Geelong coach Chris Scott says it would be an error to employ a more attacking mindset against Fremantle just because the Dockers are missing Nat Fyfe.
Fyfe will miss a second straight game with a hamstring injury, leaving the Dockers’ midfield vulnerable against the more experienced Cats in Monday night’s clash at Optus Stadium.
Fremantle’s youthful midfield got outgunned by West Coast after quarter time in last week’s western derby, and the challenge is on them to lift against the Cats.
Scott is a big admirer of Fyfe, but says the absence of the Fremantle skipper will not encourage him to go all-out attack.
“It’s a huge error psychologically and tactically to go in thinking the opposition’s best player is out, let’s take some liberties and attack more than what we would have with them in,” Scott said.
“They would be a better side with Fyfe in it, every team would, but I don’t think (his absence) guarantees us much.
“I’ve got a high regard for guys that I know well in David Mundy and Michael Walters who play well through the middle.
“And they’ve got young guys – Darcy Tucker, Caleb Serong and the like – who are quite lively in there as well.”
The Cats have made a whopping six changes – five of them forced – from the team that lost to Collingwood by 22 points last week.
Joel Selwood (hamstring), Jordan Clark (shoulder), Luke Dahlhaus (foot), Darcy Fort (injured) and Gary Ablett (personal reasons) went out, while Jack Steven has been rested.
Fit-again duo Mitch Duncan and Tom Stewart headline Geelong’s inclusions.
The Dockers made just two changes, replacing Stephen Hill (adductor) and Travis Colyer (axed) for Brandon Matera and Reece Conca.
Scott believes Fremantle are better than their 2-5 win-loss record suggests.
“I don’t think two wins for the season is reflective of the way they’ve played across the season,” he said.
“Clearly they get a boost being back at home in front of a crowd. Not many teams have that luxury at the moment.
“There’s a few things that will give them confidence that they can play even better against us.”