The first game on Saturday for AFL Finals Week 1 is between Geelong Cats and Fremantle Dockers. The match is to be played at Skilled Stadium with the opening bounce set to commence at 2:20pm local time with home team Geelong Cats currently holding favouritism in the market. View our AFL live scores, odds and results for the game between Geelong Cats and Fremantle Dockers.
WHERE AND WHEN: Skilled Stadium, 2:20pm AEST Saturday, September 7, 2013
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Opening odds comparison:
The second game of the weekend is between Geelong and Fremantle, kicking off on Saturday, Simmons Stadium at 2.20pm. Geelong will be expected to win here and progress straight to week three, although Fremantle might have something to say about it. Geelong have been a little sketchy over the last month, with some average goal kicking and lots of missed opportunities. Saying that, however, they have managed to win their last four games and also beat Fremantle by 41 points the last time these two teams met in round 14.
Fremantle will have to contend with Simmons Stadium, however, a big plus for the Cats that should not be underestimated. They will bring back a number of players for this encounter, including names like Hayden Ballantyne, Nick Suban, Stephen Hill, and Nathan Fyfe. Each and every one of them will have to be in top form to trouble the Cats though, who amazingly, have lost just once at Simmons Stadium in their last 44 matches.
B: Taylor, Lonergan, Enright
HB: Rivers, Mackie, Bartel
C: Johnson, Corey, Christensen
HF: Selwood, Podsiadly, Motlop
F: Chapman, Hawkins, Caddy
R: Vardy, Kelly, Duncan
INT: Blicavs, Stokes, T Hunt, Varcoe
EMG: Guthrie, Murdoch, Walker
B: Spurr, Dawson, Duffield
HB: Suban, Silvagni, Mzundu
C: Mundy, Barlow, Hill
HF: De Boar, Mayne, D.Pearce
F: Ballantyne, Pavlich, Walters
FOLL: Sandilands, Fyfe, Crowley
INT: Sutcliffe, Clarke, Sheridan, Neale
EMG: McPharlin, Hannath, Crozier
In: D.Mundy, L.Spurr, Z.Dawson, H.Ballantyne, N.Suban, S.Hill, C.Mayne, M.Walters, Z.Clarke, N.Fyfe
Out: P.Faulks, C.Pearce (achilles), J.Hannath, J.Crichton, J.Mellington, A.Forster (back), H.Crozier, M.Taberner, J.Simpson, C.Moller
Docker Crowley bracing for Cat battering
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon says he’d be absolutely shocked if umpires allowed Ryan Crowley to be excessively targeted off the ball during the AFL finals.
Crowley has forged a reputation as the best tagger in the business, with his close-checking tactics often prompting angry outbursts from his victims.
Rival teams have attempted to break Crowley’s tag by getting players to bump, niggle and wrestle him off the ball.
Crowley is set to be handed the job on star Geelong midfielder Joel Selwood in Saturday’s qualifying final at Simonds Stadium.
Selwood was restricted to just 13 possessions when the teams last met, and was left visibly angry over some of the tight-checking tactics Crowley employed.
Adding to the intrigue is the recent bitter rivalry between Geelong and Fremantle, with Cats coach Chris Scott predicting Saturday’s match could turn spiteful.
Crowley and pesky goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne will be the two most hated players in Geelong this weekend.
And should Geelong devise any untoward tactics in a bid to halt Crowley’s influence, Lyon hopes the umpires will be on to it.
“He’ll get physically targeted on and off the ball,” Lyon said.
“I just think he should get the protection afforded to every player on the ground.
“We all just want equality and fairness and I’m sure that’s the way the umpires treat it.
“I’d be shocked, absolutely shocked if umpires treated any player on an AFL field any differently, whether they were a full back, full-forward or a strongly-accountable midfielder.”
Geelong have won 43 of their past 44 games at Simonds Stadium, and completely outplayed the Dockers when they met there in round 14.
Fremantle were missing key players Michael Barlow, David Mundy, Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Lee Spurr in that game, and are confident of reversing the result this time around.