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Talking points v Swans

Tom Fee  August 10, 2017 6:12 PM

AFL 2017 Round 07 - Fremantle v Essendon

Matt Taberner will make his return against the Swans.

Fremantle head east to take on the Swans on Saturday at the SCG.

Here are some of the key stats and stories heading into the game.

Everyone needs to Buddy up
Saturday will be the first meeting of Joel Hamling and Lance Franklin since the 2016 Grand Final, when Hamling held Franklin to just one goal for the day.
Ross Lyon was quick to hose down expectations of a similar effort from Hamling, despite the young defender impressing since his arrival at Fremantle.
To Lyon, a team effort is required to keep one of the AFL’s premier forwards quiet.
“Joel played well (in the Grand Final) but the Bulldogs were very fierce around the ball, there wasn’t end to end ball movement,” Lyon said.
“We’re not quite putting on that level of pressure, so that’s a point to make to the group.
“It doesn’t matter who plays on Buddy Franklin, you need good pressure around the ball otherwise he’s pretty hard to stop.”

Freo go tall
Fremantle have opted to replace the injured Brady Grey with Matt Taberner, who stands 16 centimetres taller than Grey at 197cm.
Taberner is coming off a recent purple patch in the WAFL, kicking 13 goals from three games between rounds 15 and 17.

A fearsome duo
If Fremantle is to take down the high-flying Swans, they’ll need leaders Nat Fyfe and Lachie Neale to be on top of their game in the midfield.
The Swans rank fifth in the AFL for contested possessions in 2017, while Freo rank 17th.
Fyfe and Neale have been among the league’s most fearsome midfield duo’s in recent weeks – averaging 29.8 contested possessions during their past five games.

Fyfe up for the contest
If there’s a stat that’s going to get Fremantle fans excited for the future, it’s Nat Fyfe’s contested marking numbers.
The Freo captain has lifted his marking game to an elite level, averaging more than six contested marks per game since round 15.

A tale of two Sydneys
There’s been two very distinct Sydney sides in the AFL this season, and based on form, Fremantle is in for a big test against the Swans this week.
After round six, the Swans were languishing at the bottom of the ladder with a 0-6 record. Since then, they have won 11 of their next 13 games – three more than any other team in that period.
Most recently, the Swans took down the then second-placed Cats on their home turf in an emphatic 46-point victory.

The “drought”
Frankin has kicked a single goal in each of his past two appearances – which has seen some commentators question the elite forward’s form.
Frankin has kicked 52 goals from 19 games this season, and Sydney senior coach John Longmire defended the Swan’s recent output.
"(Geelong’s) Tom Lonergan played well on him last week, you can't escape that, but we're really confident that Lance will continue to play a strong part in the team," Longmire said on Thursday.
"It's not always about kicking goals for him. Certainly when there's other players kicking goals, like there was last week, it helps spread the load.”