Fremantle v Port Adelaide
Where and When: Patersons Stadium, Sunday, May 13, 4:40pm
It’s going to be an unpredictable contest as Fremantle host Port Adelaide in Perth.
Fremantle currently sit eighth on the ladder, albeit unconvincingly so far, while Port Adelaide have been under the pump this week and sit 15th.
Matthew Primus’ job has been questioned, so the main query is how the Power will respond to this week’s criticism.
It will have to be a huge reversal on last week’s loss as Fremantle’s fortress, with Ross Lyon’s defensive efforts at the helm, is difficult to penetrate.
Fremantle have proved successful and ugly over the past few weeks, and sit 4-2 with criticism because of it.
They remain fast-paced at times but there’s no doubt that Ross Lyon has enforced a strong defensive mindset, which has effected their scoring capacity at times.
However, their potential to score increases with the return of Aaron Sandilands, replacing the unfortunate Jon Griffin.
With home-ground advantage, good form and a positive return, you’d find it difficult to see a result other than a Fremantle victory with their overall quality on every line.
Port Adelaide have been on the receiving end this season, after looking promising and then faltering against Richmond at home last week.
They are 15th on the ladder, an improvement on last season, but still remain in the line of fire despite having a young and promising side.
They boast an impressive-looking midfield containing the likes of Domenic Cassisi, Travis Boak, Kane Cornes, Hamish Hartlett and the impressive recruit Brad Ebert, who knows Subiaco well, being a former Eagle.
With only Brent Renouf in the ruck, Port Adelaide’s midfielders will have to read Sandilands’ hit-outs as well as Renouf’s, because they do have the capability to outplay Fremantle.
Players to Watch
Stephen Hill: (Fremantle)
He’s been fairly average coming into his fourth season and he’s the type of player who’ll love the open space. He’ll need to utilise his pace to win more of the footy and hit the scoreboard.
Brad Ebert: (Port Adelaide)
The younger brother of now-teammate Brett, he played at Subiaco for the start of his career and knows it like the back of his hand. Expect him to play well especially.
Port Adelaide look impressive through the centre, but whether they can translate that to Subiaco and through Fremantle’s tight defence is the big question.
They’ll bounce back, and they’ll come close. But Fremantle will win with the home-ground advantage.
Verdict: Fremantle by 25 points
B: Garrick Ibbotson, Zac Dawson, Adam McPhee
HB: Michael Johnson, Luke McPharlin, Tendai Mzungu
C: Paul Duffield, Ryan Crowley, Stephen Hill
HF: Matt De Boer, Chris Mayne, Clancee Pearce
F: Hayden Ballantyne, Matthew Pavlich, Zac Clarke
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Michael Barlow
I/C: Greg Broughton, Lachie Neale, Lee Spurr
Sub: Dylan Roberton
Emg: Jon Griffin, Jay van Berlo, Alex Silvagni
In: Aaron Sandilands
Out: Jon Griffin
B: Jackson Trengove, Alipate Carlile, Jacob Surjan
HB: Tom Logan, Troy Chaplin, Ben Jacobs
C: Kane Cornes, Domenic Cassisi, John McCarthy
HF: Hamish Hartlett, Justin Westhoff, Matthew Broadbent
F: David Rodan, Daniel Stewart, John Butcher
Foll: Brent Renouf, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak
I/C: Simon Phillips, Paul Stewart, Aaron Young
Sub: Brett Ebert
Emg: Cameron O’Shea, Danyle Pearce, Darren Pfeiffer
In: Brett Ebert, Simon Phillips
Out: Darren Pfeiffer, Cameron Hitchcock