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Match Preview: Gold Coast v Port Adelaide

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12:  Steven May of the Suns handballs during the round eight AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Melbourne Demons at The Gabba on May 12, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images/AFL Media)

SUMMARY

For the second year in succession, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide take the game to China – and their forms are contrasting. Gold Coast put in its worst performance under coach Stuart Dew against Melbourne last Saturday, while Port is fresh off an exhilarating Showdown victory over Adelaide. Following last year's win by the Power, the pressure is on the SUNS to make this contest competitive.  After losing three games straight, things have been made even more difficult following the suspension of tall forward Sam Day, which coupled with the injury to Tom Lynch, leaves the SUNS' forward line a bit on the short side. Port has been up and down this season, but with wins over the Crows and Swans along the way, has shown that its best is still right up there.

WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium (Shanghai), Saturday, May 19, 3.15pm AEST 
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide  

LAST FIVE MEETINGS

R23, 2017, Port Adelaide 20.15 (135) d Gold Coast 3.2 (20) at Adelaide Oval
R8, 2017, Port Adelaide 16.14 (110) d Gold Coast 4.14 (38) at Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium
R23, 2016, Port Adelaide 13.11 (89) d Gold Coast 9.12 (66) at Metricon Stadium
R22, 2015, Port Adelaide 12.16 (88) d Gold Coast 7.9 (51) at Metricon Stadium
R21, 2014, Port Adelaide 7.14 (56) d Gold Coast 7.5 (47) at Metricon Stadium

FOUR POINTS

1. It will be a contest between the two best tackling teams in 2018. Gold Coast is ranked first, averaging 72.6 a game and Port Adelaide second, averaging 69.5.

2. After Gold Coast won the first meeting in 2011 the Power have dominated, winning eight consecutive matches.

3. This will be the second meeting between the teams in China and the fifth game for premiership points played outside of Australia.

4. Port Adelaide has eight players ranked in the top 100 of the AFL Player Ratings (Robbie Gray, Ollie Wines, Justin Westhoff, Tom Rockliff, Jared Polec, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak and Chad Wingard). With Jarryd Lyons and injured Tom Lynch, Gold Coast has just two.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

After escaping with a fine from Monday night's Tribunal hearing for making contact with an umpire, Gold Coast skipper Steven May will be desperate to play well. Gold Coast's season is sliding out of control and not only does it need to rectify last year's disaster in China, but also give its fans reason for hope on the eve of returning to Metricon Stadium. That starts with the skipper.

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