It’s been more than 15 months since the most-recent AFL clash between Fremantle and Geelong and a great deal has changed at both clubs.
The Dockers’ 44-point triumph over the Cats at Simonds Stadium was the second in what would become a club-record nine straight victories to start a triumphant home and away campaign, culminating in a first minor premiership.
In contrast, Fremantle have won only three of 15 matches this season to sit a lowly 16th on the ladder.
The sixth-placed Cats turned over a quarter of their list in the off-season, which coach Chris Scott cites as a factor in their inconsistency, including three losses this year to teams ranked outside the top eight.
Cat-turned-Giant Steve Johnson and feisty Fremantle forward Hayden Ballantyne were regular protagonists in several spiteful contests between the two clubs in years gone by and Scott has not ruled out the prospect of another edgy encounter when they square off at Domain Stadium on Friday night.
“Maybe, but I’m not a big believer in going back a long time to get a form-line on a game,” said the Cats’ coach.
“We last played them in round two, 2015 and both of our situations have changed enormously.
” … I would expect it to be hot, but to be honest I expect every AFL game to be hot.”