[[Fox~tV+.]] Dockers vs Cats AFL Live St-ream kickoff Football 15/07/2016

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[[Fox~tV+.]] Dockers vs Cats AFL Live St-ream kickoff Football 15/07/2016

Watch live Fremantle Dockers vs Geelong Cats Live AFL online Dockers vs Cats live streaming on tv coverage.Today's Friday night AFL at Domain Stadium.A GOAL from outside 50 with a minute remaining from birthday boy Cyril Rioli has given Hawthorn a heart-stopping win over Sydney at the SCG.watch Fremantle Dockers vs Geelong Cats live stream online.Geelong get the opportunity for a tune up ahead of a tough couple of weeks, as they travel to face Fremantle in the west. These two teams plainly don’t like each other, which adds an extra layer of interest to this match.


Live - (click here) TV Link

Live - (click here) TV Link

 Fremantle’s regression to the mean from their regression to the mean has been swift; after pumping the Dons and Lions, and beating the Power at home, Fremantle have lost their next two. In doing so, they have scored 37 and 55 points, against the defensive powerhouses of Collingwood and Melbourne no less.

It has not been a good season, and in all likelihood it is not going to get much better this evening. In a weekend of short priced favourites, the Cats are second shortest, despite playing this at Subiaco, where they’ve lost five of their past six games (albeit it three of those losses were by less than two goals).

What’s going on at Geelong? It’s been the question on the AFL world’s lips this week. I said in my piece on Wednesday I see a team in a bit of a form slump, rather than any fundamental weakness in Geelong’s system or approach to the game.

The Cats are probably the most balanced side in the field this year. The elite pairing of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood is the best one-two punch in the game, and outside of that there aren’t any glaring holes in the best 22. There are doubtlessly areas to improve: their small forwards are largely raw or not outstanding, while their defensive personnel are prone to giving up scores when the ball hits the deck.

So far this season the Cats have looked the most sustainably good team when they get their system going. It’s built on dominance in the air – they’ve taken 6.3 more contested marks per game than their opponents, ranked first in the league and 2.5 times as large a differential as the second place Swans – and a forward press that would make Michael Malthouse giggle like a Pokemon Go trainer that just stumbled upon a Pikachu.

(sorry, I thought a Pokemon Go reference was mandatory this week)

The teams that have managed to break through against the Cats in recent weeks have one common thread. They played with numbers around the ball, blunting the influence of the midfield, including the pack-bursting Dangerfield and Selwood. That, combined with their own soft patch of form, have bought them back to the pack after emerging as the premiership favourite around one third of the way into the season.

That’s the path to an extremely unlikely victory for the Dockers. Use the youthful exuberance of a young group of midfielders to overwhelm Geelong at stoppages and when the ball hits the ground. Because if the ball gets down the Cats’ attacking end of the ground, then it’s highly likely Geelong will get plenty of good looks at the scoreboard.

Fremantle’s defensive abilities have been hampered by injury this season, but even still, their back six looks nothing like the bedrock created by coach Ross Lyon in his time with the Dockers. Zac Dawson could be one of the first players scrubbed from the list management team’s whiteboard come season end – and he’s supposed to be the general. Garrick Ibbotson and Lee Spurr don’t look up to playing the more accountable roles that have been foisted upon them by the absences of Michael Johnson and Alex Pearce, and retirement of Luke McPharlin.

The Dockers are allowing their opponents to score on 51 per cent of inside 50 entries, the second highest rate in the league through 15 games. A poor scoring accuracy on behalf of their opponents is keeping the Dockers above a bottom four defensive report card on my Defensive Efficiency Rating (DER). It’s a remarkable fall in less than a year for this group.

This should afford Geelong’s forward set, the subject of a lot of idle speculation this week, a chance to tune up ahead of a tough fortnight. Tom Hawkins has been the target, as he often is, despite kicking 33.20 to sit inside the top ten for scoring shots this season. Like Travis Cloke, Hawkins relies heavily on the ability for his midfield to provide the ball to advantage, and so if the midfield has been down on form his ability to influence the game naturally suffers.

Hawkins has been compared to Travis Cloke this week, in that they’re both of a dying breed. The comparison is quite apt, but not in the way that most making it believe – garden variety 100kg power forwards need the ball delivered to advantage. Not everyone has ground ball skills of Josh Kennedy, or long arms of Tom Lynch. We saw last weekend what a dominant midfield display, like the one Collingwood put in over the Giants, can do for Travis Cloke – it’s the same story for Hawkins.

If the Cats perform somewhere approaching their best, then a midfield victory should be theirs for the taking. Against this defensive unit, Hawkins should have a chance to kick a bag, and drive a stake through the heart of another of the football media’s ridiculous narratives.

Fremantle’s forward line will probably be starved of opportunities, and even those that they get will likely be swiftly snuffed out by the Cats’ wily back six. The Dockers’ small forwards will give them some trouble, but I just don’t see the supply coming quick enough or frequently enough for it to matter.

The over/under for times Geelong’s favourite opponent, Hayden Ballantyne, gets put on the ground by Corey Enright and Andrew Mackie is set at 4.5, for what it’s worth.

These two teams have a bit of history, but calling it a rivalry might be a bit too strong. It started when the AFL bowed to the will of the Cats in the 2013 finals series, allowing for the game to be scheduled at Kardinia Park due to the ‘low drawing’ nature of the fixture. Fair call I guess, given it was newly refurbished and those stadium renovations don’t pay for themselves you know. But the Dockers didn’t like it.

Geelong had won all seven of their previous games there that year, while the Dockers were the victor in one of their 13 journeys stretching back to 1995. They made it two, in a spiteful but thoroughly entertaining affair, and arguably kick started Geelong’s return from the stratospheric heights the club reached in the seven years preceding that loss.

Those sorts of fireworks won’t be on offer tonight, given much of the Fremantle team that suited up that day are either on the sidelines or no longer around. But the fireworks we will see will be a Geelong team with their credentials being questioned, feasting on a team that has won three games this season.

The Cats will prevail by seven goals – the margin will probably be higher than this, but you can’t completely ignore the home ground factor that’s at play.

That’s my Friday Night Forecast, what’s yours?

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