Dee inspired by haunted grand final memories

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The 2021 AFL expansive final is yet present and Richmond – for the archetypal clip since 2018 – are not contending for the premiership cup.

After a play which saw a big of clubs instrumentality to interstate hubs, adjacent contacts of COVID-19 positives miss games and matches pushed backmost a time astatine the 11th hour, Melbourne are acceptable to conscionable the Western Bulldogs successful the league's showpiece event.

It volition beryllium the archetypal clip successful VFL-AFL past the expansive last has been hosted by Western Australia and conscionable the 3rd decider played distant from the MCG. Victoria's Waverley Park held the the 1991 expansive last betwixt Hawthorn and West Coast, which the Hawks won by 53 points, and The Gabba successful Brisbane was the venue for Richmond's 31-point triumph implicit Geelong past season.

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As Melbourne, this year's reigning premiers, sprout for their archetypal emblem since defeating Collingwood by 4 points successful 1964, the fifth-placed Bulldogs volition contention for their archetypal premiership since trumping the Swans by 22 points successful 2016.

Western Bulldogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli (left) and Melbourne skipper Max Gawn. (Getty)

At what clip volition the expansive last start?

The opening bounce of the expansive last betwixt Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs is acceptable for 7:15pm AEST connected Saturday, September 25. The lucifer volition get underway astatine 5:15pm AWST, making the expansive last a twilight crippled for locals and a nighttime lucifer for those successful Australia's eastbound states.

What is the venue for the expansive final?

The AFL expansive last volition beryllium played astatine Perth Stadium.

Head-to-head

This season:

Melbourne defeated the Western Bulldogs 13.9 (87) to 8.11 (59) astatine Docklands Stadium successful May. The Bulldogs past bushed the Demons 13.7 (85) to 9.11 (65) astatine the MCG successful July.

Last gathering successful a finals match:

Melbourne haven't played the Western Bulldogs successful a finals crippled since the Dogs' Footscray days, with the Demons winning 21.18 (144) to 9.11 (65) successful a 1994 semi-final astatine the MCG.

Last gathering successful a expansive final:

Footscray bushed Melbourne 15.12 (102) to 7.9 (51) successful the 1954 expansive final. The Bulldogs broke a 62-year premiership drought successful their triumph implicit the Swans successful 2016.

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Finals form

The Demons couldn't person asked for a overmuch easier way to the expansive final, with first-placed Melbourne beating Brisbane by 33 points successful their qualifying last and downing Geelong by 83 points successful a preliminary final.

Having mislaid their past 3 games of the regular play to gaffe from the apical four, the fifth-placed Western Bulldogs were tasked with winning 4 finals games to instrumentality retired the flag. They began with a 49-point thumping of Essendon successful an elimination final, pipped the Lions by 1 constituent successful a semi-final marred by umpire controversies and obliterated Port Adelaide by 71 points successful a preliminary final.

What they said

Melbourne defender Jake Lever connected however his mentation for this year's expansive last differs to his lead-in to the 2017 decider with Adelaide, successful which Richmond defeated the Crows successful an upset:

"If you look astatine 2017, I deliberation Adelaide was astir apt the favourites going successful and you astir commencement to ideate what it's similar and everything similar that. For maine I've truly tried to enactment successful the infinitesimal this time."

Western Bulldogs backman Caleb Daniel connected however this twelvemonth differs to 2016:

"It's a wholly antithetic team, wholly antithetic personalities wrong the team, truthful we're trying ... to constitute a caller story, constitute our ain story."

Richmond's Dustin Martin (left) and Noah Bolta observe with the 2020 premiership cupful aft beating the Geelong Cats astatine The Gabba. (Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

Odds (by Sportsbet)

Melbourne $1.64, Western Bulldogs $2.26.

Key stats

Melbourne are acceptable to diagnostic successful their 17th expansive final, from which they've won 12 and mislaid five. Victory against the Western Bulldogs would enactment Melbourne level with Richmond and Hawthorn, who person some won 13 premierships. Essendon and Collingwood pb the battalion with 16 expansive last wins, and Collingwood are moving 3rd with 15.

The Bulldogs, successful taking into relationship their Footscray history, are acceptable to vie successful their 3rd expansive final. The nine has won the lone 2 deciders it's contested. A triumph implicit the Demons would gully the Bulldogs level with the Brisbane Lions connected 3 premierships.

Who volition umpire the expansive final?

Matt Stevic (426 games, 48 finals), Brett Rosebury (457 games, 46 finals) and Jacob Mollison (281 games, 7 finals) person been revealed arsenic the umpires for the expansive final. While Stevic and Rosebury are some acceptable to officiate a ninth decider, Mollison is connected the cusp of his expansive last debut.

Western Bulldogs young weapon Cody Weightman during a expansive last week grooming session. (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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Grand last tickets

Tickets person sold out. The 60,000-seat capableness stadium is acceptable to beryllium flooded with attendees.

Recent expansive last history

2020: Richmond 12.9 (81) defeated Geelong Cats 7.8 (50)

2019: Richmond 17.12 (114) defeated GWS Giants 3.7 (25)

2018: West Coast Eagles 11.13 (79) defeated Collingwood 11.8 (74)

2017: Richmond 16.12 (108) defeated Adelaide Crows 8.12 (60)

2016: Western Bulldogs 13.11 (89) defeated Sydney Swans 10.7 (67)

2015: Hawthorn 16.11 (107) defeated West Coast Eagles 8.13 (61)

2014: Hawthorn 21.11 (137) defeated Sydney Swans 11.8 (74)

2013: Hawthorn 11.11 (77) defeated Fremantle 8.14 (62)

2012: Sydney Swans 14.7 (91) defeated Hawthorn 11.15 (81)

2011: Geelong Cats 18.11 (119) defeated Collingwood 12.9 (81)

2010 (replay): Collingwood 16.12 (108) defeated St Kilda 7.10 (52)

The Swans spell ballistic arsenic Nick Malceski boots the match-sealing extremity precocious successful Sydney's epic 10-point triumph implicit Hawthorn successful the 2012 expansive final. (Getty)

Grand last amusement line-up

The pre-game amusement volition erstwhile again spot Mike Brady execute his iconic Up There Cazaly remotely from Melbourne, conscionable arsenic helium did past twelvemonth erstwhile the expansive last was hosted by The Gabba.

The pre-game amusement volition besides diagnostic a big of Western Australian artists, including John Butler, Eskimo Joe, Abbe May, Stella Donnelly and duo Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, arsenic good arsenic sisters Donna Simpson and Vikki Thorn from Australian radical The Waifs.

In summation to that pre-game entertainment, Men astatine Work pb vocalist Colin Hay volition execute with 2019 Young Australian of the Year Danzal Baker, besides known arsenic Baker Bay.

The half-time amusement volition past spot The Birds of Tokyo execute alongside the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. The Birds of Tokyo featured successful the AFL's pre-game and half-time 2013 expansive last entertainment.

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