The Western Bulldogs are wary of a new-look Melbourne as they have their first foray away from the Etihad Stadium kennel this AFL season.
After seven games under the roof at Docklands, the Bulldogs are at the MCG this Sunday.
The Demons are showing strong signs of life at 4-3 and Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is impressed.
“They’ve improved their game quite significantly and they’re a different side,” he said.
“What are they – (fourth) in overall points for, which is a dramatic change, and credit to them.
“We know we’ll be challenged in that defence again.
“But if we get the balance right like we did against the Crows, then we’ll be hard to beat.”
While the Demons thrashed Gold Coast by 73 points last weekend, the Bulldogs fought off Adelaide in the last quarter to win by 15 points.
But the `Dogs will go into Sunday without Marcus Adams, who had surgery on Wednesday for a fractured finger.
It is another injury blow to their miserly defence, which has conceded the least points in the league so far this season.
Playing at the MCG means an extra challenge for the Bulldogs defence, given it is a wider ground than Etihad Stadium.
“We’ve been able to defend on Etihad, which everyone knows is a pretty quick deck for the most part – not so well against the Crows,” Beveridge said.
“But the MCG will just present that little bit of extra width to us (and) provide a bit more spice to it.”
Like his captain Easton Wood, Beveridge is excited about their first game at the MCG since last year’s epic elimination final loss to Adelaide.
“The boys love playing at Etihad, but the MCG is our Colisseum, I suppose, when you think about it,” Beveridge said..
“The boys are looking forward to getting out on the big arena.”
Beveridge tried to play down the significance of having the first seven games at their home ground.
“It looks okay on paper, playing the first seven games at your home deck – I would have liked to have been 7-0 rather than 5-2,” he said.