Brisbane host Carlton at the Gabba in a highly anticipated top-eight clash between the two clubs.
The Lions (13-6, 123.3%) suffered a costly second half loss to Richmond, the club’s top four hopes are diminishing, currently placed in sixth place, with the return of Daniel Rich increasing.
Meanwhile, the Blues (12-7, 112.6%) will be looking to respond after last week’s devastating loss in Adelaide, with Michel Voss’ side suddenly in question in the top eight.
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Carlton will be without Matt Kennedy and Nick Newman through injury, with Caleb Marchbank, Jack Martin and Paddy Dow coming into the squad under Mark Pitonet.
There were no late changes for either side, with Mitch Robinson (Brisbane) and Corey Durdin (Carlton) named on medical appointments.
Lions legend Jonathan Brown has laid the pre-game acid on Daniel McStay, who has been heavily linked with a five-year, $3 million offer from Collingwood.
“He’s scored two goals in the last six weeks … he absolutely needs to pick it up,” Brown told Fox Footy.
“If the contract negotiations are bothering him, he should stop at the end of the day.
“I’m sure (business talks) behind the scenes as well because the face was so weak. They need a lot of encouragement and input as a future…otherwise you’re getting to the point where you’re starting to look complacent.
This match will be played at 3.20pm AEST from the Gabba.
Watch it live from 3pm AEST on Channel 503.
Quarter-by-quarter match report
The Lions got off to a good start with Brownlow medalist Lachie Neale scoring the Lions’ first goal in the 50th over.
But scoring – and free play – was hard to come by in the first quarter, with just one goal in the first 10 minutes.
Eric Hipwood had a golden opportunity to extend the Lions’ lead from close range but missed.
“The pressure of both sides fighting was great,” AFL legend Leigh Matthews told Channel 7. “The Lions are winning play-offs, Carlton are winning possessions – but neither side can put the ball into space.”
The Lions finally got some scoreboard reward for the effort, rushing forward on a slow Carlton transition on the wing and a simple free kick to Jarrod Berry put the Lions 14 points ahead.
“Half a dozen really bad changes at Carlton stopped any increase in output,” Matthews said.
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