Adelaide coach Phil Walsh is confident his stoppage kings can halt Fremantle’s unbeaten AFL run.
The Dockers travel to meet the sixth-placed Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night boasting the meanest defence in the league.
“They have always been a difficult team to beat, they have always been a difficult team to score against,” Walsh told reporters on Friday.
“That is the trademark of (Dockers coach) Ross Lyon’s teams.
“Over the last two years he has added a little bit more offence though. He’s a threat to blow open a game early as he has been able to do a couple of times this year.”
But Walsh believes Adelaide can gain an advantage in another area of the ground – the midfield, noting the Crows are the top-ranked stoppage side in the competition.
“You need to get field position and that starts in the centre bounce,” he said.
“That is an area where we have been very good and hopefully we can have an advantage … we actually are the number one stoppage team.”
Adelaide, seeking to rebound from a loss to Greater Western Sydney, named small defenders Luke Brown and Rory Laird, despite both suffering concussion last week.
Fremantle take an unchanged line-up into the fixture with coach Lyon impressed by what Walsh has done in his first season as Adelaide’s head coach.
“He has certainly brought a hard edge working without the ball,” Lyon said.
“And they were strong offensively already.
“It’s a significant challenge. He had a big influence at West Coast. He really changed their team defence from one on one to a bit more sophisticated, he’s certainly done that with Adelaide.
“We know, as most AFL teams, they’re really well prepared, they’re fit, they’re hungry and they’ve got some great players.”