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Match preview v West Coast

fremantlefc.com.au  April 26, 2018 1:52 PM

Watch the highlights from our previous games against the West Coast Eagles.

SUMMARY
The first Western Derby at Optus Stadium promises to be a cracker. Fremantle host their crosstown rivals and will be full of confidence about ending a five-game losing streak against West Coast after winning all three games at their new home so far.

Freo looks a different side at Optus, playing with flair, speed and firepower. Ross Lyon's men have averaged more than 103 points at home this season, although the coach will have to rethink his forward line after losing spearhead Matt Taberner (fractured metatarsal) against the Bulldogs.

Are you a Freo member who can’t make it to Sunday’s Derby? Put your seat up for resale via email here

Aaron Sandilands' ruck battle with West Coast duo Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett will be critical, with Freo seemingly holding an edge in midfield, especially with skipper Nat Fyfe in red-hot form.

The Eagles have defied expectations to be entrenched in the top four and will back themselves to kick a winning score if they can supply a potent tall forward line, led by Josh Kennedy.

WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Sunday, April 29, 2.40pm AWST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE TIMES

R17, 2017, West Coast 11.8 (74) d Fremantle 5.14 (44) at Subiaco Oval
R6, 2017, West Coast 16.7 (103) d Fremantle 9.8 (62) at Subiaco Oval
R20, 2016, West Coast 17.8 (110) d Fremantle 9.10 (64) at Subiaco Oval
R3, 2016, West Coast 12.20 (92) d Fremantle 8.11 (59) at Subiaco Oval
R20, 2015, West Coast 15.14 (104) d Fremantle 11.14 (80) at Subiaco Oval 

THE SIX POINTS

  1. West Coast has won the past five meetings after ending Fremantle's dominance of six consecutive wins between 2012-15. The Eagles haven’t won six consecutive contests against the Dockers since 1996-99.
  2. The first Western Derby at Optus Stadium is set to be a sell-out and will smash the previous attendance record of 43,527 in round 21, 2006. Freo's biggest home crowd (49,021) and the state sporting record (54,535) will also tumble, with about 58,000 expected.
  3. There have been promising signs for WA football in the opening five rounds. West Coast are off to their best start under Adam Simpson and can win five straight for the first time since mid-2016, while Fremantle (3-2) are hoping for their best start since winning nine in a row in 2015.
  4. The Eagles are bucking the trend with a tall forward line and are ranked No.1 for marks inside 50 (14.4 per game), while Fremantle are mid-table averaging 11.
  5. West Coast is moving the ball mainly by foot this season, ranked second for kicks and 17th for handballs, while the Dockers rank seventh and sixth respectively.
  6. Freo skipper Nat Fyfe tumbled from atop the Schick AFL Player Ratingsto 120th position after breaking his leg but the 2015 Brownlow medallist is back to his best and should be back inside the top 50 very soon.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … 
There will be critical match-ups all over the ground but Elliot Yeo's ability to restrict the influence of Dockers superstar Fyfe, who is coming off a career-high 43 touches and 13 clearances, will have a significant bearing on the contest.

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