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Key match-ups: R13

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 04: Jack Gunston of the Hawks is tackled by Michael Hurley of the Bombers during the 2018 AFL round 20 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Essendon Bombers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 04, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jack Gunston is likely to have Michael Hurley following him around this Friday night.

James Sicily v Jake Stringer

This would be a tantalising match-up. Two players that play on the edge, with flair and incredible natural skill. James Sicily has proven to be one of the game’s best rebounding defenders this year, leading the league in average rebound 50s and metres gained. While Jake Stringer has been a shining light in what has been a frustrating year, at times, for the red and black. Before getting injured in Round 10, Stringer had got himself on the scoreboard each week for an average of 1.6 goals per game. His defensive intent has gone up a level in 2019, averaging a career-high 3.8 tackles per game.

Jack Gunston v Michael Hurley

Jack Gunston’s two weeks before the bye probably sum up his club’s first half of the year. After a six-goal, best-on-ground performance in the win over Port Adelaide, the forward then went goalless in Round 11. The 27-year-old will be keen to bounce back against the Dons this week, but he will have his work cut out against one of the league’s best defenders in Hurley. Hurley’s strength is his ability to keep his opposition honest with his own ball-winning ways, averaging 21.2 touches and seven rebound 50s this season.

Read: Clarko v Woosha

James Worpel v Darcy Parish  

This pair of Geelong Falcons products are enjoying career-best seasons in 2019. Seen as the future of their respective sides’ midfield brigades, Worpel is averaging 24.7 possessions this year, while Parish is not far behind with 21.8 touches per game. Parish has been in especially good form in the past fortnight, recording 31 disposals in each outing. Watch for the pair to have an influence both on the inside and outside of the contest this Friday night.

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