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Opposition Analysis: Geelong

Jackson Paine  April 14, 2017 7:57 AM

AFL 2016 Second Qualifying Final - Geelong v Hawthorn

Hawthorn and Geelong will add another chapter to their rivalry on Monday.

The changes

The Cats have added Rhys Stanley, Josh Cowan, George Horlin-Smith and Nakia Cockatoo to the team that defeated Melbourne last weekend.

Stanley returns after being omitted last week, while Cowan returns after being 'managed'.

Horlin-Smith and Cockatoo have both recovered from thumb injuries.

Stanley, Cowan and Horlin-Smith will definitely take on the Hawks, with each of them being named on the field in the 25-man squad.

However, Cockatoo is among the seven players named on the Cats' extended bench.

Hawthorn Round 4 squad named

Small forward Lincoln McCarthy has been omitted.

The Cats will finalise their team at 4.30pm Saturday.

What to expect

Geelong has begun this season strongly, winning all three of their opening games over Fremantle, North Melbourne and Melbourne.

Having been dominated in the ruck in their opening two games, they were able to regain an ascendancy in the area last week against Melbourne, although it must be said that this was only after reigning All Australian ruck Max Gawn went down with a hamstring injury.

Despite this, the Cats have renewed their reputation as one of the dominant clearance sides of the competition, led by their star power in Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood.

Another area of dominance for the Cats has been their efficiency to translate inside 50s into scoring opportunities.

In the past three weeks, they have had 46 inside 50s for 26 scoring shots against Melbourne, 57 entries for 27 shots against North and 43 deliveries for 25 attempts at goal against Fremantle in round one.

This culminates into 146 entries for 78 scoring shots, clearly leading the competition in this category at 53.4%.

Add this to the fact that they are leading the league in goal kicking accuracy by a dramatic margin (they are shooting at 64.7% while the next best is Port Adelaide at 55.4%), and the Cats are an intimidating prospect this week.

No credits left in the bank for Hawthorn

Hawks fans can expect to see Geelong try to emulate this winning formula again on Easter Monday.

The Hawks will be aiming to limit their rivals’ ability to win the contested possession inside the contest and deliver it to their forward line cleanly, as they have been allowed to do too often in their opening three games.

Players to watch

The Cats forward line has enjoyed the benefit of this forward entry efficiency.

Tom Hawkins (12 goals) and Daniel Menzel (10) both currently find themselves in the top six of the Coleman Medal tally.

Hawk defenders will have their hands full on Monday as they look to quell the influence of a dangerous Cat forward line that also boasts the additional threats of Steven Motlop and round three Rising Star nomination Brandan Parfitt.

Among his many talents, reigning Brownlow Medallist Dangerfield has also kicked seven goals in his time resting forward, adding another string to an already jam-packed bow!