By Tom Sermani @tom_sermani
Sydney $1.45 -14.5
Fremantle $3.05 +16.5
Points Total Line: 157.5
Sydney: Won four of last five – only loss to Richmond in round 22.
Fremantle: Won four of last five – only loss to Geelong in round 20.
Over/Under Points Record:
Sydney: 9 over, 13 under (1/2 at MCG)
Geelong: 8 over, 14 under (1/1 at MCG)
Sydney: Kennedy, Franklin, Pyke, Bird and McGlynn return in place of Biggs, Towers, Mitchell, Naismith and Jones. .
Fremantle: Silvagni, Fyfe and Griffin return for Johnson, Crozier and Suban.
Nick Smith will probably get the job of limiting the offensive output of Fremantle’s Haydn Ballantyne and this match up will be key to the outcome of the game. Smith has had an outstanding season at half back and he’s probably unwittingly put himself out of contention of getting back in the Swans midfield, where he’d prefer to play, with his performances in defence this year.
Franklin kicked four second half goals the last time these two teams met and in what is likely to be a low scoring affair his goal scoring prowess could be the difference between a win and a loss for the Swans.
Simply put, when Buddy is on song there’s not a defender in the league who can cope with him. Fremantle are missing two of their best defenders in Johnson and McPharlin and that could really hurt them.
Haydn Ballantyne must win his battle with Nick Smith and the Swans back line if Fremantle are to come away from ANZ Stadium with a win on Saturday. When he’s on song the Dockers are a formidable attacking force but when he’s not, Freo do not pose enough attacking threat despite having Matthew Pavlich among their ranks.
With Johnson and McPharlin missing the job of marking either Lance Franklin or Kurt Tippett will fall in the hands of Alex Silvagni. He’s played 45 games in his Fremantle career since 2010 and just six in 2014. If Silvagni isn’t up to the task then it could get messy for Freo.
Last 10 meetings between the teams:
Sydney have won five of the last ten, Fremantle have won four and there has been one draw.
Average winning margin is 16.5 points.
The two sides last met in round five when the Swans were floundering at 1-3 while the Dockers had started well and were sat with a 3-1 record. Sydney won that day 59-55 with a second quarter score of 24-2 that could have been even greater in favour of the Swans as they kicked 3-6 in that quarter.
This match is at ANZ and while most Swans fans would seemingly prefer it to be at the SCG Sydney hold a 6-1 record in September at tomorrow afternoon’s venue.
It’s hard to look past the Swans here, with home advantage and with key defensive outs for the Dockers.