The West

Bring on the Crows: Lyon
Matt de Boer. Pic: Lincoln Baker/WA News

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon is likely to set Matt de Boer the task of sparking Fremantle's misfiring midfield in today's clash with Adelaide at Patersons Stadium.

The Dockers have been comprehensively beaten in the midfield during losses to Hawthorn and West Coast in the last fortnight and Lyon put an on-ball restructure on the agenda after the western derby.

They managed just five goals and lost the clearances 36-30 in last Sunday's derby.

The previous week Hawthorn won the clearances 48-24 and kept the Dockers to nine majors.

De Boer was a significant addition to the midfield group during training on Thursday.

He was drafted as a ball-winning centreman who could set up runners through his good handballing but has made his name as a defensive forward at Fremantle.

Chris Mayne has also been mentioned as a possible midfielder, but he remained with the forwards during training.

De Boer is one of Fremantle's leading tacklers and more than half of his possessions in the last two weeks have been contested.

Lyon addressed other key concerns at the selection table.

He replaced defender Alex Silvagni with running back man Garrick Ibbotson after being concerned by the lack of creativity off half-back. Jack Anthony was selected to give the club another target close to goal and Hayden Crozier will make his debut. Jay van Berlo was dropped.

Crozier made his name as a high-marking half-forward and is likely to take de Boer's place in the forward line as the Dockers look to increase scoring potential after a week of intense scrutiny.

"We're trying to organise ourselves in front of the ball better," Lyon said. "Have I been involved in games like that before? Yes. Have I been involved in great games of football? Yes.

"Do you always get it right? No. But because we gave great effort, we're really clear on what we need to improve. We've got clear areas of improvement and the proof will be in the pudding."

Adelaide arrived in Perth last night with a 23-man squad. Forward Taylor Walker came straight back into the team after suspension. Sam Shaw, 21, joined him.

David Mackay (hamstring) couldn't be considered, while Ricky Henderson was dropped but travelled as the emergency.

The Crows have been one of the most exciting teams in the competition this year under new coach Brenton Sanderson.

They have won seven games and are third on the ladder, but lost to Collingwood last week.

The West Australian

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