Port Adelaide leaves side unchanged for Bulldogs prelim final

Port Adelaide will go in unchanged for their AFL preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, while Dogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli will also play after recovering from a knee complaint sustained last week.

Sep 10, 2021, updated Sep 10, 2021
Port Adelaide defeated Geelong in the second qualifying final on August 27. Photo: Michael Errey/InDaily

Port Adelaide defeated Geelong in the second qualifying final on August 27. Photo: Michael Errey/InDaily

Ken Hinkley on Thursday named an unchanged side from their qualifying final win over Geelong two weeks ago, with small forward Orazio Fantasia given the green light despite re-injuring his knee a fortnight ago.

Emerging forward Mitch Georgiades has been ruled out because of lingering concern over his hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have named star pair Marcus Bontempelli and Stefan Martin but will be without key defender Alex Keath due to injury.

Bontempelli was in doubt after hurting his right knee in the final few minutes of the thrilling semi-final win over Brisbane.

The Brownlow Medal fancy was cleared of structural damage and has been on light duties this week, but is set to play in a huge boost to the Dogs’ chances of reaching their first grand final since the famous 2016 premiership.

“We’re really hopeful that he’s going to be okay,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge told SEN on Thursday.

“If he isn’t then we’re just going to have to, as we have all year, spread the load and fill his role with someone else and believe we can get the job done.

“But he’s an amazing player and leader and he’d be a huge loss if he doesn’t come up.”

Martin has played just one game in more than four months because of achilles, shoulder, hip and groin injuries, with his most recent appearance way back in round 12.

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His presence will allow Tim English to spend most of his time in attack, with Lewis Young omitted.

Keath is out with a hamstring issue while the Dogs have rolled the dice on ruckman Martin as he returns for an important battle with the Power’s Scott Lycett at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Zaine Cordy has been recalled to take Keath’s place in defence, while last week’s medi-sub Jason Johannisen comes into the 22 for livewire forward Cody Weightman (concussion).


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