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West Coast Eagles v Melbourne Demons Predictions and Match Preview - Can the Demons secure a spot in the eight?

Adam Cusworth 18 Aug 2018
  • West Coast take on Melbourne at Perth Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Here is our preview of the Round 22 clash. 

The West Coast Eagles take on Melbourne in AFL Round 22 and the Sunday afternoon encounter is a pivotal one for both sides finals aspirations. 

The game gets underway at 3.20PM AEST (1.20PM AWST) on Sunday August 18 and Channel 7 and Fox Footy will broadcast all the action. 

Match Preview


West Coast come off a stunning win over Port Adelaide in Round 21 after Jeremy McGovern booted a goal after the siren to hand his side a four point win over Port Adelaide. 

That victory meant that the Eagles finished the round in 2nd position on the ladder and a win here will mean that they will lock in a home final in the first week of the finals series. 

On the same weekend, Melbourne went down to the Sydney Swans by nine points and that loss continued the Demons winless streak against sides in the top half of the ladder. Simon Goodwin's side are 0-7 against the top nine teams. 

They are currently 7th on the ladder and with a game to follow against GWS they are in danger of falling out of the eight. Inaccuracy cost them in the loss to Sydney as they had 28 scoring shots to 22. 

Statistically, Melbourne rank higher than West Coast in a number of measures. They are 2nd for total disposals, while West Coast are 16th and they are 3rd for clearances, compared to 12th. 

Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw and Dom Tyson should find plenty of the footy and we can expect Max Gawn to have an influence in the ruck in the absence of his Eagles counterpart, Nic Natanui. 

However, the dominance in those numbers has not always translated to a win for the Demons. West Coast are a strong marking side and even without Natanui and possibly Josh Kennedy, they can get on top in the air. 

Last week's match winner, Jeremy McGovern, is one that will need to be contained as well as Jack Darling, who was quiet in the win over the Power but has booted 38 goals from his 16 appearance this season. 

An upset win for Melbourne will see them safely into the September action and possibly as high as 4th at the end of the round but a loss will leave them clinging on to their spot in the eight and needing to win in Round 23. 

Team News


West Coast aren't expected to make too many changes but Hamish Brayshaw, Jake Waterman and Brayden Ainsworth are among those that are knocking on the door. Josh Kennedy is expected to miss another match. 

Melbourne will be without Jayden Hunt after the running defender hurt his calf last weekend but Michael Hibberd is rated a chance of returning. Max Gawn battled with a corked calf in the Swans loss but is expected to be ok. 

Stats


West Coast have won 10 of the past 11 games between the two sides but the last time they met it was Melbourne in a three point thriller at Domain Stadium in Perth. That clash was in Round 14 of 2017 and it was Tom McDonald that sealed the victory with a late goal. 

Melbourne are yet to play at Perth Stadium and will need to be at their best as West Coast are building up a nice record at the venue, winning nine of their 11 games there. Melbourne have ventured interstate on six occasions in 2018 and have come away with a very respectable five wins. 

Prediction and Tips


This game is huge for Melbourne but it is hard to ignore their record this season against quality opposition, while West Coast have been excellent at their new home ground. 


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West Coast Eagles v Melbourne Demons Predictions and Match Preview - Can the Demons secure a spot in the eight?

West Coast take on Melbourne at Perth Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Here is our preview of the Round 22 clash.

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