It's the new kids on the block up against a side playing its fourth straight preliminary final. Port Adelaide has lost just once on its home patch this year, and the Power will take confidence from their earlier win over Richmond and qualifying final effort against Geelong. However, Richmond has been here before and started to hit their straps in the semi-final triumph over St Kilda, with Tom Lynch back from injury and reigning best and fairest Dion Prestia peaking at the right time.
WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Oval, Friday October 16, 7.20pm ACDT (local), 7.50pm AEDT
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR?
Round 11: Port Adelaide 13.15 (93) d Richmond 11.6 (72)
Port Adelaide outlasted an undisciplined Richmond outfit despite dominating much of the afternoon. The Power's double ruck act of Scott Lycett and Peter Ladhams received its biggest tick, while Travis Boak, Ollie Wines and Tom Rockliff won the midfield battle. However, the Tigers took in an under-strength line-up without Trent Cotchin, Shane Edwards, Dion Prestia and Bachar Houli.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can the Power bring the heat they did against Geelong in the qualifying final? They'll need to apply the same pressure to disrupt the Tigers. Ken Hinkley's side held the Tigers to just 47 marks back in round 11 (their lowest tally of the season), and it should again be a focus to dominate possession and keep Richmond on the back foot. The Power also took their chances that day in a scintillating first half, scoring from 51 per cent of inside 50s, the third-highest percentage conceded by the Tigers all year. The Tigers were the No.1 team for marks inside 50 in the home and away season, and if the Power backs can limit Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch, they will have a big say on the outcome.
The Tigers haven't lost to the same team twice in a season since the start of 2017, so how much do they learn from the round 11 loss to the Power? The Tigers conceded a whopping 31 extra inside 50s that day, so will take heart they weren't blown out on the scoreboard. Usually hunting opposition turnovers to generate a large portion of their scoring, the Tigers last week kicked eight goals from stoppages in the semi-final win over St Kilda. If they can replicate anything similar on Friday night, and turn around what happened last time against the Power, it will go a long way to booking their third Grand Final berth in four years.
WHAT THE STATS SAY
The Power's mantle as the No.1 tackling team in the competition continued in the qualifying final win over Geelong, laying 18 more than the Cats.
Richmond was again prolific at scoring from opposition turnovers during the home and away season, ranked No.1 in the competition with 45.4 per game. However, they've dropped to an average of 27 in both finals. It's the stoppage game where they've increased, going from 18.1 to 34 points per match.
Steven Motlop enjoyed the greatest jump of any Power player from home and away form to their qualifying final performance. His average player rating rose from 8.8 to 17.9. The former Cat will have his sights set on a big night after being held goalless in his previous two outings against Richmond.
Richmond's tally of 24 inside 50s against Port Adelaide back in round 11 was the second-fewest of any side in the competition in 2020.
Outside of Tom Lynch's single performance last year, Daniel Rioli has the best form of any Tiger in his three preliminary final outings to date, according to the Champion Data player ratings.
Three Port Adelaide players – Travis Boak, Tom Rockliff and Ollie Wines – average more disposals than Richmond's top ball-winner Dustin Martin in 2020 (20.6 disposals per game).
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
The Power were able to find other avenues to goal as Charlie Dixon was held to one major in the qualifying final, but he'll be keen to stand up against David Astbury, Dylan Grimes and Noah Balta. Dixon's 2.4 against the Tigers in round 11 was his biggest haul against any of the remaining three teams this season.
He's proven himself in big preliminary finals before, but Toby Nankervis will have plenty on his plate on Friday night. The dual premiership big man was injured when the two sides last met, and he'll have studied the tape of Scott Lycett and Peter Ladhams from that game closely this week.
PREDICTION: Taking into account their last meeting and Port Adelaide's qualifying performance, the Power by eight points.