Dylan Roberton. Picture: AFL Media.
Dylan Roberton. Picture: AFL Media.

St Kilda have been urged to take risks, play attacking football and remember that Fremantle are human when they attempt mission impossible at Etihad Stadium today.

The second-placed Dockers are $1.03 favourites to win their ninth game in a row and consign the bottom-of-the-ladder Saints to their 12th straight defeat.

But St Kilda defender and former Docker Dylan Roberton said coach Alan Richardson had spent the week imploring the players to believe that Fremantle's famed defensive strength can be beaten.

Roberton said the Saints had to play bold football.

"When you look at that, you realise that they are human and they can get beaten," he said. "It gives you a bit of confidence to know that if you play the right style, you can get them.

"It's no secret that they're very good defensively and stop the other team from scoring. We can't go into the game thinking 'we're not going to be able to score' and play into their hands by just kicking the ball long.

"We need to take on the game and play to kick a winning score. We'll back our skills in and take the game on.

"We'll be under the roof so there's no real excuses for ball skills. We'll read the state of play, whether it's slow or fast, but try to turn it into fast play when we can. When it's not on, then we'll kick long, get numbers to the contest and start again."

The Saints made four changes to the team which lost to North Melbourne last week. Josh Saunders, Billy Longer, Brodie Murdoch and Josh Bruce replace Sam Dunell, Tom Hickey, Cameron Shenton and Seb Ross.

Bruce joined St Kilda as a defender but has kicked 5.7 and taken 26 marks as a forward in the VFL in the past three weeks.

Fremantle brought in star duo Luke McPharlin and Matt de Boer, forward Matt Taberner and Jon Griffin, who returns after a knee reconstruction.

Aaron Sandilands (back) and Hayden Ballantyne (suspended) couldn't be selected. Michael Apeness and Clancee Pearce were dropped.

Roberton played 37 games for Fremantle before returning to Victoria to be closer to his family when his first child was born.

Roberton now has two boys.

Change has been the only constant part of his career because he's had four coaches in the past four years - Mark Harvey, Ross Lyon, Scott Watters and Alan Richardson.

"It's not ideal but I've learnt a lot of things from each of them," Roberton said.

"We need to take on the game and play to kick a winning score. We'll back our skills in …""St Kilda's *Dylan Roberton *

The West Australian

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