AFL W2W4, Round 4: Do the Demons tinker, or stick fat?

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Longmire supports drop-in SCG wicket (0:54)

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire says he supports a drop-in wicket at the SCG amid controversy over the pitch's condition. (0:54)

The AFL ladder looks like some sort of Bizarro World, the Demons and Tigers are in all sorts of trouble and Queensland footy is shining - the first three rounds have had it all.

Here's What To Watch For in Round 4.

Do the Demons mix things up, or stick fat?

Melbourne's dire position at the foot of the table is well documented, but it's the way the Demons have lost that's most concerning for the red and blue faithful: Smashed on the outside through the midfield, their defence picked apart with ease and their entries forward nothing short of a dog's breakfast.

And it's not like they're trying to implement a new game plan either, with the Dees ranking second in the league for clearances and third in inside 50s this season - areas they also dominated last year.

The Demons are the league's No. 1 team for Champion Data's pressure factor index, which sounds great, but the downside of their love affair with contested footy is the fact Melbourne also receive the most pressure in the league, with their -11 pressure differential is the second worst in the AFL behind Richmond. All that pressure means the Dees cough up the ball more than they should, averaging only 4.2 disposals per turnover - the worst of any side in the comp.

So after their rise in 2018, have their opponents put more time into them and worked them out? Or is it the new rules, which have opened up space around the ground? Or are the underdone Demons simply out of form? Perhaps it's all of the above.

But before the season slips away, Simon Goodwin and his coaching staff face a big decision: Stick fat with the gameplan that worked so well last year and hope for an improvement, or tinker with things and look to address the team's inadequacies?

Perhaps they look to go more man-on-man around the ground? Do they slow their frenetic ball movement down and look to adopt a more kick-mark game? Or maybe they make some big changes at the selection changes?

Whatever they do, history says they can't let four points go begging: Since 1996, there have been 34 teams go 0-4 and only one has made finals - ironically their opponents on Thursday night, Sydney, in 2017.

Can the Tigers overcome further setbacks?

For the first time in a decade, Richmond enters a game without their awesome foursome.

No Alex Rance (ACL), Jack Riewoldt (wrist), Trent Cotchin (hamstring) and Dustin Martin (suspension) would frighten even the most optimistic Tigers supporter, but can they overcome their star outs and prove to the competition they are still a genuine flag threat?

Damien Hardwick's side face the 2-1 Power at Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon, a game where they are almost a 4-1 outsider. If it weren't for the Tom Lynch signing in the off-season, they might have gone in as an even greater underdog.

While Lynch can somewhat cover Riewoldt in the forward line and Dylan Grimes' return from suspension will bolster the weakened defence, question marks remain in the centre of the ground.

Without Cotchin and Martin, the pressure is firmly on Dion Prestia and Kane Lambert who will shoulder the bulk of the midfield load. Both have been inconsistent in 2019 and have to fire against a Power midfield that boasts the likes of Ollie Wines, Tom Rockliff, Sam Powell-Pepper, Robbie Gray and Travis Boak.

It's certainly going to be a tough ask, but let's give the Tigers one more week before we draw a line through them.

Are we due a Giant breakthrough at the Cattery?

The scene has been set for what might be the round's most interesting clash. The Giants are yet to taste victory down at the Cattery, but after last week's demolition of an (admittedly) undermanned Richmond, the challenge to take another big scalp has been laid down.

Geelong are undefeated on the back of three noteworthy wins of their own; their upset of Collingwood in Round 1 was impressive, as was their demolition of Melbourne, while their win over the Crows in Adelaide was the catalyst for chatter about the Cats' top four chances.

The Giants haven't travelled well in recent times. Their one loss this year came on the road at the hands of the Eagles, and while there's no shame in losing to the reigning premiers on their patch, they'll want to improve that aspect of their game considering their last win outside of Canberra and New South Wales came against Carlton in Round 20 last year.

Their triumph win over Richmond might just kick them into some irresistible form. Jeremy Cameron kicked 7 and collected 30 touches and will prove to be a handful for Geelong's key backs, while Jeremy Finlayson's five goals against the Tigers means he's a left-field threat the Giants can use to swing momentum. Stephen Coniglio was again prominent while Lachie Whitfield's stock has, almost unbelievably, risen another level.

And while the collective stories of three-game Cats Gryan Miers, Charlie Constable and Jordan Clark have all been romanticised, history would suggest their inexperience will shine through at some point throughout the year.

A hardened GWS side might just be the opposition to do it on their way to a maiden win at GMHBA Stadium.