If you were to simply go by ladder positions, Sunday’s first match could hardly be described as a blockbuster.

But even the casual AFL fan knows these are two teams with the talent to be much higher on the standings.

The Hawks, who are 15th with a 3-7 win-loss record, are coming off last week’s agonising one-point defeat to Port Adelaide, where they were pipped at the post by the Power in an incredible finish.

They welcome back James Sicily, Jack Scrimshaw and Jack Gunston for this afternoon’s match, with Nick Watson (managed), Jai Serong (omitted) and Ethan Phillips (omitted) making way.

Luke Breust will be the Hawks’ sub this afternoon.

The Lions, last year’s beaten grand finalists, are 12th on the ladder with four wins, five losses and a draw to their name.

On paper, they have a top-four list but the 2024 season hasn’t been smooth sailing for Chris Fagan’s team.

They desperately need a win to remain in contact with the top eight, so there is plenty at stake for the visitors this afternoon.

The Lions have named former Hawk Brandon Ryan to make his senior debut for the club, while Zac Bailey returns to the line-up.

Eric Hipwood (suspension) and Shadeau Brain (omitted) are the Lions’ two outs, with Harry Sharp named as the sub.

dan