The Dockers' chances of winning their maiden premiership will soar if they can overcome the Swans at home. Hosting a preliminary final at Domain Stadium after a week off would be a huge advantage for Ross Lyon's outfit – and would help keep ageing warriors Matthew Pavlich, Aaron Sandilands and Luke McPharlin fresh for possibly their final flag tilt. The Swans have been decimated by injury and go to Perth as rank underdogs without superstar forward Lance Franklin, their co-captain Kieren Jack, Nick Smith and Luke Parker.

WHERE AND WHEN: Domain Stadium, Saturday, September 12, 1.20pm AWST
TV, RADIO AND BETTING: Click here for broadcast guide

Fremantle: Key defender Alex Silvagni still has one match of his four-game striking ban to serve, while tagger Ryan Crowley is out until the preliminary final following his anti-doping suspension. Ruckman Jon Griffin (hamstring) will also miss. 
Sydney Swans: Lance Franklin has withdrawn due to mental illness, co-captain Kieren Jack's knee injury is a major blow, star midfielder Luke Parker is recovering from a fractured leg and Nick Smith (hamstring) also won't play.

Round four, Domain Stadium: Fremantle 11.8 (74) d Sydney 8.12 (60)
In their typical early-season style, the Dockers steamrolled the Swans in the opening half to lead by 48 points, but they had to hang on grimly as the visitors fought back to get within three points. Nat Fyfe starred with 27 touches.

1QF, 2014, Sydney Swans 13.15 (93) d Fremantle 10.9 (69) at ANZ Stadium
R5, 2014, Sydney Swans 13.14 (92) d Fremantle 11.9 (75) at the SCG
2PF, 2013, Fremantle 14.15 (99) d Sydney Swans 11.8 (74) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2013, Sydney Swans 11.4 (70) drew Fremantle 9.16 (70) at the SCG
R2, 2012, Sydney Swans 14.10 (94) d Fremantle 12.9 (81) at the SCG 

1. These clubs will meet for the fourth time in finals. The Swans hold a 2-1 advantage, including a qualifying final triumph last year at ANZ Stadium.

2. The Swans' squad also holds the edge in finals games experience, 265-220. They've won six of nine finals since 2012, while Freo has lost its past three.

3. The Dockers and Swans are strong contested sides, both averaging about 140 contested possessions per game.

4. Fremantle is the League's best clearance side, averaging 41.8 per game. The Swans are equal-seventh with 39.2 per game.

5. The Dockers are the lowest scoring side in the final eight this season, averaging only 84.4 points per game. But the Swans are only marginally better, averaging 91.1 points.

6. There are more Swans (six) than Dockers (four) in the top 100 of the AFL Player Ratings, but Franklin (12th) Parker (36th) and Jack (53rd) will be missing this Saturday. Nat Fyfe is the No.1 ranked player.

1. Aaron Sandilands v Mike Pyke/Kurt Tippett
The Swans' ruck duo have found some good chemistry in recent weeks, but stopping Sandilands feeding Fyfe, David Mundy and co. at the stoppages is a mighty challenge. 

2. Josh Kennedy v David Mundy
The Swans' clearance king has been in superlative touch, racking up 30 or more disposals in his past 10 consecutive matches. If the decimated Swans are to have any chance, Kennedy needs to play a blinder but also restrict Mundy in their big-bodied battle.

3. Michael Walters v Dane Rampe
The Freo livewire averages two goals a game in his nine finals and can impact any match with only a handful of touches. Rampe will have his work cut out and needs his midfield to limit the Dockers' supply inside 50.

Fremantle: Nat Fyfe. When the Dockers win, it's usually their midfield superstar who ignites them. Can Fyfe immediately resume at his brilliant best after missing two weeks with a leg injury? 

Sydney Swans: Kurt Tippett. With Franklin sidelined, the high-priced former Crow has two crucial roles as a goalkicker and supporting ruckman against Sandilands. If ever the Swans needed a big performance, it's this weekend. 

Fremantle should have a decided edge at the clearances and Hayden Ballantyne's likely return provides more scoring power. Ross Lyon's men will try to strangle the Swans – a la the 2013 preliminary final – on their narrow home deck. 

Even without Franklin, a tall forward line with Tippett, Sam Reid and Adam Goodes could stretch the Dockers' defence. But can the Swans' understrength midfield can get enough supply inside 50?

Fremantle by 19 points.

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