Adelaide v Fremantle AFL Semi-Final

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The Dockers' hopes hinge on Matthew Pavlich being fit. Image courtesy of Getty Images/
Fremantle got its finals campaign off to a stellar start last weekend beating reigning premier Geelong at the MCG.  Whether they can back that up against the Crows in Adelaide is another story.  The Dockers haven’t travelled away from home two weeks in a row since 2001, but a 7-4 record interstate this season suggests Ross Lyon has toughened his team up when playing away from Perth.

Whether Adelaide is the real deal, or a team that benefited from a soft draw, will be found out on Friday night.  They won both matches against Freo this year comfortably, and Taylor Walker kicked four goals in both of those wins, so look to him in goalkicking markets, especially as the Dockers are still without star fullback Luke McPharlin (hamstring).

Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley put the clamps on Crows star Scott Thompson in both games this year, with the skipper averaging just 17 possessions across those matches.  Rory Sloane picked up the slack in round 10 with 33 disposals in the west, including a whopping nine clearances.  Brownlow Medal chance Patrick Dangerfield has also had the Dockers’ measure this season, picking up an average of 33 possessions across the two wins, making him a prime target for punters looking at the market for most disposals.

Where it Wiill be Won - This match could well hinge on how well Fremantle great Matthew Pavlich comes through the game. His ongoing Achilles injury didn’t stop him from tearing Geelong apart last week with six majors, and with Rising Star winner Daniel Talia (arm) out for the season, the Crows are down a key defender. Ben Rutten has the size to match-up on Pavlich, but won’t be able to match the leg-speed of the Freo champion.

Prediction – Don’t expect a high-octane, open game. These are two of the best contested possession teams in the league, but the tap work of Aaron Sandilands might just allow Freo to win the battle in tight. Fremantle 1-24

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