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Stats that Matter: PF

Last Time We Met: Geelong R18 Before a huge Preliminary Final at Adelaide Oval, give yourself a reminder of what happened the last time the Cats came to Adelaide

Adelaide and Geelong have played a total of 41 times. The Cats hold the overall advantage 23 – 18.

The Crows and Cats have only met once in a final – at Football Park in the 1997 Semi-Final. Adelaide won that match by eight points to progress to a Preliminary Final against the Western Bulldogs.

Geelong’s last 26 finals have been played in Victoria.

The last time the Cats ventured interstate for a final was in the 2005 Semi-Final at the SCG where Sydney forward Nick Davis broke Geelong hearts with a goal in the dying stages to snatch a three-point win for the Swans. Sydney went on to beat West Coast in the Grand Final.

Geelong has played one final in South Australia against Port Adelaide in the 2004 Qualifying Final at Football Park, which the Power won by 55 points.

Adelaide has previously only hosted one home Preliminary Final against West Coast at Football Park in 2006. On that day, the Eagles came from behind to secure a 10-point win on their way to winning the premiership.

Crow Scott Thompson, who will retire at the end of the season, is the only player from the 2006 Preliminary Final still in the AFL system. Adelaide onballer Richard Douglas was a first-year player in ’06 but was left out of the team after the Qualifying Final.

Including the upcoming match, Geelong has played in eight of the last 11 Preliminary Finals.

On Friday night, Adelaide will make its eighth Preliminary Final appearance.

Of the current Crows squad, eight have played in a Preliminary Final. Thompson has featured in three (2005, 2006 and 2012), while Douglas, Sam Jacobs, David Mackay, Andy Otten, Rory Sloane, Taylor Walker and Brodie Smith all played in the 2012 loss to Hawthorn at the MCG.

At Adelaide Oval in Round 18 this season, the Crows snapped a five-game losing streak against Geelong.

The home team established a handy lead in the first quarter and held on to record a 21-point win.

On that night, midfielders Richard Douglas (four) and Rory Sloane (three) combined for seven goals, while Geelong swingman Harry Taylor booted five.

The Cats won the other meeting between the teams by 22 points in Geelong in Round 11.

The biggest crowd for a game between the Crows and Cats was 53,141 at Adelaide Oval in Round Eight last season.

On Friday night, All Australian Crows defender Rory Laird is set to play his 100th game.

Cats Rhys Stanley (100) and Jed Bews (50) could also notch milestones this week.

Geelong and Adelaide are the top-two tackling teams in the competition this season. The Cats average 75.7 tackles per game, while the Crows apply 72.2 tackles on average.

Both sides are also top four in contested possessions. Adelaide leads the way averaging 156 per game, while the Geelong ranks fourth (147.7).

Crows forward Eddie Betts has kicked 28 career goals in finalsranked equal-seventh among current (2017) players. Cat Tom Hawkins is ninth with 26, while Adelaide captain Taylor Walker (17) also features in the top 20 with 19 finals goals.

Geelong staged a 110-point turnaround on its Qualifying Final performance against Richmond to dismantle the Sydney Swans by 10 goals in the Semi-Final.

Cats captain Joel Selwood has collected 30 or more disposals in four of his last six games against Adelaide. Young Crow Riley Knight held Selwood to 26 when the sides met at Adelaide Oval in Round 18.

The Cats average 35.8 points per game from stoppages – ranked third of all clubs this season.