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Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
When: Saturday September 6 – 5.45am (BST)
Watch live: Click here to watch online with AFL Global Pass!
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The 2014 minor premiers host last year’s runners-up when the Sydney Swans take on Fremantle on Saturday at ANZ Stadium.
With the winner of this match going on to host a home preliminary final, the stakes couldn’t be much higher.
The Dockers tuned-up for this clash with a hard-fought win over Port Adelaide last week, while the Swans lost its last home-and-away game to an in-form Richmond outfit in tough conditions.
Sydney were under-strength against the Tigers, so not much can be taken from the match.
The last time these two sides met was back in Round 12, where a Lance Franklin-inspired Swans outfit defeated the Dockers by 17 points at the SCG.
Sydney’s forward line is arguably the strongest in the competition and with both Michael Johnson and Luke McPharlin out, its difficult to see the Dockers putting a stop to a front six that contains the aforementioned Franklin, Kurt Tippett and Adam Goodes.
Fremantle however will be boosted with the return of key man Nat Fyfe from suspension.
The youngster has been the Dockers’ best player all season and is a huge inclusion for Ross Lyon’s side.
Fremantle’s issues in defence, in combination of the strengths of the Swans forward line suggest John Longmire’s side should get up here.
Regardless, it should be a tight contest. Tune in!
1. Last time these teams met, Franklin struggled early before kicking four second-half goals to help the Swans get over the line. Nat Fyfe starred for Freo and Matthew Pavlich kicked four goals.
2. It will be a fierce contested possession battle on Saturday afternoon. The Swans are ranked first in the AFL in that category with 147.5 per game, while Fremantle is fourth with 143.6.
3. This will be the third final between these clubs. In 2006, the Swans won a preliminary final at ANZ Stadium, with Freo then winning another preliminary final at Patersons Stadium last season. On both occasions, the winning side went on to lose the Grand Final.
4. Most pundits say the Swans should be playing their finals at the SCG, but at ANZ Stadium they have a 6-1 record in September. Away from home in finals, Fremantle’s record is 2-5.
5. Fremantle will need to lift its tackling intensity this week. The Swans are ranked first in tackling once again this year with 73.6 per game. Freo is down in 10th with 65 per game.
6. Franklin finished the year as the top-ranked Swan in the Official AFL Player Ratings, passing Josh Kennedy and Kieren Jack late in the season to sit eighth overall. He is one place ahead of the leading Docker, Nat Fyfe.