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Finals road trip holds no fear for Freo

Post-match: Freo Watch Fremantle coach Ross Lyon's post-match press conference
Matthew Pavlich of the Fremantle Dockers celebrates a goal during the 2013 AFL Round 22 match between the Fremantle Dockers and Port Adelaide Power at Patersons Stadium, Perth on August 24, 2013. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Freo skipper Matthew Pavlich booted four goals in his side's big win over Port Adelaide
We live in WA and if you don’t finish in the top two, you’re going to fly
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon
FREMANTLE has resigned itself to the prospect of travelling in week one of the finals after Geelong beat the Sydney Swans on Saturday to all but ensure the Dockers cannot finish in the top two. 

The Dockers would need the Brisbane Lions to beat Geelong next Saturday at Simonds Stadium to have any chance of hosting a qualifying final but coach Ross Lyon thinks a top-two finish for his side is impossible.

"I think it’s definitely gone," he said.

"Geelong are in red-hot form and I think we acknowledge that. 

"The odds are in their favour at home. It would take a really big turn-up, with respect to Brisbane. 

"So we’ll be playing either Hawthorn or Geelong (in the first week of finals) and they’re both as good as each other."

If results go as Lyon expects, the Dockers will have to travel to Melbourne two weeks in a row. They face St Kilda next Saturday at Etihad Stadium before travelling to Melbourne again for the first final.

However, road trips hold no fear for Fremantle. The club has won their past five matches at Etihad Stadium under Lyon and eight of 10 matches in Melbourne in the past two seasons - including last season's elimination final against Geelong at the MCG.

"We live in WA and if you don’t finish in the top two, you’re going to fly," Lyon said. 

"Swings and roundabouts - we’ll be fine."

Fremantle has a number of players who could return from injury ahead of the first final. 

Aaron Sandilands (fractured cheekbone), Clancee Pearce (calf), Luke McPharlin (calf) and Garrick Ibbotson (Achilles soreness) all look likely to be available this week. 

Nick Suban was subbed out against Port Adelaide with hamstring tightness and will be assessed during the week. 

The problem for Lyon is how to fit all of those players into a side that has won five matches in a row. 

"They've got to get in the team," he said. 

"The incumbents are doing quite well. So that's a challenge for them. 

"It's a pretty strong performance tonight and a couple of them are probably having sleepless nights, really. 

"It's fantastic. We rate everyone out of the team but the incumbents get first crack and if you deliver, you deliver."