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Match preview v GWS

Nat Fyfe in action against GWS in round 19, 2017. - Fremantle,Fremantle Dockers
Nat Fyfe in action against GWS in round 19, 2017.

After avoiding suspension for his hit on Gold Coast midfielder Jarryd Lyons, Fremantle ruck Aaron Sandilands looms as a key player against the Giants in Canberra. The veteran gets his hands on the footy so much around stoppages that his onballers get plenty of opportunities, and with Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe in stunning form, Fremantle will be looking to gain control of the midfield battle. Fyfe and Lachie Neale shared 21 clearances against the Suns but GWS star Stephen Coniglio has started the season brilliantly, and with Josh Kelly, Dylan Shiel and Callan Ward alongside him, the Giants' midfield can match that of Fremantle’s. Freo defender Alex Pearce has taken some big-name scalps so far this year in his return to footy and gun Giant Jeremy Cameron might be the next forward in his sights this week, but if the home side can give him decent supply, stopping Cameron might be his hardest task of the season.

WHERE AND WHEN: UNSW Canberra Oval, Saturday, April 14, 1.45pm EST (11:45am WST)

TV AND RADIO:  Click here for broadcast guide

R19, 2017, GWS 13.20 (98) d Fremantle 13.8 (86) at Spotless Stadium
R22, 2016, GWS 19.15 (129) d Fremantle 5.7 (37) at Spotless Stadium
R7, 2016, GWS 14.11 (95) d Fremantle 11.11 (77) at Subiaco Oval
R18, 2015, Fremantle 12.12 (84) d GWS 9.9 (63) at Subiaco Oval
R17, 2014, Fremantle 21.10 (136) d GWS 9.6 (60) at Subiaco Oval

1. The Giants trailed by 15 points at three-quarter time against Fremantle in 2017 before kicking five final-quarter goals to two. Stephen Coniglio starred with 27 disposals and six tackles.

2. GWS is ranked fourth for inside 50s and second for marks inside 50; Fremantle is ninth for inside 50s and equal 12thfor marks.

3. The Giants and Dockers will clash for the eighth time and Fremantle holds a narrow advantage, winning four games to three. Fremantle won the first four games, but GWS has won the past three.

4. Fremantle's scoring has improved this season; in 2017 Freo averaged just 73 points per game, but so far in 2018 they're averaging 87. The Giants are ranked second for scoring in 2018, kicking 105 points per game.

5. The Giants have dominated their opposition at UNSW Canberra Oval recently winning their last seven matches, including three by more than 80 points. Fremantle has played in Canberra once before in round 15, 2002, losing to North Melbourne by one point.

6. It's hard to believe the Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe (51st) isn't ranked inside the top 50 of the Schick Official AFL Player Ratings, but coming off 38 possessions, 14 clearances, eight tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal, he'll be roaring up the rankings in no time.

Fremantle forward Cam McCarthy starred the last time he was in Canberra with five goals as the Giants beat Gold Coast in round four, 2015, and he'll need another big haul if the Dockers are to beat his old side. 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs