Fremantle are hot favourites to beat Brisbane at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night, but the Dockers are unlikely to rest key players for the match.
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon has slammed suggestions his team should view Saturday night’s AFL clash with Brisbane as a percentage booster, saying it would be silly to employ such a mindset.
The fifth-placed Dockers (8-4) sit just one win adrift of second spot and boast a healthy percentage of 125.3.
But they will probably need to bump that up even further if they are to edge ahead of premiership rivals Hawthorn (146.8), Port Adelaide (143.6) and Sydney (136.2) by season’s end.
The 17th-placed Lions (3-9) have copped a number of shellackings this season.
Port Adelaide (113 points), North Melbourne (87), and Sydney (79 points) have all come away with percentage-boosting wins against Brisbane, while even Greater Western Sydney (45 points) enjoyed a day out.
But Lyon was in no mood to talk about the prospect of Fremantle boosting their percentage in Perth this weekend when questioned on the topic.
“That’s a really silly comment isn’t it,” Lyon said on Tuesday.
“I just spoke (about) respecting all opposition; all games are challenges; everyone can beat everyone. So on the back of those comments, that’s a strange statement to make.
“I never talk about percentage. I’ve never rolled up to a game thinking we are going to win or smash anyone.
“I’m the fear factor. I always think we’re going to lose, and that’s how I prepare. We always plan for the best that the opposition can give.
“Lions beat Bulldogs; Bulldogs beat Collingwood; GWS beat Lions.
“So there’s no guarantees here. There are no easy games.”
The Dockers are set to resist the urge to rest key veterans Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands this week.
The veteran pair have played all 12 games this season, but Lyon said his team weren’t in a position to start resting players just yet.
“I know that gets mooted a far bit but I think that’s unlikely for us,” Lyon said.
“It is a bit harder on the older guys, but they’re in pretty good nick.
“Aaron has missed a fair bit of footy over the last three years.
“Matthew missed a fair bit last year.
“They’re saying to me they feel good. If they were to come to me and say, ‘I’m struggling’, we would listen.
“But it’s not something we’re in a position to do.”
Defender Zac Dawson is free to play against the Lions after accepting a reprimand for kneeing Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt last week.
Fellow backman Alex Silvagni has been cleared of any serious damage to his ribs and is also set to line up against the Lions.