Hawthorn hosts Melbourne at Giants Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a must-win game for both clubs.
The Hawks have lost their last two games on the trot and with third worst percentage in the competition, they cannot afford to drop any games.
Melbourne got the job done against the Suns, but how will they fare against a much more seasoned opponent?
Hawthorn Form & Team News
The Hawks sit in 13th position and with a poor percentage after a couple of dismal displays against the Giants and the Pies. Last week, they only managed 27 points in a five-goal loss against Collingwood in one of the most disappointing losses of the season.
The Hawks best is good enough to be competitive with any side but the gap between their best and worst is far too stark.
The big question for Alastair Clarkson will be whether or not he should persist with playing Ben McEvoy down back. McEvoy is far better suited to playing in the ruck, but the Hawks seem intent on playing Ceglar in that position.
*Round six teams listed as round seven teams weren’t available at the time of previewing
FB: S. Frost, J. Frawley, B. Stratton
HB: B. Hardwick, B. McEvoy, J. Sicily
C: R. Henderson, J. O’Meara, I. Smith
HF: J. Morris, T. O’Brien, C. Wingard
FF: J. Gunston, J. Patton, T. Scully
FOL: J. Ceglar, L. Shiels, T. Mitchell
I/C: H. Morrison, J. Worpel, P. Puopolo, W. Day
Melbourne Form & Team News
Melbourne broke a run of losses to defeat Gold Coast last weekend, but the victory was hardly the most convincing win of the round.
They went down to the Cats by three points in one of the worst games of the season three weeks back, before getting beaten with ease against the Tigers a fortnight ago.
Tom McDonald will be an omission for the Dees, after suffering an eye injury last weekend.
*Round six teams listed as round seven teams were unavailable at the time of previewing
FB: N. Jetta, S. May, O. McDonald
HB: C. Salem, J. Lever, M. Hibberd
C: E. Langdon, C. Oliver, K. Pickett
HF: B. Fritsch, S. Weideman, A. Brayshaw
FF: J. Melksham, T. McDonald, H. Bennell
FOL: M. Gawn, C. Petracca, J. Viney
I/C: J. Harmes, M. Hannan, A. Vandenberg, J. Lockhart
Hawthorn vs Melbourne Head to Head
Hawthorn has the narrow advantage over Melbourne across the last five games, winning three of them.
The Demons have won the last two matches, including a five point victory the last time the two teams met.
Hawthorn vs Melbourne Betting Odds
Hawthorn is the $1.71 favourite heading into Sunday, with Melbourne the slight outsiders at $2.15.
The Demons get a +5.5 head start heading into the match up.
Hawthorn vs Melbourne Match Up
This match will be won and lost in the midfield.
The Hawks on-ball brigade is yet to truly fire in 2020 with Brownlow Medallist
Tom Mitchell still trying to find his feet again at the elite level. The Hawthorn trio of James Worpel, Jaeger O’Meara, and Liam Shiels need to lift.
Melbourne have a star-studded midfield with the likes of Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, and Angus Brayshaw. They will need to all play good football on Sunday if Melbourne are to win. Petracca has been excellent this season and Alistair Clarkson will need to keep a close eye on him throughout the day.
Hawthorn vs Melbourne Key Stats
- Christian Petracca is averaging 23.3 disposals this season
- Clayton Oliver has recorded 20+ disposals in each of Melbourne’s five matches this season
- Melbourne have won the last two matches between the two sides