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Tippett to stretch Fremantle’s defence
Fremantle Dockers defender Alex Silvagni. Picture: Lincoln Baker / The West Australian.

Adelaide are set to try to capitalise on the absence of suspended Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin by naming forward Kurt Tippett in their team to face the Dockers at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said yesterday Tippett was "jumping out of his skin" to play his first game since suffering his third concussion of the season against West Coast in round 17.

"I'm confident he'll play and we're going to name him in the side," Sanderson said.

"But a decision on Kurt might be made as late as Friday. He's still got to be medically ticked off from our doctor, that's the last test that he'll have to pass.

"Kurt's confident and I'm confident. It's just the medical team that have to make the decision."

Fremantle defender Zac Dawson has backed the Dockers' defensive depth to cover McPharlin's loss. The All-Australian defender was given a one-week suspension for front-on contact on Eagle Jack Darling last Saturday.

"He is a great player, obviously," Dawson said. "Every game I have played with him it seems like we are gelling a lot better so to not have him there is a big loss, but hopefully someone can step up to the plate and fill the spot.

"You would probably think someone like Alex Silvagni would come in to fill the spot."

Dawson said there would be no post-derby let down.

"Ross (coach Ross Lyon) is very big on not getting caught up in the glow of success and results and that sort of thing," he said.

"We feel like we have improved and our defensive side is really improving quite quickly.

"To beat a team above us on the weekend has really spurred the group on, to prove that we can do that. This week is going to be a great challenge and hopefully we can do it again.

"The group has been quite good so far at not getting ahead of ourselves. We beat the Eagles, who are above us. That is the first team above us that we have beaten in the last five weeks.

"We are not going to get too carried away with that. We want to make sure that we go out this week and really make sure it wasn't a fluke."

Dawson said he had played on Tippett and Taylor Walker and both were formidable opponents.

"Any of the two can turn a game. When Tippett gets a run and jump at the ball he is pretty hard to beat one on one," he said.

"He has got such long arms and a good reach. It is something we prepare for and we will be sure to give them a good run on the weekend."

He said he had been told Fremantle's brand of football was like St Kilda's under Lyon.

"I had a few friends call me over the weekend and say that's similar to how the Saints used to play, which is probably a good thing because that's a successful model," he said.

The West Australian

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