PROS: Geelong has nine home games at GMHBA Stadium, the same number as last year. The Cats will start their season against Collingwood under lights at the MCG, before a massive clash against Melbourne at their home at Kardinia Park the following Saturday. The Cats also have just one trip to Perth, where they take on Fremantle in round 20.

CONS: The Cats' opening games have strong commercial benefits but with that comes clashes against two of last year's preliminary finalists – Collingwood and Melbourne. Games against Adelaide, Greater Western Sydney, Hawthorn and West Coast following the first two makes for a difficult first six weeks of the season.

PLAY TWICE: Adelaide, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Sydney, Western Bulldogs

BYE: Round 13

FIRST FOUR WEEKS: Collingwood (a), Melbourne (h), Adelaide (a), Greater Western Sydney (h)

MAKE OR BREAK: As mentioned, Geelong's first six weeks against five of the six finalists from last season make for an incredibly tough opening to the season. The Cats have traditionally struggled following their bye and a meeting with Port Adelaide in Adelaide following the round 13 break looms as a challenging trip.

ONE TRIP WEST FOR KELLY'S GANG: Tim Kelly will face West Coast – the team he requested a trade to – once at GMHBA Stadium before a trip to play Fremantle in Perth in round 20.

WE SAY: Geelong was granted its wish of nine home games at GMHBA and history has proven playing at the venue is a distinct advantage for the Cats. Their games at Kardinia Park are not easy though, with Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, West Coast, Western Bulldogs, Sydney and Adelaide among the tough assignments. The Cats' first six weeks are as tough as any in the competition and how they fare across that stretch could be decisive for their season.