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Match preview: St Kilda v Hawthorn

The Saints take on the Hawks at 3.20pm at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon. - St Kilda,St Kilda Saints,Hawthorn
The Saints take on the Hawks at 3.20pm at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Where and when: Marvel Stadium, Sunday April 14, 3.20pm AEST

Last time they met: Marvel Stadium, round 22, 2018: St Kilda 11.10 (76) lost to Hawthorn 12.8 (80)

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said afterwards the better side lost, going goaless in the final term but managing to hold on. Star midfielder Jaeger O'Meara was excellent for the brown and gold and Jack Gunston booted four goals, as Jack Lonie did for the Saints. 

READ: Curtain-raiser returns

What it means for St Kilda: There's a wave of positivity coming from Moorabbin, having started 2-1 in a season many predicted to be full of doom and gloom. The Saints will be desperate to keep the momentum going.

What it means for Hawthorn: No team makes finals based on their April form, but they can rule themselves out with a poor start to the season. The Hawks seemed destined for a tough stretch when Shaun Burgoyne and Liam Shiels went out with hamstring injuries but could improve to 2-0 without the duo. 

How St Kilda wins: Alan Richardson's side has been setting up well defensively, keeping them in the contest despite having plenty of talent on the sidelines. It needs to do so again. 

How Hawthorn wins: The Chad Wingard show just warmed up last week, with the Hawk working his way into the game and finishing with three goals. He'll want to produce some magic against the Saints.

The stat: Having picked up 30 disposals per match in 2017-18, Seb Ross has been a touch quieter so far this year, averaging 24.

The match-up: Ben McEvoy v Rowan Marshall

Both ruckmen impressed last week but are at different ends of the Player Ratings. McEvoy is No.15 while Marshall is No.463, having lined up in just 15 career games. 

It's a big week for: Jaeger O'Meara (Hawthorn)

The star midfielder has been going very well despite not having much support around him. He'll need to produce again, which will be made harder when Saints stopper Jack Steele inevitably goes to him. 

Big call: There will be nine lead changes before the Saints kick away late. 

Prediction: St Kilda by 14 points.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs