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Match preview: Fremantle v Collingwood

Pick a Winner: Frem v Coll Duck and Browny preview the Dockers v Magpies
Ross Lyon will need to gee up the Dockers after their disastrous visit to Geelong - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Collingwood Magpies
Ross Lyon will need to gee up the Dockers after their disastrous visit to Geelong

SUMMARY

Despite a nightmare run with injuries that would cripple most sides, Collingwood travels west with the very real chance of booking a home qualifying final. If the Magpies can touch up the Dockers and boost their percentage, they are likely to fly home on Saturday night inside the top-two, with West Coast then needing to topple Brisbane at the Gabba on Sunday to claim the right to two home finals. If the Pies lose, they could still fall to fifth and face an elimination final, so there's plenty at stake for Nathan Buckley's men. The Dockers were horrendous in Geelong and suffered a club record 133-point hammering on one of the darkest days in their 23-year history. Couple that humiliation with veteran defender Michael Johnson's likely farewell game, and probably Danyle Pearce's as well, and Freo should have more than enough motivation to finish 2018 strongly, but whether Ross Lyon can inspire a competitive effort remains to be seen. 

WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Saturday, August 25, 2.35pm AWST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE TIMES

R11, 2018, Collingwood 21.12 (138) d Fremantle 12.5 (77) at the MCG
R11, 2017, Collingwood 15.15 (105) d Fremantle 12.13 (85) at Subiaco Oval
R14, 2016, Collingwood 12.13 (85) d Fremantle 5.7 (37) at the MCG
R13, 2015, Fremantle 12.8 (80) d Collingwood 11.7 (73) at Subiaco Oval
R1, 2014, Fremantle 17.14 (116) d Collingwood 5.16 (46) at Etihad Stadium

THE SIX POINTS

1. Collingwood's mobile forward line proved the difference in round 11, with Will Hoskin-Elliott kicking a career-high six goals, Brody Mihocek slotting four and Tom Phillips adding three.

2. The Magpies have spent most of the season as the highest disposal team (averaging 404.2 per game), while the Dockers average 361.2, ranking them 15th.

3. Collingwood is among the most dynamic and highest scoring teams this season, averaging 93 points (AFL No.3), but Freo has generally lacked firepower, and averages 70 points (AFL No.15).

4. Fremantle has won two of the past three against the Pies in Perth. Collingwood has claimed interstate wins against Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast this year, and lost to Sydney by two points in round 20.

5. Collingwood will be aiming for their 15th win, which would be the most in the home and away season for the Magpies since 2012. A loss for the rebuilding Dockers and it will be back-to-back seasons of eight wins. 

6. Michael Johnson will bid farewell to the Freo faithful after an exceptional 244-game career. The 33-year-old was ranked the League's third-best key defender at the start of 2015 by the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … 

The Dockers can't accept efforts like they dished up in Geelong and it's up to coach Ross Lyon to find a way to rally the troops and inspire a competitive effort at home, or else it will be a long off-season.   

PREDICTION: Collingwood by 42 points