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AFL Season Kicks Off Tonight With A GF Rematch Between The Demons And Bulldogs At The MCG

INTERNATIONAL: All expectations are there will be extra bark from the Bulldogs, who following their 74-point loss to the Demons, were said to be infuriated with the Demons after Melbourne players sang 'Freed from Desire' in the middle of Optus Stadium after the win. It was the same song the Dogs sang after their preliminary final win over Port Adelaide.

It was revealed by former Hawthorn premiership-winner Campbell Brown in the aftermath that the two sides narrowly avoided coming to blows when they crossed paths at a Perth nightclub.

"There's no use me adding fuel to it all, back then I was more disappointed that something internal had gotten out into the public domain," said Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge when asked if the players felt disrespected.

  It doesn't concern me too much, but if the players think that way, then it's up to them."

Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli said he personally has no hard feelings towards the Demons but admits the off-field drama will add that "extra spur" to the season-opener.

"I think they were just celebrating their first win in a long time and everyone treats that differently," Bontempelli told The Age last week.

"They are free to do what they want, they won (and) we lost, you have to sit there and just cop it because that's the way it goes.

"I am sure it was the case of others (teammates) being upset by it, but it's hard to know what's the game and what is not. It all just feels like it's the same after losing one.

"It is what it is, there can't be any more to it. I think it does give a bit of an extra spur to round one.

"There is always more to a game of football, especially when it comes to a friendly rivalry sense, and that happens off the back of most grand finals but especially our two teams."

Demons coach Simon Goodwin said this week his side had no intentions of disrespecting their newfound rivals.

"I sing it in the car all the time, it's on the radio," Goodwin said.

"Certainly, there was no disrespect to the Western Bulldogs one bit. It was part of a 50-song playlist with a lot of celebration that was going on."

Meanwhile, the Demons will head into tonight's clash with three changes to its premiership squad.

Harrison Petty (calf), Trent Rivers (knee), and Michael Hibberd (calf) are all out due to injury.

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