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Match preview: Fremantle v Brisbane

Pick a Winner: Frem v BL Duck and Browny preview the Dockers v Lions

Where and when: Optus Stadium, Sunday, May 26, 3.20pm AWST 

Last time they met: Optus Stadium, round 15, 2018: Fremantle 9.10 (64) lost to Brisbane 18.11 (119)

Things started going downhill for Fremantle before the opening bounce when Aaron Sandilands suffered a calf strain, and it didn't get better with Nat Fyfe tearing a hamstring in the second term. In Sandilands' absence, Lions ruckman Stefan Martin dominated in the club's first road victory in a year.  

TV, radio and betting: Click here for broadcast guide

What it means for Fremantle: The Dockers have tumbled from second to ninth after three-straight losses and, with Collingwood at the MCG to come before the bye, another defeat at home would be a major blow to their finals aspirations.

What it means for Brisbane: Only one of the Lions' six wins has come outside Queensland – and that was against battling North Melbourne in round two. Victory in the west would not only boost their top-eight chances, but also fuel belief they are good enough to play in September. 

How Fremantle wins: The Dockers are averaging 88.4 points from five games at Optus Stadium and will create enough chances to kick a winning score, but they have got to be more efficient going inside 50 and take their opportunities. 

How Brisbane wins: The midfield needs to stand up against Fyfe and co. Brisbane has enough quality in Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko, Hugh McCluggage and ruckman Stefan Martin to win the onball battle and put the brakes on Fremantle's scoring. 

 

The stat: Neale's League-best 305 disposals is the most by a Brisbane player after nine rounds, with Craig Lambert's 266 touches in 1996 the next best, according to Twitter statistician @sirswampthing.

The match-up: Nat Fyfe v Lachie Neale

Fyfe is the second-best footballer in the competition, according to the AFL Player Ratings, and Neale is coming with a bullet – climbing from 12th to seventh this year alone. The former Freo duo might not go head-to-head, but both average eight clearances and will have a major say on the outcome.

It’s a big week for: Lachie Neale

The two-time Doig medallist would have circled this fixture before the season and couldn't be returning to Perth in better form after racking up a season-high 39 disposals with 12 clearances in the one-point cliffhanger against Adelaide.

How will Lachie Neale fare against his old side? Picture: AFL Photos

Big call: Michael Walters is due after only kicking two goals in the past three weeks. Expect the Freo livewire to nail three majors from 25 touches to lead a narrow victory.  

Prediction: Dockers by eight points 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs