Saturday, April 3
Melbourne v Fremantle at Casey Fields, 1.05pm AEST
- Melbourne come into the finals as arguably the form side of the competition, having knocked off Adelaide, Fremantle and Brisbane in the past three weeks.
- Fremantle has struggled for consistency in the past month, with slow starts meaning the team has been forced to play catch-up on multiple occasions. The Dockers just fell over the line against Carlton, and lost two thrillers to Melbourne and North Melbourne
- Eden Zanker's shift to the midfield has shaken things up for Melbourne's undersized engine room. Kate Hore is an important spark up forward for the Dees, while Karen Paxman can cause serious damage if allowed to roam free. Ruck Lauren Pearce is in excellent form and can dictate play around the ground.
- Midfield bull Kiara Bowers is hot favourite for the AFLW best and fairest, having already taken out the AFLCA player of the year award. Janelle Cuthbertson has become an important cog in defence and is most likely to take on Tegan Cunningham. Kara Antonio's experience and composure across half-forward has been crucial this year, while a lot of the Dockers' run is generated by Steph Cain on the wing.
- Melbourne skipper Daisy Pearce is almost guaranteed to miss this week after suffering damage to her MCL, with Niamh McEvoy best-placed to be recalled from the VFLW. Integral rebound defender Sinead Goldrick was ruled out for the season last week after tearing her hamstring tendon.
- The Dockers have had no recent injury issues, with Aine Tighe and Leah Mascall on the long-term injury list.
Last time they met
- Round eight, 2021. Melbourne shot out to an early lead, recording four goals to Fremantle's six points at half-time, before the Dockers charged home in the last term, taking the lead. A cool conversion from Maddi Gay got the win for Melbourne, victorious by five points
- This is a difficult one to call, with Fremantle having the firepower to defeat Melbourne but not in the best of form. Fortress Casey might help the Dees here, having not lost a match at the tricky oval since 2019. Melbourne by four points.
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