The Dockers travel to the SCG today in what looks to be one of the matches of the round.
Sydney and Fremantle are not foreign to close encounters, with the last match-up between these teams resulting in an 11-point victory to Fremantle.
Fremantle, under new coach Ross Lyon, started their 2012 campaign perfectly, beating reigning premiers Geelong in a tough fought contest.
Sydney faced AFL newcomers GWS and walked away with an expected easy victory, leaving round two as Sydney’s first real test for the year.
Fremantle certainly look to have a tougher edge in the contests under their new coach, and with Josh Kennedy, Kieran Jack, Jude Bolton, Daniel Hannebery and Ryan O’Keefe rotating through the Swans’ midfield, the Dockers will have to be at their best.
Of course, it helps when your ruckman is the giant Aaron Sandilands, who will look to give Fremantle first use of the ball wherever possible.
Aaron Sandilands vs Shane Mumford
These two will face each other at the stoppages, and it becomes not so much a question of who will win their personal battle, but rather, how much can Mumford limit Sandilands’ influence?
Competing with Sandilands in the ruck contests is difficult enough, so expect Mumford to throw himself into the congested ball in order to maintain some control on the clearance count.
Adam Goodes vs Nat Fyfe
Goodes and Fyfe appear to be very similar players: quick, lethal with the ball, accurate on goal and with an innate ability to carve a side up if given half a chance.
Obviously Fyfe is only just coming into his prime whilst Goodes has dominated for the best part of a decade, but he is equally as damaging around the stoppages.
Both are not afraid to put their head over the hard ball, but watch for their spread and carry to be vitally important on deciding who wins the game.
Lewis Jetta vs Stephen Hill
They may be lining up on opposite sides of each other, but the two livewire speedsters know they have the potential to strongly determine the result.
In the smaller confines of the SCG, their pace will become critically important, as the ability to burst out of a pack will be the difference between a shot on goal or another stoppage.
Fremantle’s victory at the SCG late last year shows they certainly have the ability to take the contested game style to the Swans and beat them with it, but this may be too tough a task.
Coming off a gruelling game against the Cats, and with Sydney having an extra week’s preparation, you would expect the Swans to have the fresher legs in the closing stages of the game, and with a match that promises to be a tight, close affair, that could be all that’s needed for the Swans to take the four points.
Sydney by 15 points.
B: Martin Mattner, Heath Grundy, Nicholas Smith
HB: Alex Johnson, Ted Richards, Nick Malceski
C: Daniel Hannebery, Kieren Jack, Rhyce Shaw
HF: Jarrad McVeigh, Sam Reid, Adam Goodes
F: Craig Bird, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Ben McGlynn
Foll: Shane Mumford, Jude Bolton, Josh P. Kennedy
I/C: Ryan O’Keefe, Gary Rohan, Lewis Jetta, Luke Parker
Emg: Jesse White, Mark Seaby, Andrejs Everitt
In: Ryan O’Keefe, Rhyce Shaw
Out: Andrejs Everitt, Harry Cunningham
Milestones: Lewis Roberts-Thomson – 150 games
B: Nick Suban, Zac Dawson, Adam McPhee
HB: Michael Johnson, Luke McPharlin, Stephen Hill
C: Josh Mellington, Ryan Crowley, Tendai Mzungu
HF: Paul Duffield, Matthew Pavlich, Jack Anthony
F: Christopher Mayne, Kepler Bradley, Zachary Clarke
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, Nathan Fyfe, Greg Broughton
I/C: Garrick Ibbotson, Matthew de Boer, Clancee Pearce, Michael Barlow
Emg: David Mundy, Jay Van Berlo, Alex Silvagni
In: Jack Anthony
Out: Hayden Ballantyne (Suspension)
Milestones: Nick Suban – 50 games
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