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Opposition: Tigers make four changes

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Ben McEvoy of the Hawks and Ivan Maric of the Tigers compete in a ruck contest during the 2015 AFL round 18 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on July 31, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Richmond has omitted ruckman Ivan Maric for Friday night's match.

RICHMOND has made four changes for our clash on Friday night at the MCG.

Out of the side that lost to Port Adelaide last week are skipper Trent Cotchin and utility Kane Lambert (both injured), plus defender David Astbury and ruckman Ivan Maric, who have been omitted.

The Tigers have recalled Ben Griffiths and Jayden Short, while Kamdyn McIntosh and Nick Vlastuin return from injury.

Brett Deledio will captain the side in the absence of Cotchin, while Alex Rance also remains on the sidelines due to suspension.

What to expect

The spotlight on the Tigers has been glaring in the last couple of weeks, after losses to Melbourne and Port Adelaide at the MCG.

Media attention has been unwavering, but this may work in favour of the Tigers, who have not only a good record against the Hawks, but also a knack of producing a rousing performance when needed the most.

The Tigers will be without some key personnel for the match on Friday night, with Trent Cotchin (injured), Kane Lambert (injured) and Alex Rance (suspended) all missing.

What will hearten Tigers’ supporters however was the return of Brett Deledio. His first AFL game for the year yielded 22 disposals and a goal, and the Tigers will be hoping he can build on that performance.

Deledio’s return also seemed to take some pressure off Dustin Martin, who played arguably his best game for the year against the Power last week.

Martin collected 31 disposals at 71% efficiency and kicked a goal, and Richmond fans will be hoping that he too can lift his output again against Hawthorn.

Players to watch

With some big names out, Richmond will be relying on their leaders to really stand up and fill the on-field leadership void which has been left by both captain Trent Cotchin and Alex Rance.

Players such as Shane Edwards and Jack Riewoldt will be required to lead from the front, and their performances will be a big factor in Richmond’s fortunes on Friday night.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs