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UNDER MY SKIN by The Oracle



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The story goes that there’s a certain player from Geelong who has been seen in Moorabool Street crooning the old Sinatra classic, “I’ve got you under my skin.” His name is O’Connor and he’s been tasked to achieve one thing on Sunday by his coach, Chris Scott: to get under the skin of a Demon midfielder on Sunday and thereby tag him out of the big contest at the G. The idea behind the tactic is to not only blunt one of the team’s most destructive weapons but to distract them all from producing their best in the game.
 
Based on how Scott had his team playing on Easter Monday, this is how his charges are expected to try to control the ebbs and flows of the match going against the new trend of exciting fast, free flowing attacking football which is where the game appears to heading. Stop the opposition by all means available from getting out into the open and pushing forward to attacking tall forwards who win the contests and boot large scores.
 
But they’re an aging team that might get away with such a strategy in a 16 minute quarter match up as they did last year but those extra minutes in 2021 will find them out, particularly against an opponent that sets up well defensively as Melbourne does. So we can expect Scott to possibly adapt and do something differently or risk the possibility of being run over as almost occurred in the last two Cats’ matches. The likelihood is that it won’t work this week because he has too many of his big guns out with injury and suspension.
 
Despite the fact that there’s still plenty of talent left at the Cattery, they are up against a well balanced Melbourne that’s approaching near full strength and has shown extra fitness and resilience so far this year. The midfield is strong, it’s backed up by two ruckman who are holding sway around the ground and the defence is very tight, conceding the least amount scored in the competition when opponents enter their forward 50.
 
In the three games to date, the Demons have scored 38.45 against 30.19 (the opposition accuracy has been extraordinary given that it began with six consecutive behinds from the Dockers in round 1). If Melbourne can blunt the accuracy of its opposition one day, then watch out!
 
And there we have it. On paper, the Cats present as the best adversary that the Demons have faced this year but the reality is that they are nowhere near full strength and are perhaps fortunate that they’re not sitting on 0-3. I’m not convinced therefore that they’re capable of getting under Melbourne’s skin this week.
 
Melbourne by 25 points.
 
THE GAME
 
Melbourne v Geelong at the MCG on Sunday, 11 April 2021 at 3.20pm
 
HEAD TO HEAD
 
Overall Melbourne 85 wins Geelong 132 wins 2 draws
 
At the MCG Melbourne 52 wins Geelong 54 wins
 
The last five meetings Melbourne 1 win Geelong 4 wins
 
The Coaches Goodwin 1 win Scott 5 wins
 
MEDIA
 
TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides.
 
Radio - check your local guides.
 
LAST TIME THEY MET 
 
Geelong 7.5.47 defeated Melbourne 6.8.44 in Round 4, 2020
 
The Demons were coming off a week’s Covid19 enforced break after Essendon’s Conor McKenna produced a positive test and they made a rusty start to an ugly, low scoring, defensive scrap. They trailed by 17 points at the last charge and their last minute surge fell tantalizingly short when Adam Tomlinson’s shot in the final minute missed narrowly.
 
THE TEAMS
 
MELBOURNE

B: N. Jetta 39 S. May 1 J. Lever 8

HB: J. Hunt 29 A. Tomlinson 20 T. Rivers 24

C: A. Brayshaw 10 C. Oliver 13 E. Langdon 15

HF: K. Pickett 36 T. McDonald 25 A. Neal-Bullen 30

F: C. Spargo 9 L. Jackson 6 B. Fritsch 31

Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Petracca 5 J. Viney 7

I/C: N. Jones 2 J. Jordon 23 J. Melksham 18 C. Salem 3

Sub: T. Sparrow 32 Emerg: K. Chandler 37 M. Hibberd 14 H. Petty 35 

No change

GEELONG

B: L. Henderson 25 M. Blicavs 46 Jed Bews 25

HB: 24 T. Atkins 30 T. Stewart J. Kolodjashnij 8

C: I. Smith 7 M. O'Connor 44 Z. Tuohy 22

HF: M. Duncan 22  G. Miers 32 L. Dahlhaus 40

F: S. Menegola 27 T. Hawkins 26 B. Close 45

Foll: R. Stanley 1 C. Guthrie 29 J. Selwood 14

I/C: J. Clark 6 Z. Guthrie 39 J. Henry 38 Q. Narkle 19

Sub: M. Holmes 9 Emerg: C. Constable 18 J. Jenkins 11 

In: B. Close Z. Guthrie S. Menegola Q. Narkle

Out: C. Constable (omitted) F. Evans (ankle) S. Higgins (thumb) B. Parfitt (hip soreness - late withdrawal)

Injury List: Round 4
 
Sam Weideman (leg) — Available
Ben Brown (knee) — Available
James Harmes (wrist) — 3 Weeks
Marty Hore (knee) — Season
Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season
 
PreviewRd042021.png
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