Flip Of The Coin In Perth

Picture: Getty Images/adelaidenow.com.au
Matthew Pavlich makes his 300th appearence for Fremantle this Saturday night. Picture: Getty Images/adelaidenow.com.au

Fremantle v Geelong
Patersons Stadium
Saturday May 17 – 7:40 PM (AEST)

Geelong: WWWLW


A clash between Fremantle  and Geelong  highlights Round 9 of the AFL. The two premiership heavyweights face off in an even encounter at Patersons Stadium on Saturday.

The Dockers and Geelong have built up a fiery rivalry ever since a loud-mouth, irritating Hayden Ballentyne was punched in the jaw by Matthew Scarlett in 2012. Ironically, Ballentyne is fighting to be fit ahead of this clash after surgery on a broken jaw suffered in the match against Port last week. Ballentyne will be a massive boost if he is declared, but his sledging may not be up to his usual antagonising standards. Key defender Zac Dawson is also an injury worry for coach Ross Lyon heading into Saturday night’s clash, but both are given strong chances to play. Whatever the lineup is, they will be keen to celebrate a win for captain Matthew Pavlish who makes his 300th appearance.

The Cats profited from a timely bye last week after their Round 7 win over Richmond. Geelong looked shaky in the 5-point win over the Tigers, but the week off has allowed players to regain fitness. One big inclusion into the Cats' squad this week is defender Andrew Mackie who has recovered from a hamstring injury which has sidelined him for the past two games. The 29-year-old is likely to replace midfielder Matthew Stokes, who copped a one-match suspension for his part in a fight during the win over the Tigers. Jordan Schroder, Jesse Stringer and Mitch Brown were solid performers in the club’s VFL side last week and will be knocking on the door for a run with the senior squad.

Saturday night’s match, as the betting market suggests, is really a toss of the coin. Geelong will be out for redemption following two finals defeats to the Dockers in as many years, while Fremantle will be eager to keep their run of form going. Freo have the home advantage which could prove decisive, but in such an even match, it’s hard to rule out either side to take the spoils.


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