McStay replaced by Jack Pain, while Deven Robertson comes in for the omitted Jackson Prior. Obviously, Eric Hipwood remains out with his ACL injury, as does Cam Rayner who’s missed the entire season.
The Western Bulldogs certainly didn’t finish the home and away season in the form they would’ve liked, with losses in each of their last three games. However, they were able to put an end to that streak in their first elimination final last weekend, defeating the Bombers by 49 points after outscoring them 51-5 in what was a second half onslaught.
The Bulldogs have made no changes to their team that crushed the Bombers last time out. Jason Johannisen was the medical sub on the day and is likely to retain that role against the Lions. Josh Bruce and Toby McLean are the notable outs who suffered season-ending injuries during the home and away season, while Hayden Crozier continues to battle with concussion symptoms.
Last time they met: These clubs only met once during the 2021 home and away season and that came way back in Round 4 with a clash at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. The Bulldogs were victorious on the day by 19 points, but it could easily have been more if they’d kicked a bit straighter in front of goal. Jack Macrae was the only man on the field to eclipse the 30-disposal mark (he had 33) and also added a goal to his name.
Prediction: Despite losing their only meeting with the Bulldogs this season rather comfortably, Brisbane will start this do or die semi-final as the slight favourites. The Lions have proven themselves to be a far better side on their home deck at the Gabba compared to any other ground in the country. In fact, they’re 9-2 at home and 6-6 on the road this season inclusive of last weeks final. Taking into consider that statistic coupled with the Bulldogs iffy form of late, we’re more than happy to take the home side to cover the small spread.
There’s plenty of value in the player markets in this clash and picking players from either team is certainly in play here. For the first of three legs for our TAB Same Game Multi we’ll be backing in Bulldogs defender Taylor Duryea to gather at least 15 touches, which he’s been able to do in 19 of his 22 matches this year and remains good value. For the second leg we like the odds of the reigning Brownlow Medallist in Lachie Neale to collect 30 or more touches. He’s hit peak form at the right time and comes into this one off a 46-disposal 13-clearance outing in his side’s loss to the Demons last weekend. Last but not least, we’ll be banking on Bulldogs accumulator Jack Macrae to rack up 30+ disposals once again. He’s managed to do so in 21/23 matches this season and had 36 last weekend against the Bombers.
Taylor Duryea 15+ Disposals
Lachie Neale 30+ Disposals
Jack Macrae 30+ Disposals
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