Etihad Stadium – Sunday 26 August – 3:15PM
Fremantle will be looking to increase their chance at September glory when they meet the in form North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Sitting a game ahead of ninth with only Melbourne to come in the final round, a victory on Sunday would likely mean the clubs third ever finals campaign.
To do so however, Fremantle will have to bring down a rampaging Kangaroo outfit who a fresh from a resounding win over Collingwood that saw them notch up their ninth win from 10 games.
North Melbourne also have plenty to play for, though finals is guaranteed now with only GWS to come, North still have the opportunity to host an elimination final, a chance that looked seemingly impossible after their round 10 demolition at the hands of Hawthorn.
North’s success has come off the back a high intensity game plan, focused on linking up through handballs from contests before delivering to one of their three tall forwards in Drew Petrie, Lachlan Hansen and Robbie Tarrant.
The three-pronged attack has been used to devastating effect in the past couple of months, even allowing for Petrie to act as a decoy on occasions to draw away the opposition’s best defender.
Fremantle on the other hand are less spoilt for choice up forward. Their offensive game relies heavily on captain Matthew Pavlich. Pavlich has been in scintillating form in the past 11 weeks, booting 49 goals during that period to reinvigorate the Dockers season as they march towards finals.
Unfortunately for Fremantle, Pavlich will face an uphill challenge to be fit for this fixture, after struggling through the Richmond game with hamstring, groin and achilles soreness. Should he not be able to make it for Sunday, the goals will have to come from the likes of Chris Mayne, Hayden Ballantyne and Kepler Bradley, should he retain his spot, if the Dockers are to kick a winning score.
Looking at selections, Fremantle is set to bring Nick Lower back in to the fold, who is likely to replace Mzungu who has sustained a shoulder injury. Others in contention for the senior side include Griffin, Sutcliffe and Silvagni.
North on the other hand look set to field an unchanged line up after such an impressive display Saturday night. The only potential change would be if Wells were to be fit, that is unlikely however, meaning that no changes is the likely outcome.
It looks set to be a huge game with massive ramifications; North Melbourne at home however should be strong enough to handle Fremantle, leaving a nervous final round for Fremantle.