Aaron Naughton celebrates during the Round 14 match between North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on June 18, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

AARON Naughton will spearhead the Western Bulldogs' attack as Luke Beveridge's charges attempt to turn over a rejuvenated Fremantle for a second time this season.

The Bulldogs beat the Dockers by 49 points in Perth in round six and will lean into that triumph at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.

Naughton booted three goals against the Dockers that day, and Beveridge intends to keep the 23-year-old up forward, rather than filling a gap down back.

Ryan Gardner and James O'Donnell have been recalled to replace injured key backs Liam Jones and Tim O'Brien, after Naughton stepped up when they went down hurt during the round 14 win against North Melbourne.


"'Naughts' did a pretty good job going down there and spending some time for us against North, which wasn't ideal," Beveridge told reporters on Friday.

"He'd kicked a couple and was going all right in the first half (but) sometimes you've got to rob Peter to pay Paul.

"We're grateful that he and Bailey Williams on the night were able to provide some stability down there. It was a difficult night in the end.

"Aaron is such an important player for us forward of the ball and he's still a very young key forward, he's only 23.

"If you asked the other 17 clubs, 'Where would you rather Aaron Naughton play?', they'd probably say, 'In the Western Bulldogs' backline'.

"So we won't. We won't allow Freo that luxury."

Aaron Naughton celebrates a goal during the Western Bulldogs' win over Fremantle in round six, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Beveridge plans to take plenty out of April's win over the Dockers, despite facing a plethora of injury-enforced personnel changes and a clearly improved Fremantle.

"We've been searching for a similar application to what we produced in Perth that night," Beveridge said.

"It was probably our best game for the year and Fremantle have probably acknowledged that and have said that they didn't feel like they were at their best.

"This game is always around shackles - the shackles you can put on teams and the shackles you can break.

"If we can have a really strong blend of being able to restrict and then break the opposition's shackles, that's what we're after.

"They're the margins we've got to make up because against everyone, there's a challenge there and Fremantle will be after retribution.

"We've got to be ready for their intensity.

"(The round six win) is not irrelevant, and it's in the memory banks. It's a good one to remind us what we're capable of."