Geelong relish high-stakes Bulldogs clash

Chris Scott says Geelong can't wait for another high-stakes AFL clash with the Western Bulldogs.
Chris Scott says Geelong can't wait for another high-stakes AFL clash with the Western Bulldogs.

Only 7000 fans will be allowed at GMHBA Stadium when Geelong take on the Western Bulldogs but the stakes couldn't be higher in the AFL top-three clash.

The Bulldogs can leapfrog Melbourne into top spot with a win while the Cats can draw level with Luke Beveridge's side on points if they seal their sixth victory on the bounce.

For Geelong, Friday night's game is the second of three key fixtures, sandwiched between last week's away win over Port Adelaide and next week's trip to Brisbane.

"This trio of games always loomed large once we saw some exposed form this year," Geelong coach Chris Scott said.

"It's a good test, it gives us a little bit of a chance to see where we're at but there's even more than that at stake

"There's spots on the ladder up for grabs, so it takes on extra importance in a really tight comp as well

"I'm finding it hard to forecast exactly how the cards are gonna fall int he second half of the year

"So every time you can find a way to get over one of the clubs that's close to you on the ladder is always a big bonus."

The Demons had great success using James Harmes in a tagging role on Tom Liberatore when they beat the Bulldogs but Scott said shutting down the ball-winner wasn't necessarily Geelong's biggest focus.

"Some clubs have put some work into their damaging ball-users behind the ball - Bailey Dale, Caleb Daniel," Scott said.

"... (Marcus) Bontempelli might be the best player in the competition, (Jack) Macrae's the leading disposal-winner in the competition and Libba's one of the better contested stoppage players.

"That's not even thinking about their players that are ahead of the ball.

"We've still got a little bit of work to do to decide exactly which way we go.

"But I think I say a lot: if you focus your attention on one of them, the rest of them get you - so we'll prioritise balance over anything."

Australian Associated Press