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Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
When: 06.40 (GMT)
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This looms as an intriguing clash, with both sides desperate to notch their first wins of the season. The heat has been on North Melbourne following its 39-point loss to Essendon last Friday night.
Touted as a top-four contender during the off-season, the Kangaroos failed to live up to expectations in round one, struggling to get their hands on the ball.
The Western Bulldogs are also winless, with West Coast’s pressure too much for the young Dogs to handle on Sunday. North Melbourne needs to find some firepower up forward with Lindsay Thomas the only multiple goalkicker for North in round one, while former Saint Nick Dal Santo needs to step up and show Roos fans why he was recruited.
The Bulldogs will be hoping to regain their confidence and one player to watch is 19-year-old midfielder Jack Macrae, who was superb against the Eagles with 31 possessions and two goals.
Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne) – After a poor first round, Ziebell has extra pressure placed on his shoulder with Andrew Swallow out of action.
Drew Petrie (North Melbourne) – Had a shocking first game of the season and was almost invisible, needs to bounce back this weekend.
Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne) – Needs to lift his game against Will Minson this weekend, had a shoulder complaint last weekend however.
Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs) – Their chances will hinge largely on Griffen, always in the middle of the game.
Will Minson (Western Bulldogs) – Was sensational in 2013 and should continue to improve and feed the midfield around him.
Dale Morris (Western Bulldogs) – A key man for the Dogs in defence, will need to plug any holes that arise against the Kangaroos’ forward line.
1. North Melbourne comfortably defeated Western Bulldogs the last time the sides met, winning by 54 points in round seven, 2013 at Etihad Stadium. Majak Daw starred, kicking six goals.
2. No team had fewer Inside 50s in round one than the Bulldogs (37) while the Kangaroos also struggled with only 40.
3. The Kangaroos have won three of the past four clashes between the sides but the Bulldogs hold the advantage since 2009 with five wins to three.
4. North Melbourne had the least number of disposals in round one with just 291, the only team to be under 300 while the Bulldogs were fifth with 395.
5. This will be the 153rd clash between the sides and the overall record is tight, with 75 wins to the Bulldogs, 74 to the Kangaroos and three draws.
6. The Bulldogs will be hoping skipper Ryan Griffen will return for this clash after struggling with a back complaint in the past five weeks. Griffen is ranked No.7 in the AFL Official Player Rankings.