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Aussie Rules: Geelong look to shine on the Gold Coast

Reigning premiers Geelong will be out to pick up their first win of the 2023 AFL season when they take on the Gold Coast Suns on Sunday afternoon.

The Cats have slipped to defeats against Collingwood and Carlton in their opening two games and although no-one at the club will be reaching for the panic button, they need a win over the Suns. 

It is a big day of action on Sunday with Melbourne and Sydney Swans also set to clash at the MCG. These two sides will be pushing to win the flag in 2023 and despite it being only the third game of the season, it is a big one. 

Sydney have won two from two, while Melbourne have won one and lost one so far this season. Sunday’s game at the MCG has all the ingredients for a classic.

To wrap up the day and round three we have a derby to look forward to in the west. Fremantle have got off to a disappointing start and sit below West Coast Eagles on the ladder.

They will be the hot fancies to bounce back with a win, but this is a derby clash and nothing can be ruled out. With game day fast approaching, let’s take a closer look at each game.

What:Gold Coast Suns v Geelong
Where:Heritage Bank Stadium, Gold Coast
When:15:10 (AEST) Sunday 2nd April 2023
How to watch:Foxtel, Kayo
Odds:Gold Coast 3.10, Geelong 1.38

Geelong cruised to grand final glory in 2022 but they have not carried on where they left off. It is too early to be concerned by back-to-back defeats, but if they were to slip up against the Suns on Sunday then one or two could reach for the panic button. 

There are also games against Hawthorn and West Coast to come so nothing less than three wins will be acceptable for coach Chris Scott. Gold Coast started the season with aspirations of making the top eight and playing finals, but they have also started 0-2 following heavy defeats against Sydney and Essendon. 

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Their next three games are tough and there is a chance they could be 0-5. Then the pressure really will be on coach Stuart Dew. Geelong have been boosted by the news that Tom Stewart has made a miraculous recovery from a knee injury and will take his place in the side. 

Rhys Stanley and Gary Rohan will both miss out through injury so Jon Ceglar will play his first game of the season as ruckman. 

The Suns have made a host of changes with Charlie Constable, Brayden Fiorini and Bodhi Uwland all axed from the side. Jy Farrar, Hewago Oea and Wil Powell come in to replace them.

What:Melbourne v Sydney Swans 
Where:MCG, Melbourne
When:16:20 (AEST) Sunday 2nd April 2023
How to watch:Foxtel, Kayo
Odds:Melbourne 1.75, Swans 2.10 

Melbourne have had an up and down start to the new season after beating the Bulldogs in round one before slipping up against the Brisbane Lions the week after. 

After a disappointing 2022 campaign they are determined to return to the top this season and a win over the unbeaten Swans would be a real statement of intent. 

Sydney appear to have put last season’s Grand Final mauling behind them following wins over Gold Coast and Hawthorn but this will be their biggest test yet. It is the start of a tough run for the Swans with games against Port Adelaide, Richmond and Geelong to follow. 

It could be season defining. Melbourne will be handed a huge lift with the news that Steven May is ready to return after missing the opening two games with a calf injury. 

Michael Hibberd and James Jordan also return. The Swans welcome back superstar forward Lance Franklin from suspension with Hayden McLean making way.

What:Fremantle v West Coast Eagles
Where:Optus Stadium, Perth
When:18:20 (AEST) Sunday 2nd April 2023
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo
Odds:Fremantle 1.44, Eagles 2.80

It is derby day in the west and a big day for Fremantle in particular as they look to bounce back following defeats against St Kilda and North Melbourne.

That is not the form of a team that wants to play finals again and Sunday’s game is a big one. West Coast lost the opener to North Melbourne, but bounced back well with a home win over Greater Western Sydney last week.

The Dockers have made changes with Will Brodie being dropped and replaced by Nathan O’Driscoll. Bailey Banfield has also been left out. West Coast remain unchanged from the side that beat GWS.

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