Aaron Sandilands would be a huge in for the Dockers
FREMANTLE is set to roll out its damaging one-two midfield punch against Carlton, with influential ruckman Aaron Sandilands in line to return alongside skipper Nat Fyfe.
The Dockers could also spring a selection surprise by picking Stephen Hill, despite the classy half-back being posted as TBA on their injury list with a quad complaint.
Dumped forward Cam McCarthy will be part of the squad after gathering 17 disposals and booting a goal for Peel.
Sandilands has missed the past two matches after a heavy head knock with North Melbourne youngster Sam Durdin but has passed his cognitive state test.
“He’s more than likely. We’re getting all the information back from training,” coach Ross Lyon said.
“Aaron’s cleared and trained well, so we’d think he’d play.”
Lyon kept his cards close to his chest whether Sandilands’ likely return would see Freo revert to a solitary ruckman.
Injury-ravaged Michael Apeness and mature-aged draftee Scott Jones performed strongly against Adelaide in the 35-year-old’s absence.
Without suspended superstar Fyfe, Freo shocked the Crows last Sunday and notched a fifth home victory.
While the Dockers have lost stars Michael Walters (suspension) and Alex Pearce (broken thumb), Saturday’s clash with bottom-placed Carlton looms as their best chance of breaking their interstate duck this season.
Despite only winning two of 20 quarters on the road and an average losing margin of 56 points, Fremantle will start favourites against the struggling Blues.
Lyon said his youthful side’s three-point win over the Crows – led by Adam Cerra and Brennan Cox – fueled their belief in the rebuilding process.
The challenge is replicating their home form interstate, and while Lyon warned there was still “plenty of hard yards in front of us”, he called on the Dockers to reflect the esteem they hold Fyfe in by producing a strong effort in his 150th game.
“His story is about working really hard, building his body and competing strongly,” Lyon said.
“He’s displayed great acts of courage playing with a broken leg, shoulders, all those sorts of things.
“I think the best is yet to come, and a big part of that is going to be his leadership.
“Leaders aren’t born, they’re developed. You go through all your crucibles and they forge things in you.
“He’s been through a little bit over the last few years. He’s really growing with the group, leading them and bringing them through.”
Lyon confirmed Harley Bennell would return for Peel after sitting out last weekend with calf tightness, while Taylin Duman (back) will also play for the Thunder.
Doig medallist Bradley Hill is expected to be fit after the bye next weekend after missing since round two due to bone bruising in his knee.
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS