There’s one spot left in the Grand Final, and either Brisbane or Geelong will claim it in tonight’s Second Preliminary Final and end a longstanding drought.
The Lions (finished second, won qualifying final v Richmond) won their first final since 2009 a fortnight ago, and are now trying to qualify for their first Grand Final since 2004. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a flag at their home ground, the Gabba.
The Cats (finished fourth, lost qualifying final v Port Adelaide then won semi final v Collingwood) have now made a preliminary final in four of the last five seasons, but they haven’t won one since 2011, and they’ll be hoping to avoid more heartbreak tonight.
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The winner tonight will face Richmond in the 2020 AFL Grand Final next Saturday night. The loser will be eliminated.
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There could be a crucial late change with AFL Media reporting Brisbane defender Darcy Gardiner is in some doubt for tonight’s game.
The 25-year-old injured his knee at training during the week, according to the report, and has been on light duties ever since.
It could be a major tactical blow given the 193cm Gardiner has been expected to play on Geelong superstar Patrick Dangerfield when he goes forward, as he did to great success against Collingwood.
Jack Payne, who has played just four AFL games but is a man mountain at 197cm, is an emergency and would likely replace Gardiner in the side.
That would allow All-Australian backman Harris Andrews to play on All-Australian forward Tom Hawkins.
The Lions already made one change at selection with big-bodied midfielder Cam Ellis-Yolmen replacing young defender Kaidean Coleman in an effort to counter the Cats’ strength in contested situations.
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All AFL matches this season are being played with shortened quarters of 16 minutes (plus time on), down from 20 minutes (plus time on).
This game gets underway at 7:40pm EST from the Gabba.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 504) or stream it on Kayo.
Follow Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats in our live blog below!