Geelong Cats captain Joel Selwood is expecting a lot of traveling fans to show up the Adelaide Crows faithful at their home ground in Friday night’s preliminary final.
The Cats have played both of its finals at the MCG, with both games providing varying atmospheres after a hostile reception saw them lose by 51 points to Richmond in the qualifying final followed by an upset 59 point win over Sydney Swans the following week.
The refurbished Adelaide Oval has proved to be an intimidating ground for traveling teams since becoming a regularly used stadium in 2014.
The Crows have lost six games this season, three of them being at home, however Selwood is adamant the Cats fans will turn up in numbers.
“It’s completely different (to the Richmond crowd), Adelaide Oval does hold noise pretty well and we’ve enjoyed playing over there,” Selwood said.
“It’s a great ground to play at, we have 2000 members over there so we expect them to be there. We’ll be taking busloads over so we expect to see a bit of blue and white in the crowd.
“We didn’t bring what we wanted to the week before. We knew what was on the line a little bit more which is a bit sad to say when you get the chance to play in the prelim after the first week.”
It will also be a return for Patrick Dangerfield facing his former club and the Cats skipper is predicting him to be playing Mr Utility once again.
“He’s played some great footy for us throughout the middle of the ground so it’s up to the coach,” he said.
“Paddy will have a fair say in it too on where he thinks he’ll best start.
“We think he can stretch backlines because he’s so dominant as a forward too, but I do like lining up next to him in the middle.”
Geelong has tasted both victory and defeat in its encounters against the Crows this year, with a 22 point win in Round 11 at Simonds Stadium and a 21 point loss in the reverse fixture at Adelaide Oval in Round 18.
Adelaide go into the game as heavy favourites and many are backing it to win the premiership this season after finishing first on the ladder.
Sydney was also a heavy favourite to down Selwood’s Cats last week and the 29-year-old said the comprehensive performance last week was no surprise to him.
“We’ve been a pretty proud footy club for a long time,” Selwood said.
“To put a performance out like that, but It wasn’t like we blew them out of the water or started that well, we hung in the fight. We took it up to them and that’s how we expected to play.”
The three-time premiership winner is still looking to dream, with his first flag coming almost a decade ago.
He admitted the club looked into its last encounter with the Crows and felt composure was key going into a prelim.
“We didn’t play overly well early in the game, we were a bit fumbly,” he conceded.
“They put a bit of pressure on us by just pushing the ball forward, putting our backs under pressure too, keeping in their half.
“We looked to hold onto the ball a little bit more and then hopefully have it in our forward half more than what they do.”