This week St Kilda hosts Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, hoping they can put an end to an eleven-game losing streak with what would be a remarkable upset. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 4:40pm (AEST).
The Saints have been in woeful form of late with a loss in Hobart to North Melbourne last week being their eleventh consecutive defeat since losing to the Brisbane Lions in Wellington in Round 6. They haven’t come within five goals of a win in their last ten matches running.
The Dockers on the other hand are on the exact other side of the ledger, boasting eight wins on the trot coming into Saturday’s encounter, and looking certain to extend that to nine. They moved to second on the ladder last weekend with a big win over GWS, and could widen the gap with a percentage booster this week.
Head to head the meetings between these clubs are thrown off by last year’s Round 23 game in which Ross Lyon rested a swathe of players and sent what was essentially his reserves side to be smashed by the Saints while his stars rested at home in preparation for a finals campaign. Before that, Lyon’s Dockers had won the last two against his former side.
The Saints have made a number of changes from the side that performed so poorly against North Melbourne, dropping Sam Dunnell, Cameron Shenton and Sebastian Ross, and losing Tom Hickey to a knee concern. Josh Saunders, Josh Bruce, Brodie Murdoch and Billy Longer come in to replace them.
The Dockers have lost some big name, with Hayden Ballantyne missing through suspension and Aaron Sandilands being managed through a back injury, Clancee Pearce and Michael Apeness have been dropped. Luke McPharlin is a big inclusion, Matt de Boer and Matt Taberner also will return, and Jonathon Griffin will play his first game since injuring his ACL last year.
With two games as the sub under his belt, I think it might be about time for Anthony Morabito to get a full game against what is a relatively soft match-up, and show just what he is capable of. He could make a big splash on Saturday afternoon.
Are the Saints any realistic chance of causing an upset? Or will it be another routine victory for the Dockers on the road?
If anyone doubted Ross Lyon’s decision to ditch St Kilda at the end of 2011 in favour of joining Fremantle, they need simply look at these two teams. Had he stayed at the Saints Lyon might well be out of a job now whereas at Fremantle he’s once again in premiership contention. Anything can happen in footy but realistically the gap between these two teams is far too wide for the Saints to overcome.
Fremantle by 72 points.
Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 4:40pm (AEST).