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Suns brace for brutal road test against Dockers

Gold Coast's bid to break their 2024 road duck has come at a tough time, with Fremantle players vowing to bounce back from their own road flop in Sunday's AFL clash at Optus Stadium.

The Dockers were touted as premiership fancies after destroying Melbourne to the tune of 92 points before their recent bye.

But last week's 67-point loss to the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium was a bitter blow to Fremantle's reputation, with coach Justin Longmuir even accusing his charges of playing for stats rather than doing the team thing.

Longmuir has commended his players for "owning" up to their poor display this week.

The fifth-year coach also owned up to his own error - not paying more attention to Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli.

Bontempelli made the most of not having a hard tag on him on the way to 30 disposals, seven clearances and three goals in a best-afield display.

"If we were playing the Bulldogs this week, we would go with a different plan," Longmuir said.

Dockers wingman Jeremy Sharp, who crossed from Gold Coast at the end of last year, said the entire team was eager to make up for the loss to the Bulldogs.

"It was a really disappointing result for the club," Sharp said.

"We travelled over there pretty confident, and just didn't get the result we were chasing.

"It wasn't just one or two people, it was a team effort."

Gold Coast are yet to win away from their Carrara and Marrara fortresses this year.

The Suns came close before their bye week, pushing St Kilda all the way before losing by three points at Marvel Stadium.

Powell
Wil Powell will make his return for the Suns after completing his five-match ban. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

Gold Coast have tasted victory in their past two visits to Perth - but they were both against struggling West Coast.

Suns coach Damien Hardwick knows his team face a fierce challenge to break their road duck this week against a Fremantle outfit eager to atone.

"We hope to get the monkey off our back any time we go interstate really," Hardwick said.

"It's always a tough challenge.

"Fremantle are a really good side. (They had a) disappointing result last week with the way they played against the Bulldogs.

"So they'll be another side that are in their hometown and will say they're probably a little bit under the pump in regard to their performance.

"We've got to be at our best to combat that."

Suns midfielder Wil Powell returns from his five-match ban for making a homophobic slur, but Gold Coast will be without star forward Ben King (knee).

Fremantle lost Michael Walters (hamstring) and Brandon Walker (illness), but defender Heath Chapman returns and Hugh Davies will make his AFL debut.