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We take a look at the second Elimination Final as GWS Giants host the Bulldogs at Giants Stadium this Saturday 7 September.
September is here, the sun is shining, and AFL Finals fever has taken over the country. This weekend GWS Giants head into a do-or-die final against 2016 premiers Western Bulldogs.
GWS will be hoping for a packed stadium come Saturday afternoon, after averaging over 12,000 fans at Giants Stadium this season and eclipsing their previous member records, totalling over 25,000 for the second year running.
Coleman Medalist Jeremy Cameron is in red-hot form off the back of a nine-goal haul in Round 23 that saw him pinch the award at the last minute. With 25 goals in his past seven games, he’s currently sitting at an average of 3.5 per game, so we’re expecting another big bag this weekend.
A tough proposition for the Bulldogs backline, the Giants will be further buoyed by the likely return of superstars Toby Greene and Jacob Hopper.
Greene missed the Round 23 clash against Gold Coast with a calf injury, but had been putting up some incredible numbers in the six weeks prior, with a phenomenal finish to the season. Averaging 31 touches and over a goal a game since Round 17, Greene has flourished of late, even taking over the captaincy in the absence of several stars.
Hopper has missed the last three weeks with a hamstring injury, after a career-best season to date, averaging 26 touches and over 6 clearances a game.
Both will be very handy inclusions for the Giants outfit alongside defender Nick Haynes, with Stephen Coniglio and Brett Deledio still a couple of weeks away.
The battle of the midfield between the two sides is likely to be where the game is won, with a stacked Bulldogs outfit winning their past three on top of some monster numbers from their midfield stars. Names like AFLCA MVP winner Marcus Bontempelli, All Australian Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley and Lachie Hunter make the Doggies midfield very difficult to handle.
The Bulldogs took out the Giants in Round 21 with a ten-goal victory in Sydney, with the Bulldogs midfielders getting on top of the Giants side.
But the Giants will have forced that game from their minds, after missing several stars who will be back for this weeks final. Jeremy Cameron, Shane Mumford, and Jacob Hopper were all missing the last time these two met, while gun tagger Matt De Boer was playing just his first game after a nine-week layoff.
De Boer will surely be tasked with stopping Bontempelli, after claiming plenty of big-name scalps in 2019, a match-up that will go a long way to helping the Giants claim victory.
The Giants have made it to at least the second week of September each of the past three years, and will be sure to be fighting to ensure 2019 is no different.
This is the moment each of these sides have been working towards, and there’s nothing bigger in footy than September action.
With limited tickets remaining, make sure you’re at Giants Stadium this Saturday afternoon to witness history, as the Giants look to go bigger and better than ever before, while the Dogs seek to recreate their 2016 heroics.
The GWS Giants will take on the Western Bulldogs this Saturday at Giants Stadium, starting at 3:20pm. Secure your tickets at Ticketmaster.com.au.