Its hard to pick just one solitary reason why this game gets me excited, so I’ll put down two.
The first is something that is sure to get every dockers supporter excited. The prospect (albeit probably in the second half through substitution) of Aaron Sandilands, Michael Barlow AND the recently fully fit David Mundy all running (or loping in the case of the big man) through the same midfield makes my mouth water with excitement at the prospects. It has been way too long since the three of them have run the same ground together and Im sure Mundy will get a nice big welcoming from the local crowd when he takes his first step onto Patersons.
The second is something that has gotten the rest of the football world itching. The first match up of new and old, Mark Harvey and Ross Lyon. I was a bit shocked (like many others) when Harvey got the boot so unexpectedly but decided pretty quickly it was probably best for the team. This afternoon will be the first time the two will go head to head since the sacking. Many in the media are predicting some kind of blood bath, but if I know the Purple Army, Harvey will be shown with nothing but respect by the crowd and the players.
But in the end, there is a match to win, and I cant see the Lions coming away with the four points. Getting Jonathan Brown back is a plus, but it was cancelled out pretty quickly by the news that Simon Black would be missing through injury. Brown is a big tough guy, but its hard not to see him getting nightmares everytime he sees Luke McPharlin, who started the horror run of facial injuries in Round 1 last year.
In the end, I think that while the forward lines and back lines of both teams are pretty equal, the Dockers have a far more superior midfield, especially with the return of Mundy. Matthew Pavlich can afford to spend the majority of the game in the forward line where he belongs and leave the midfield to feed him the ball as much as possible.
My prediction: Fremantle by 30.