Hawthorn Football Club will be playing hosts to Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League (AFL) at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.
After dangling at the wrong side of the table for the last few seasons, Brisbane ripped the Mickey out of every prediction on their way to a second-place finish. And though they couldn't stop Richmond from winning the title, their surge was really commendable and once again they are being seen as a worthy challenger for the ultimate thing. But with expectations will come pressure and it will be interesting to see how they cope with that. A good start can go a long way in meeting the targets.
Hawthorn Football Club finished ninth last season. They have a certain identity around them which is to be astute in defence and show more discipline on the pitch. But they are one four-game losing run and will have to be on the top of their game to get a positive result from this match.
Host: Hawthorn Football Club
Visitors: Brisbane Lions
Competition: Australian Football League (AFL)
Match Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Match Timing: March 22, @10:10 AM
Hawthorn Football Club: Forward Jack Gunston is a doubt for this game due to an injury. He will have to pass a late fitness test before being cleared to play the match. He also missed the Marsh Community series before the start of the season and has been in doubt for several weeks.
The Hawks will be handing debuts to new recruits Jon Patton, the former Greater Western Sydney Giant, and Sam Frost, the former Demon, who will be key figures up forward and in defence respectively.
In addition, Tom Mitchell is available for selection and will be in the line-up for the first time since breaking his leg last year.
The Brisbane Lions have suffered a huge blow before their opening game of the season as new recruit Grant Birchall is down with hamstring soreness and won't be making his debut for the team.
But Brisbane have included Deven Robertson on the matchday roster and he will be looking to make his senior debut for the team
Plyers to keep an eye on:
Tom Mitchell: He is a 2018 Brownlow Winner (AFL MVP). His mere addition to the roster has forced a lot of foretellers to expect the Hawks to return to the Finals in 2020.
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Jon Patton: Coming from a long injury layoff, the ex-Giant will be Hawthorn's focal point this season.
Harris Andrews: The 23-year-old Brisbane Lions superstar is a high-quality defender and will be key to the team's chances.