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Where: The Adelaide Oval
When: 04.10 (BST)
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ANOTHER win at home for Port Adelaide would see it better placed after eight rounds than ever before – surpassing its starts to 2002, 2003 and 2004 when it claimed consecutive minor premierships before winning its only flag. Standing in the Power’s way though is football’s greatest defensive barrier – Fremantle.
The Dockers’ stopping ability is unquestioned, but their attack has lacked punch in 2014, unlike the Power’s brilliant forward line led by Jay Schulz. Can the Dockers produce enough potency at the other end of the ground to deliver Port its first home loss this year?
1. Port Adelaide been quick to build a home ground advantage at Adelaide Oval, conceding an average of just 62 points a game, while kicking an average of 131 points a game itself. Port’s average winning margin at the ground in 2014 is 69 points.
2. Port Adelaide’s biggest victory over Fremantle is 92 points in round 14, 2001 at Patersons Stadium (then Subiaco), while Fremantle’s biggest win over the Power is 79 points in round 22, 2006 at the same venue.
3. Both sides are ranked inside the top five for contested marks this year; the Dockers are ranked third with 73 marks behind Adelaide (80) and Geelong (81), while the Power are ranked fifth with 72 marks.
4. The Power have proved slightly better tacklers this year though, averaging 69 a game to the Dockers’ 64.
5. In Fremantle’s crushing victory over the Power late last year Matthew Pavlich and Hayden Ballantyne each kicked four goals and Lachie Neale was the leading ball winner with 28 possessions.
6. Remarkably, Power skipper Travis Boak (16th) is the only player on either of these two highly rated sides ranked inside the top 20 of the Official AFL Player Ratings.