Key match-ups in 2nd AFL elimination final


* Will Minson (Bulldogs) v Sam Jacobs (Crows)

Minson has been in Luke Beveridge’s doghouse since round 15 and had looked to be on the outer after managing just nine games this year, so he’ll be desperate to make the most of his surprise opportunity. Beveridge has preferred nimbler ruckmen who offer more at ground level, in his first season at the helm, so Minson will need to get on his bike and cover plenty of territory if he’s to get the job done to his coach’s satisfaction. Jacobs has been in excellent form at the stoppages. He had 52 hitouts in his last game against Geelong, but Adelaide’s onballers will need to do a better job reading his taps if they’re to get the upper hand in the clearances

* Jake Stringer (Bulldogs) v Kyle Cheney (Crows)

The combative Bulldogs’ forward, after kicking six goals against the Crows in their big win in round four, looms as a key figure again. Adelaide defender Kyle Hartigan tried and failed to curb Stringer’s influence at Etihad Stadium, which might be behind the Crows’ selection surprise in bringing in Cheney, who hasn’t played since round 13, at the expense of talented youngster Jake Lever. Cheney is more mobile than Hartigan and Lever and plays taller than his height suggests – attributes that Adelaide will be counting on to win a crucial positional battle

* Marcus Bontempelli (Bulldogs) v Patrick Dangerfield (Crows)

It’s unfair to compare ‘The Bont’ to Dangerfield at such an early stage of his career but it says something about the excitement that the young Bulldog brings to the game that he’s mentioned in the same breath as the Adelaide game breaker. Bontempelli’s highlights reel in his second AFL season probably isn’t quite as extensive as his debut year but what a stage for the young gun to unleash his undoubted talents. Equally, Dangerfield has been starved of finals opportunities in recent years and could rip this one apart. They probably won’t come across each other often on the field but their influence on their respective teams will be crucial

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