Home ground no help: Brisbane Lions coach

Rob Forsaith
Lions coach Chris Fagan has downplayed the significance of Brisbane playing at home on the Gabba

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has pointed to the FIFA World Cup, Ashes tours and his own AFL team's finals failure as evidence that home-ground advantage is overrated.

The Gabba is shaping as the most likely host of this season's grand final, while Queensland will soon be the adopted home of all 10 Victorian teams because of COVID-19.

It has prompted debate about the fairness of an incredibly unique fixture, with some pundits arguing the Lions have been given a leg up.

Fagan doesn't buy it, claiming it is wrong to assume that playing at home "gives you any advantage whatsoever".

"Look at sport across the world. If that was right then Australia could never go to England and win an Ashes series," Fagan said.

"But they've done that.

"Every team that plays at home in the World Cup, if they're a great soccer nation then you'd think they would win, but they don't.

"Have a look at the history of sport, it's no guarantee of anything."

Fagan also highlighted his club's experience in 2019, when they lost just once at the Gabba during the regular season then crashed out of the finals with consecutive defeats at the same venue.

"As good as our record was ... we lost two finals at the Gabba against really good sides," he said.

"There are a lot of good teams and anybody can win anywhere at any time.

"And the longer teams spend in any one area, the more they adapt."

Fagan acknowledged his team will likely have to play games outside Queensland as the AFL tries to maintain some form of competitive balance.

The fourth-year coach suggested that staging the grand final in Brisbane should be given strong consideration, but the debate was premature.

"The AFL has got contractual obligations to the MCG and I think they'll let that ride out for as long as they can before making a decision," he said.

Brisbane are undefeated at the Gabba this season, but 0-2 in games at other venues.

The Lions have a golden chance to prove they can deliver their best outside Queensland on Saturday, when they face GWS at Giants Stadium.

Fagan named an unchanged side for the 2019 semi-final rematch, backing his charges to prove a costly third-quarter lapse against Geelong is not a fair reflection of their form.

"We've had one bad quarter in five weeks," he said.