Patrick Dangerfield was Fremantle's nemesis last season. Image courtesy of Wayne Ludbey/News Limited
Last Five Meetings
First Semi Final, 2012 – Adelaide 81 d Fremantle 71 (AAMI Stadium)
Round 20, 2012 – Adelaide 119 d Fremantle 91 (AAMI Stadium)
Round 10, 2012 – Adelaide 111 d Fremantle 82 (Patersons Stadium)
Round 3, 2011 – Fremantle 79 d Adelaide 54 (AAMI Stadium)
Round 11, 2010 – Adelaide 105 d Fremantle 82 (AAMI Stadium)
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By all rights the Crows should be coming in to this match on the back of a loss to North Melbourne. Instead, Adelaide is riding high after its astonishing final quarter comeback against the Kangaroos, kicking a stack of late goals to sneak home by one point . The luckless ‘Roos are, without doubt, the best team the Crows have beaten in 2013, but the fact is their wins have come against five of the bottom six teams on the ladder.
Fremantle had little more than a training run against Melbourne on Sunday. Including the draw with Sydney, the Dockers are now on a five-game unbeaten run, and Ross Lyon has his team winning even when short-handed.
The Dockers at least get one of their big guns back this week. Speedy and creative midfielder Stephen Hill will add some spark around the ground after spending a few weeks out with a nagging quad injury.
(Crows) Patrick Dangerfield – The Dockers struggled to keep speed machine Patrick Dangerfield under wraps in their two clashes in the home and away season last year, and not surprisingly, the closest they got to beating the Crows was the 10-point loss in the finals when he was kept to just 18 touches. After a sluggish start to the year, the Brownlow Medal fancy has picked up his game the past month and collected 30 possessions in the win over North. Much like he was in the prelim final against Hawthorn last season, the 22-year-old was near unstoppable in his final quarter rampage. Fremantle has a strong-bodied midfield, but they don’t have anyone with the speed to go with Dangerfield.
(Dockers) David Mundy – He gets very little kudos for his work in Fremantle’s midfield, but David Mundy is in the upper echelon of midfielders in the AFL. Even without centre square cohort Aaron Sandilands, Mundy remains among the league leaders in clearances, just behind his more heralded teammate, Nathan Fyfe. With Sam Jacobs clearly out of form, the stoppages is one area where Freo could really get the upper hand.
Adelaide has won five of the past six against Fremantle at AAMI Stadium, including last season’s win in the second week of the finals. Taylor Walker was the man who broke that tight contest open with five goals, and Adelaide doesn’t have him to call upon this time around. You have to wonder which is the real Adelaide; the team which struggled for most of the match against North Melbourne, or the one that came home with a wet sail in the final ten minutes. Given both teams are missing their weapons up forward, it could be another slugfest, much like the last meeting between these teams. Freo could just have the edge coming off its easy win over the Demons. Dockers by 9 points
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