The Cats and Dockers have both had charmed runs in to September, finishing in the top four and earning the double chance. Fremantle's opposition to the game being played at Simonds Stadium has fallen on deaf ears and the venue is set to host its first final since 1897. Given the opposition, it will be interesting to see whether Geelong's advantage is as big as people say. Fremantle stars Nat Fyfe, Michael Barlow, David Mundy, Aaron Sandilands and Matthew Pavlich were all missing the last times the team played, which ended in a comfortable Geelong victory. It may well be a different story this time around.
WHERE AND WHEN: Simonds Stadium, Saturday September 7, 2.20pm
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide??
LAST FIVE TIMES?
R14, 2013, Geelong 11.19 (85) d Fremantle 7.2 (44) at Simonds Stadium
2EF, 2012, Fremantle 14.12 (96) d Geelong 11.14 (80) at the MCG
R1, 2012, Fremantle 15.11 (101) d Geelong 16.9 (105) at Patersons Stadium
R2, 2011, Geelong 13.11 (89) d Fremantle 10.18 (78) at Patersons Stadium
2SF, 2010, Geelong 20.15 (135) d Fremantle 10.6 (66) at the MCG
Round 14 Simonds Stadium: Geelong 11.19 (85) d Fremantle 7.2 (44) at Simonds Stadium. The Cats put on a defensive master class after the main break, holding the Dockers to just three second-half goals. The Dockers, without Fyfe, Mundy and Barlow in the midfield, struggled to match it with their counterparts. Allen Christensen ran riot and gathered 36 touches, while Jimmy Bartel and Harry Taylor held the fort down back.
Ryan Crowley v Joel Selwood: Crowley held Selwood to just 13 possessions the last time they met and their duel will be critical once again. Selwood's ability to win the ball in close and his added danger around goal have been on display all season long. Expect Crowley to badger the Cats skipper all day long, who will expect a chop out from his teammates.
Corey Enright/Cameron Guthrie v Hayden Ballantyne/Michael Walters: The Dockers' small forwards are among the most dynamic in the competition and integral to Freo's success in finals. They are difficult to contain because of their ability to find space and using pace running back in to an open 50. Enright and Guthrie will have their work cut out for them.
Aaron Sandilands v Nathan Vardy: This is a position where the Dockers could get hold of the Cats. Sandilands and Zac Clarke have become one of the pre-eminent ruck pairings in the competition and their influence will be pivotal throughout the game. If Sandilands can give the likes of Fyfe, Mundy and Barlow first use, it could go a long way to winning them the game.
Despite the football he has missed this season, Chapman is a proven finals performer. His flexibility to move in to the midfield rotation or play as a roaming half-forward creates plenty of match up problems. He's hungry to prove he still belongs at AFL level and earn a new contract with the club. Look out.
Like Chapman, Pavlich has played limited football this season, but his talent and experience cannot be discounted. Pavlich was a notable absentee the last time the teams met in round 14, while he tore the Cats apart in last year's elimination final. Pavlich appears to be warming up, having kicked nine goals from his past three outings.
Throwing Harry Taylor forward. Taylor is one of the best defenders in the competition, but his ability to drift forward can put opposition teams into a spin. Jared Rivers' inclusion has allowed the Cats to experiment with Taylor forward, which has worked a treat at times. It works well because Taylor is so difficult to stop when the ball's in the air.
Aaron Sandilands deep forward. The Dockers may plan to stretch the Cats' defence and play Sandilands one-out from the goal square. Zac Clarke's emergence in the ruck may give Sandilands a chop out as he works back from injury. His height can create plenty of headaches, as the Cats will be scrambling to find the right match up.
THE SIX POINTS?
1. The Cats were comfortable 41-point winners over the Dockers in round 14 at Simonds Stadium, with Allen Christensen amassing 36 possessions in a starring performance.
2. Fremantle sent Geelong packing after a 16-point win in last year's elimination final at the MCG.
3.The Cats have won 13 of their 14 games against the Dockers at Simonds Stadium.
4. Geelong is a heavily experienced finals team with 252 combined games, while Fremantle has a combined 110 games of finals' experience.
5. This year's finals series will be Geelong's seventh in a row, while Fremantle has reached consecutive finals series for the first time in its history.
6. Geelong has six players (Joel Selwood, James Kelly, Jimmy Bartel, Steve Johnson, Corey Enright and Harry Taylor) ranked in the top 50 of the Official AFL Player Ratings, while Fremantle has none. Docker Stephen Hill is the club's best at 51.