Fremantle's recent run of bad luck with the AFL's match review panel turned a corner yesterday, with defenders Michael Johnson and Zac Dawson both cleared to play against West Coast in Sunday's western derby.

However the news was not as promising for luckless midfielder Anthony Morabito, who is facing a two-week ban after being reported for rough conduct in the WAFL.

Johnson was yesterday offered a reprimand for making contact with injured North Melbourne forward Aaron Black as he was attempting to leave the field in last Friday's match.

The club is expected to accept the offer, making the All-Australian defender available to face the Eagles but leaving him with 70.31 carryover points on his record.

Contact between Dawson and Kangaroos veteran Brent Harvey was also expected to draw the panel's attention but was not assessed.

Morabito was one of three Dockers reported while playing for Peel at the weekend and has elected to contest his ban at the tribunal tonight. Rookie Tom Vandeleur will also appear at the tribunal on a striking charge, with no vision of the incident available. Jack Hannath is free to play after accepting a reprimand for striking.

This week's batch of match review panel dramas continues a worrying trend for Fremantle, who have already had four players suspended at AFL and WAFL level this year.

Dockers coach Ross Lyon has been critical of the players who have drawn the ire of the match review panel, but defended Morabito on 6PR last night.

"I don't know if I can pre-empt the WAFL, I don't know where I sit on that, but I was there, he just attacked the ball really well I thought," Lyon said.

"I'd be really disappointed, but we'll let it go through the process - all I saw was an attack on the ball and a collision."

The availability of Johnson and Dawson is a massive boon for the Dockers, who are coming off a two-game losing streak.

Lyon has traditionally been hesitant to make too many changes to his side, but the mediocre form of first-team regulars Matt de Boer, Lee Spurr, Cameron Sutcliffe and Chris Mayne could force his hand against the Eagles.

One change is all but locked in, with small forward Hayden Ballantyne set to return from a one-game ban and provide another much-needed avenue to goal, but defender Garrick Ibbotson and forward Matt Taberner are also in the mix.

Free-agency recruit Colin Sylvia is eligible for selection after completing a two-game ban but is likely to resume in the WAFL.

Fremantle opened as clear favourites with the bookmakers yesterday, with TAB fixed odds listing them at $1.50 to West Coast's $2.60.

"I'd be really disappointed … all I saw was an attack on the ball and a collision."" *Ross Lyon *on Anthony Morabito's report in the WAFL

The West Australian

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