Freo take on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne as the big Friday night game and they are more than a couple of huge stories surrounding the game. The biggest would certainly be Nat Fyfe’s shoulder injury. Dislocated on the weekend after a reconstruction in the offseason, Fyfe and coach Ross Lyon seem to believe he is fit enough to suit up. Fyfe played much of last year under similar circumstances and will have his fate decided after seeing a surgeon in Melbourne tomorrow.
It will also be the first chance the Saints have to boo Lyon. He dumped the club after Grand Final appearances in 2009 and 2010 and moved to Freo at the end of last season in a pre-orchestrated deal that saw Mark Harvey axed as Freo head coach. Should be interesting.
Hayden Ballantyne will also make his comeback from a two game suspension and will no doubt be eager to ruffle a few more feathers for the 2-1 Dockers.
Carlton–Essendon is the first Saturday game and features two of the comp’s undefeated teams head-to-head at the MCG. It’s hard to go past the Blues considering their midfield’s form, especially stars Marc Murphy and Chris Judd, but it will be a great game nevertheless.
The Magpies will have a chance to redeem themselves after last week’s thumping by Carlton against a 1-2 Port Adelaide side. Port aren’t exactly the class of the league and it will be interesting to see how Scott Pendlebury bounces back from his worst performance in two years.
However, Collingwood will also be without Luke Ball who tore an ACL last week and will miss the season and after a tumultuous week dealing with public bickering between former coach Milk Malthouse and CEO Eddie McGuire, a lot of eyes will be focused on this possible blowout.
Adelaide should destroy Greater Western Sydney, but if the league’s newest side is to win a game this year Adelaide wouldn’t be the hardest of opponents. Of course we’ll be watching the development of Israel Folau, Jonathan Giles, Dylan Shiels, Stephen Coniglio and the likes but what will be as interesting will be watching the performance of Kurt Tippett. The big forward has been up and down but has the potential to be a star if he can add some consistency to his game. A poor outing here will do his stock no favours after a solid start to 2012.
Photo credit: BWPhoto