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Aussie Rules: St Kilda set for must win Lions clash

The Brisbane Lions are out to give their top-four hopes a boost while St Kilda will be hoping to force their way into the top eight when the two sides clash in the AFL on Friday night.

There are just two rounds of the regular AFL season remaining and as far as St Kilda are concerned they cannot afford any slip ups if they are to play finals.

They sit in ninth spot and making the eight is out of their hands but two wins really would put the pressure on Richmond and Carlton above them.

Brisbane have no such worries as far as finals go. They will be playing in September. However it is important they finish in the top four if they are to go all the way and win the flag.

Third and fourth spot are up for grabs, but Brisbane face a battle with Melbourne, Sydney Swans and Fremantle to secure one of them.

It looks as though it will go right to the wire so this week’s round of fixtures are absolutely huge.

It does not get much bigger than Friday night’s opener so let’s take a closer look at both sides as the bounce fast approaches.

What: St Kilda v Brisbane
Where: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When: 19:50 (AEST) Friday 12th August 2022
How to watch: 7mate, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: St Kilda 27/20, Brisbane 3/5

St Kilda have hit a bit of form at just the right time when winning two of the last three games to take them to ninth spot on the ladder.

Whether it will be enough to take them into the eight, we will find out over the next two games, but at least they have given themselves a chance.

The two victories did come against West Coast Eagles and Hawthorn, two sides that are below them on the ladder and they have not done so great against stronger opposition.

They lost to Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs before slipping to a 45-point defeat against ladder leaders Geelong last week.

It will be another big test against the fifth-placed Brisbane Lions on Friday night. They have picked up five wins on home soil this season and could do with another one to keep their finals hopes alive.

As things stand they are two points behind Richmond in eighth, and four points behind Carlton who sit in seventh. Carlton also have a tough end to the season and could quite easily lose both games.

However Saints also have a hard couple of games and must travel to Sydney to take on the Swans in the final game of the home and away season.
But for now Brett Ratten will be urging his players to take it one game at a time and the first job will be to try and beat the Lions on Friday night.

They will however have to do it without luckless midfielder Dan Hannebery who picked up an ankle injury in the heavy loss to Geelong.

Meanwhile Ratten has said the opening to the game is crucial and it is important that St Kilda get the game on their own terms early on as Brisbane can hurt you from the off.

"Against Richmond I think they kicked seven (goals) to one so they can start really fast and put a gap between the opposition and then the opposition has to take more risks, which then creates opportunities for Brisbane to score," he said.
"For us it'll be about the start, getting the game on our terms, and it'll be pretty important in the result."

Meanwhile the win is just as important for the Lions as they look to finish in the top four and boost their chances of winning the premiership.

They have won three from the last four to sit fifth on the ladder on 56 points. Sydney and Melbourne directly above also the same number of points so it could not be much tighter.

The two sides met at the Gabba back in June this year with the Lions winning by 21 points. Their form away from the Gabba has not be great and they were edged out by Richmond the last time they travelled to Melbourne.

However they bounced back with an emphatic win over Carlton last weekend and can take confidence from the way they played.

The Lions do have concerns over Marcus Adams who took a heavy hit in the win over Carlton, but is expected to play, while Cal Ah Chee has been sitting out training this week as he goes through AFL concussion protocols. 

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