Dockers aim to bury two Demons in one

·2-min read

Fremantle are confident they will be able to bury their wet weather demons if confronted with rain in Friday night's AFL blockbuster against Melbourne.

The Optus Stadium turf took a battering last week when it hosted three sporting events in as many days and the 10 to 15mm of rain forecast for Perth on Friday is set to make the conditions even tougher.

Fremantle have struggled in the wet this year, losing to Gold Coast and Collingwood in rounds nine and 10.

Big questions remain on whether the slick Dockers can handle wet and slippery conditions and the clash with the Demons will give them a perfect chance to answer their critics.

"I'm looking forward to it, I like the wet," Fremantle midfielder Will Brodie said.

"It's going to be good. We've put a lot of time into our wet-weather footy.

"I feel like we we had some areas to improve and we've definitely addressed it."

The second-placed Demons (13-5) are in danger of slipping out of the top four after losing five of their past eight matches.

Fremantle sparked Melbourne's form slump by beating them to the tune of 38 points in round 11.

The fifth-placed Dockers are just half a game behind Melbourne following last week's draw with Richmond, meaning the stakes are high for the Friday night showdown.

Melbourne will be without forward Ben Brown (knee soreness) for the second straight week, but the return of Jake Lever will bolster their backline.

Jayden Hunt also returns, but James Harmes was ruled out after developing delayed concussion symptoms during the week.

Adam Tomlinson was dropped.

Fremantle welcome back Rory Lobb from a shoulder complaint and Travis Colyer was recalled, but skipper Nat Fyfe is set to miss several weeks with a hamstring injury.

The Demons gave up 110 points in last week's 10-point loss to the Western Bulldogs and coach Simon Goodwin is urging his players to regain their ruthless defensive edge.

"It's total team defence," Goodwin said.

"It's a complete buy in to what we do from a method perspective, it's a complete buy in to the behaviours that sit within it and there's an urgency and ruthlessness about how you go about it.

"That's been a hallmark of the Melbourne footy club for a couple of years now."

Fremantle beat Melbourne in both clearances (40-30) and contested possessions (140-128) in round 11 and the Dockers are keen to repeat the dose against a star-studded midfield featuring Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jack Viney.

"I think we can take a lot of confidence out of the last contest," Brodie said.

"I feel like we definitely challenged them in that area."

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