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Match preview: Fremantle v Western Bulldogs

Pick a Winner: Frem v WB Duck and Browny preview the Dockers v Bulldogs

The Dockers made Greater Western Sydney earn a 31-point win in blustery conditions at Canberra last Saturday and return to Perth aiming to extend their unbeaten run at Optus Stadium to three games against an improving Western Bulldogs line-up. Fremantle has looked a much more potent team at its new home compared to on the road, averaging 101 points in Perth and only 55.5 in two away losses. There is a watch on Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands after the club wanted to rest him against the Giants, and Lloyd Meek or Scott Jones might come into the mix for a debut against beanpole Tim English. The Dogs were rudderless in the opening two rounds but have rediscovered some intensity and defensive workrate, and will be kicking themselves for blowing a lead against Sydney. It looms as a tough task against Freo and they will rely heavily on prime movers Jack Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli and Luke Dahlhaus to match it with the Dockers' powerful engine room.

WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Saturday, April 21, 6.10pm AWST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

R3, 2017, Fremantle 13.11 (89) d Western Bulldogs 10.13 (73) at Subiaco Oval
R23, 2016, Fremantle 10.9 (69) d Western Bulldogs 6.13 (49) at Subiaco Oval
R1, 2016, Western Bulldogs 15.13 (103) d Fremantle 5.8 (38) at Etihad Stadium
R7, 2015, Fremantle 15.11 (101) d Western Bulldogs 14.4 (88) at Etihad Stadium
R11, 2014, Fremantle 13.11 (89) d Western Bulldogs 6.15 (51) at Etihad Stadium 

1. Fremantle trailed by 14 points at three quarter-time against the Bulldogs in 2017 before kicking five goals to one behind in the final quarter. Nat Fyfe was best on ground with 33 disposals and six tackles.

2. The Bulldogs continue to struggle to kick straight, ranked last for accuracy this season at 37.6 per cent. They’ve kicked more behinds than goals in all four games.

3. Fremantle has dominated the Western Bulldogs recently, winning six of the last seven and seven of nine since 2011. In total, the teams have played 29 times with the Bulldogs winning 15 games to 14.

4. The Western Bulldogs are ranked last in contested possessions and tackles this season but Fremantle has only been marginally better, ranked 16th in both categories.

5. The Bulldogs have struggled in Perth recently, losing nine of their last 10 matches, and another defeat will mean their first 1-4 start to a season since 2013.

6. David Mundy has been a standout for the Dockers in a mixed role between attack and midfield this season, averaging 24.5 disposals and a goal per game, and the veteran has risen from 69th in the Schick AFL Player Ratings to 52nd overall.

Marcus Bontempelli has the size and smarts to compete against Dockers superstar Nat Fyfe and the Dogs will need their young gun - who has booted six goals this year and is averaging 19.5 disposals - to have a significant impact to claim an upset win.

PREDICTION: Fremantle by 19 points