The battle of the two ports sees one of the premiership fancies of 2018 against one of the premiership fancies of 2015. Fremantle was destined to win its first premiership in 2015, but a loss in the Preliminary Final that year started a descent down a slippery slope and they’ve only won 12 of their last 45 games, a very average winning average of 26.6 per cent.
Port Adelaide returned to finals last year, only to be defeated in a strange occurrence of a drawn Elimination Final and then a kick after the siren to lose the game to West Coast, and the addition of Steve Motlop, Tom Rockliff and Jack Watts makes them a more balanced team, even though they’ll be missing Robbie Gray through suspension.
It’s difficult to know where Fremantle are at the moment. They have a good core of players but the suspicion is that they’ve played the demanding Ross Lyon’s style of game for too long, and it might have drained too much from his players. They’ve got some quality: Nat Fyfe, Bradley Hill, Stephen Hill, Michael Walters, Aaron Sandilands, supported by Cam McCarthy, Danyle Pearce, Alex Pearce, Brandon Matera, but it’s a question of how they make this gel this season.
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Port Adelaide are also laden with talent: Chad Wingard, Paddy Ryder, Travis Boak, and the upcoming Sam Powell-Pepper, but their talent just seems to be a little bit more talented. The home ground advantage of Adelaide Oval should also add to the belief that Port Adelaide can win and win well, so we feel that they’ll win this match quite handsomely.
- Round 2, 2017. Port Adelaide 22.13 defeated Fremantle 8.8.
- Eddy Jay: Port Adelaide, 31 points
- Lintang Enam: Fremantle, 12 points
- Computer says: Port Adelaide, 52 points