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Adelaide host Melbourne to kick off Gather Round

Gather Round sees all 18 clubs in action, with Adelaide desperate for a win and Melbourne aiming to maintain momentum.

All 18 clubs are set to take the field for only the second time this season as the competition converges on South Australia for Gather Round.

At the forefront, four teams remain undefeated with three wins apiece, while Adelaide finds itself among the five clubs still seeking their first victory and will commence the round against Melbourne on Thursday.

The anticipation mounts as Port Adelaide prepares to host Essendon in a Friday night spectacle, yet the true highlights of the round lie within the Fremantle-Carlton and Western Bulldogs-Geelong showdowns at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Here’s a breakdown of what to watch for during Gather Round, alongside a tip for each match.

For Adelaide (0-3), it’s a critical juncture as they launch into Gather Round following three consecutive defeats, leaving their aspirations of reaching the finals teetering on the edge. While playing on their home turf might provide the Crows with a much-needed morale boost, the Demons’ display against Port Adelaide last week showcased their resilience, indicating a formidable challenge awaits on Adelaide Oval.

Meanwhile, Melbourne (3-1) demonstrated resilience of their own in their round three clash against Port Adelaide, snatching victory despite the latter’s dominance for much of the game. With a firing forward line, bolstered by Ben Brown’s crucial goals, the Demons approach their encounter with Adelaide, a team grappling with issues at both ends, with confidence.

Key Players:
Adelaide’s fortunes may hinge on the leadership of Captain Jordan Dawson, tasked with igniting a spark in a team under scrutiny for its struggles in stoppages and fluidity in ball movement. While Dawson possesses the capability to influence both facets of play, he’ll need to improve his kicking efficiency, which has dwindled to 49%, compared to his previous seasons’ average of above 70%.

For Melbourne, Alex Neal-Bullen’s recent performances have elevated him from the shadows into the limelight, particularly evident in his impactful display against Port Adelaide. Consistently accumulating 24 disposals over the past two weeks, Neal-Bullen’s addition of two goals against the Power underscores his versatility and potency within Melbourne’s forward line, reinforcing his status as a formidable asset for the Demons.

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