GEELONG v FREMANTLE
GMHBA STADIUM, 2:10PM SAT
GMHBA STADIUM, 2:10PM SAT
With an incredible four of their last five matches against the Hawks decided by less than two goals, the Cats added another chapter to a rich history between the clubs with an 11 point loss at the MCG.
Geelong are knocking at the door of finals football, 4 points behind the Power who sit 8th on the ladder. Despite this they are in a strong position to play in September, closing out the season with two very winnable home games against the Dockers (13th) and Suns (17th).
Whilst the Dockers might not have any teeth left after their recent match against the Eagles, the line is set at a massive 53.5 which means the Wolf needs to check whether they have any heart. Teams with heart fight games out even if they are losing and we think that the Cats after a tough match against the Hawks will be hard to beat but tired enough to make a game out of it.
Ross Lyon called for ‘hard nosed pros’ to turn up against Carlton and a 29 point win put a positive spin on a dreadful week for the club. The big question is whether that some professionalism will be shown against the Cats.
Lachie Neale continues to impress (35 disposals and 10 clearances) although he is left isolated with Fyfe (hamstring) and Sandilands (calf) unlikely to play in this match.
STATS THAT MATTER
- Five of Hawthorn’s ten goals against the Cats were scored as a result of a Geelong turnover. They simply must do better to defend against those quick changes in momentum.
- The Dockers haven’t beaten a decent opponent away from Optus Stadium this season. From their 8 games outside Perth they have won just one; in round 13 against Carlton by 57 points.
- The Dockers have had eight losses this season by 50+ points.
- Sam Menegola was superb against the Hawks with 30 disposals and 6 tackles. If the Dockers don’t get bodies on the Cats midfield this game could blow open.
- Fremantle are one of the worst tackling teams in the AFL, ranked 17th. We know from experience that the Cats can strangle teams with pressure at GMHBA Stadium. Freo need to show hardness from the first bounce.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Cats have played seven games at GMHBA Stadium this season which is where they undoubtedly have their strongest home crowd advantage. Of those games they have lost just once, against the Swans by 17 points in round 6.
The value in this match is in determining whether the Dockers will stand up and fight or float through the rest of the season. The Wolf thinks that 53.5 points is a big head start and that Ross Lyon will have his players pumped up to finish the season on a high.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
Cats by 37
Fremantle +53.5 ($1.92), Geelong 1-39 ($3.00), Total points under 159.5 ($1.88)