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Aussie Rules: Bulldogs desperate to fight off Lions

Western Bulldogs are in desperate need of a win to kick-start their season when they entertain Brisbane Lions on Thursday night.

The 2023 AFL season heads into week three and there is already pressure mounting on a number of clubs despite the fact only two games have been played. 

One such club is the Bulldogs, who had high hopes of playing finals before the season began, but look more like wooden spoon candidates on the evidence of the opening two games. 

However one big win can kick-start a season and there would be no better place to start than under the lights in front of the home faithful on Thursday night. It will be far from easy though. 

The Lions showed what they are all about when bouncing back to winning ways with a battling win against Melbourne. The Bulldogs need to show the same kind of resolve and fighting spirit. If they do then we could be in for a close, exciting game. However it is tough to call. 

The AFL is already throwing up a mixed bag of results and you cannot rule anything out when the Dogs and Lions clash. Let’s take a closer look at both sides with the game fast approaching.

What:Western Bulldogs v Brisbane Lions
Where:Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When:19:20 (AEST) Thursday 30th March 2023
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo
Odds:Bulldogs 2.40, Lions 1.58

Bulldogs in need of a win

The Western Bulldogs season is in danger of being over before it has really begun and they cannot afford another poor results against the Lions. 

They were hammered by 50 points against Melbourne in round one and backed that up by losing 92-41 against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium in round two. With tough games to come against the Lions, Richmond, Port Adelaide and Fremantle, there is a real chance they could be 0-6 unless there is a dramatic improvement.

The Bulldogs have issues all over the park, particularly in defence, while the attitude of the players is also being called into question. Even premiership-winning coach Luke Beveridge is under pressure with claims he may have lost the dressing room already. 

There is only one way to silence the critics and that is by putting on a show against the Lions. There is some good news coming from the treatment room however.

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The Bulldogs have been handed a massive double boost heading into the game as both Adam Treloar and Rory Lobb have been passed fit to play following hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

They will be missing Taylor Duryea through illness, while Sam Darcy has been left out of the squad altogther. Darcy has failed to score in two games and Lobb comes in to replace him.

Beveridge’s men have struggled all over the park in the opening two games and there will need to be a big improvement if they are to get a result against the Lions. They will be hoping the return of Treloar and Lobb can help inspire them to a much-needed win.

Rich missing for Lions

Alarm bells were ringing when Brisbane Lions opened up the new season with a 126-72 defeat against Port Adelaide. The Lions have set their sights on challenging for the premiership in 2023 and the defeat was not a great start.

However they showed great spirit to bounce back the week after with victory over another flag hopeful, Melbourne. Brisbane won by 11 points to make a statement and they now need to back it up with another victory against the Bulldogs. 

After this game they take on high-flying Collingwood so it is important they go into it full of confidence. Then come games against North Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney. It represents a huge opportunity to get on a winning run and push at the top end of the ladder.

Coach Chris Fagan is forced into just one change from the side that beat Melbourne so there will be a very familiar look to the side. Daniel Rich is suffering with a quad injury and misses out, but the Lions are lucky to have Keidean Coleman in their ranks.

Coleman is returning from concussion at just the right time and will be able to replace Rich at half-back.

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