Suban and Silvagni set for the fight
Freo’s emergencies for the match were Lachie Neale, Cameron Sutcliffe and Roberton.
Despite two solid seasons since his debut in 2010, Silvagni has struggled to break into a Fremantle defence that this year ranks second in the league for points conceded, behind only ladder-leading Sydney Swans.
With All Australian full-back contender McPharlin banned for a game, the courageous 24-year-old will step up to play on one of Adelaide’s dangerous tall forwards in Kurt Tippett (if he plays) and Taylor Walker.
Freo general manager of football operations Chris Bond said the onus of covering McPharlin’s absence didn’t fall on Silvagni alone.
“Everybody in the backline is going to have to stand up because Adelaide are a very competitive team who have had a great year,” he said.
“It’s going to have to be a team effort to stop their key players.”
Suban has been in and out of the side this year, but Bond said the club was pleased with the 22-year-old’s progress.
“Nick’s worked really hard and he’s coming off some good form in the WAFL,” he said.
“At the end of the day, he just needs to keep doing what he does well.
“If he does that, I’m sure he’ll continue to play good football for us.”
The two sides met earlier this season in round 10, when Freo hit the front early in the final quarter before wilting to lose by 29 points against a Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane inspired Crows team.
Bond said many things had changed since that game, except that Freo still faced a talented opponent playing at the top of its game.
“I think, as the year has gone on, both teams have changed significantly, both in personnel and with what Adelaide are doing,” he said.
“At the end of the day you can only go out there and do the best you can.
“We’ve got a lot of faith that the boys we’ve selected are in good form, but we’re also up against one of the best teams in the AFL, so we know it’s going to be difficult.”
Fremantle defeated the Crows in the last contest between the sides at AAMI Stadium in round 3, 2011 – the game in which Matthew Pavlich broke Shane Parker’s club games record of 238 games.
Pavlich plays game number 275 on Saturday and is on track to break West Coast Eagles legend Glen Jakovich’s record of 276 games for most AFL appearances by a player from WA’s two AFL sides.
Meanwhile, Fremantle has placed injured duo Anthony Morabito (knee) and Greg Broughton (finger) on the long-term injury list.