Demons expect star AFL duo to face Saints

Melissa Woods
Melbourne expect Jesse Hogan to hit the scoreboard this weekend after a lean couple of weeks

Melbourne are confident their last-start inability to convert a plethora of inside 50s into goals was an aberration and they will be back to their scoring best on Sunday against St Kilda.

The Demons are the highest-scoring AFL side this season, averaging 103 points per game, but their radar was way off against Port Adelaide.

They had 69 inside 50s - 30 more than their opponents - and led almost all night, only for the Power to hit the front in the final quarter and go on to win by 10 points.

"It certainly hasn't been a major issue for us throughout the year," coach Simon Goodwin said.

"Clearly we score relatively well so it's not a major concern - I'd rather have the problem we had last week - but the important thing for me is that we continue to get the supply.

"When you get that amount of supply you'll win the majority of games."

The finger was pointed at key forward Jesse Hogan, who has been goalless and managed only five marks in the past two games.

Goodwin felt the 23-year-old would return to top form against the Saints and help return the team to the winner's circle after two losses.

"He's not in the form we'd like him to be, and he'd like to be but he's not far away.

"Jesse is a young player who's going through an ebb and flow but he'll be the commanding Jesse Hogan that we know this weekend."

While the Demons haven't usually had any trouble scoring, the gun-shy Saints are ranked 16th in that statistic.

But after finally breaking through for their second victory of the season against Gold Coast, Goodwin expects St Kilda to build some momentum.

"They're coming off a really good win and that's the sort of victory in a club that can change belief and feeling.

"They've obviously tinkered with a few things and we're expecting them to be at their best."

The Demons will give star forward Tom McDonald until Saturday to prove his fitness but believe he will get the green light, while defender Neville Jetta has overcome an ankle injury.

McDonald suffered a bruised lung following a heavy bump but has been cleared by a specialist.

"He's recovered really strongly, really positive signs," Goodwin said.

"He'll do some work on Thursday morning at training but will more really test himself out on Saturday.

"We're really confident he'll be playing this week."