Fremantle take on North Melbourne on Saturday night at Domain Stadium, in the club’s 22nd Len Hall Tribute Game.
Ladder tells more than one story
North Melbourne may sit 17th with a 0-4 record, but their win-loss record doesn’t truly reflect the Kangaroos’ season so far.
All four of the Roos’ losses have come against in-form sides that currently sit in the top six, including a one-point loss to Geelong and a three-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.
Fremantle may have eight points to their name, but North has a superior percentage at 80 compared to Freo’s 74.1.
No question marks with Freo stars
Both Michael Walters and Stephen Hill enter the Saturday night clash under an injury cloud, but senior coach Ross Lyon said he expects both to be ready to go.
“Sonny (Walters) got up last week so he’ll get up this week,” Lyon said.
“He’s in a lot better shape. I think he had 20 (disposals) and kicked one (goal) in a really courageous effort so we expect him to be better again.”
“And Stephen’s a bit like Michael was last week. He had a cork and he’ll get to the line ok.”
Surprise ruck omission
Fremantle have played for the past fortnight without a specialist backup ruckman and now North Melbourne are following suit with the 206cm Braydon Preuss rested after an impressive start to his AFL career.
With tall forward Majak Daw playing in the VFL this week, Ben Brown seems most likely to relieve Todd Goldstein, while Freo defender Michael Johnson is slated to continue the backup ruck role with Freo.
Get ready for another Sandi v Goldy showdown on Saturday night. Fremantle and North Melbourne lead the competition for hitouts, with Freo averaging 53 per game and North second with 46.8.
Freo are second in the league for hitouts to advantage with an average of 16 per game, with North sixth averaging 12.5.
Once the ball hits ground level, Fremantle have been more able to capitalise on their advantage, sitting fourth for clearances with North 13th in the AFL.
Anzac weekend redemption?
The Kangaroos have won just two of their past 11 matches at Domain Stadium, but one of those came the last time the two sides met in a Len Hall Tribute Game. Nat Fyfe starred on the day with 33 touches and two goals, but the Kangaroos ran out victors with a 10.14 (74) to 8.13 (61) win.