Where and when: Optus Stadium, Sunday May 12, 3.20pm AWST
Last time they met: MCG, round seven, 2018: Richmond 15.20 (110) defeated Fremantle 4.9 (33)
The Tigers maintained top spot on the ladder courtesy of a 77-point thumping, with the Dockers booting just 1.3 to the long break – the equal second-lowest opening half in club history. Nat Fyfe took the three votes in a losing side for his 33-disposal, 11-clearance effort.
What it means for Fremantle: The Dockers are right in the mix for finals a third of the way through the season but have only claimed the big scalp of Greater Western Sydney so far. Beating Richmond would help legitimise their September credentials.
What it means for Richmond: The injury-hit Tigers were flogged by the Bulldogs and victory in Perth would give them a bit of breathing space in the early-season jockeying for top eight spots.
How Fremantle wins: The Tigers were torn apart by Aaron Naughton last round and, even if David Astbury returns from an ankle injury, Fremantle has the potent tall forwards to kick a big score given enough supply.
How Richmond wins: Breaking down the Dockers’ miserly defence (AFL No.2) is no mean feat and the Tigers must take the upper hand in the midfield battle and dominate field position to put Freo’s backline under pressure.
The stat: The Dockers incredibly won clearances 43-23 last year against the Tigers, but were smacked 42-64 in inside 50s.
The match-up: Alex Pearce v Tom Lynch
Pearce is in All Australian form and blanketed in-form Crows skipper Taylor Walker last round. Blessed with speed, size and strength, he is the ideal match-up for Lynch, who has been labelled a “liability” by champion goalkicker Matthew Lloyd after booting only one goal in the past three rounds.
It’s a big week for: Reece Conca
Conca has been a useful addition and is averaging 20 disposals for the Dockers as a defensive midfielder and across half-back since his free agency switch from Richmond. There is no doubt he would love to celebrate a victory over his former side.
Father Dougal’s Tip: Dockers by 5 points.
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