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CRISIS? by the Oracle

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This week sees the Demons face yet another club in crisis, one which has progressively over a number of years transferred its identity from becoming the Brisbane Lions at the turn of the century back into the Brisbane Bears. 

The irony of course is that while Melbourne has already had its share of contests against clubs in strife during the season, the club itself has lurched through the past decade as the epitome of a club in crisis. 

While we have watched the young Demon side show us some positive, exciting glimpses to hold out some promise that it will step out of the mire at some time very soon, it continues to give fans its moments of despair so that a home ground contest against an ailing Bears club that was thrashed a week ago by Collingwood at the Gabba can be looked upon them as problematic - even when they are raging favourites to win.

The game looks winnable from every aspect. Max Gawn is coming along nicely in his rucking role and he continues to give teammates at his feet a good ride at stoppages. The Melbourne midfield is improving in quality and depth. For the first time in living memory the Dees were credited with employing an innovative tactic. 

The only problem is that the "Diamond Pattern" or "Diamond Defence" didn't quite work when employed against the Bulldogs and if it was employed when they played the Bombers and the Saints, then it was an abject failure. Hopefully, it will be a case of back to the drawing board this week when the team faces the Bears because it really can't afford to lose another game to a club in crisis. 

It's not that last week's loss to the Bulldogs was comparable to the losses to Essendon and St Kilda. The Doggies are a competent well drilled outfit that more the ball quickly with precision. They have managed to get themselves out of "crisis mode" in quick time and based upon what we saw last week, they are definite contenders this year. 

Many of us hoped that Melbourne would follow a similar path this year but unless it can shake off the inconsistent tag, it will languish between the middle and lower half of the table. 

Winning against Brisbane at home on Sunday will help but it will remain one small step in the process necessary to avert the next crisis.

THE GAME

Melbourne v Brisbane at MCG Sunday 22 May, 2016 at 1.10pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall: Melbourne 22 wins Brisbane 20 wins

At MCG: Melbourne 12 wins Brisbane 3 wins

Last Five Meetings: Melbourne 1 win Brisbane 4 win

The Coaches: Roos 1 win Leppitsch 1 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy Channel live at 1.00pm

Radio - SEN ABC ABC Grandstand

THE BETTING

Melbourne $1.18 to win Brisbane $4.75 to win

LAST TIME THEY MET Melbourne 8.12.60 defeated Brisbane 4.12.36 at the MCG, Round 16, 2015.

The Lions kicked only one goal for the entire first half while the Demons managed only one in the second half in a putrid skill free exhibition of ineptitude. Jesse Hogan was the shining light with four goals.

TEAMS

MELBOURNE 

B: Billy Stretch, Tom McDonald, Tomas Bugg
HB: Josh Wagner, Colin Garland, Bernie Vince
C: Clayton Oliver, Dom Tyson, Viv Michie
HF: Dean Kent, Jack Watts, Jeff Garlett
F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Ben Kennedy
FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney
I/C: James Harmes, Jayden Hunt, Alex Neal-Bullen, Oscar McDonald

EMG: Lynden Dunn, Jack Grimes

IN: Dean Kent, Alex Neal-Bullen, Ben Newton, Oscar McDonald

OUT: Neville Jetta (suspension), Cam Pedersen (illness), Christian Salem (omitted), Dom Tyson (illness) 

BRISBANE LIONS

B: Ryan Harwood, Daniel Merrett, Jackson Paine
HB: Daniel Rich, Daniel McStay, Sam Mayes
C: Ryan Lester, Allen Christensen, Tom Bell
HF: Pearce Hanley, Lewis Taylor, Nick Robertson
F: Trent West, Josh Schache, Ryan Bastinac
FOLL: Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko, Mitch Robinson
I/C: Billy Evans, Jonathan Freeman, Ben Keays, Rhys Mathieson

EMG: Josh Clayton, Eric Hipwood, Jarrad Jansen

IN: Billy Evans, Jonathan Freeman, Daniel McStay, Rhys Mathieson, Jackson Paine, Nick Robertson, Trent West

OUT: Clay Beams (groin), Dayne Beams (knee), Rohan Bewick (groin), Darcy Gardiner (finger), Josh Green (omitted), Marco Paparone (omitted), Josh Walker (omitted)

NEW: Rhys Mathieson (Geelong U18)

 

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