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West Coast Eagles v Melbourne Demons Preliminary Final Predictions and Match Preview - Eagles to edge into a Grand Final

Andrew Hendrie 20 Sep 2018
  • Can the Demons keep the dream alive or will it be the Eagles? 
  • They play off for a Grand Final berth on Saturday afternoon. 

West Coast take on the Melbourne Demons in the second of the AFL Preliminary Finals and a Grand Final berth awaits the winner. 

First bounce is at 3.20PM AEST (1.20PM AWST) and the Perth Stadium clash will be broadcast by Channel 7 and Fox Footy. 

Match Preview


West Coast finished the home and away season in 2nd spot on the ladder and defeated Collingwood in the first week of the finals by 16 points, gaining the home Preliminary Final in the process. 

Melbourne qualified in 5th position and have defeated Geelong and Hawthorn in their two finals. Last weekend they accounted for Hawthorn by 33 points and make the journey to Perth in their quest to make their first Grand Final since the year 2000. 

The two sides play contrasting styles. Melbourne should have the advantage in the ruck and at ground level but West Coast tend to reign supreme in the air, ranking No.1 in the competition for marks and contested marks. 

With Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling both fully fit, the Perth based side have rarely missed a beat, while Jeremy McGovern is likely to patrol the backline with his intercept marking. 

But Melbourne are the competition's best for winning the hitouts and contested possessions, while they ranked 3d for clearances over the course of the season. The Eagles were 12th, 2nd and 13th in these measures. 

Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw should get on top in the middle and if the Dees forwards can convert then their side will go very close to securing a win. 

Match Odds


West Coast $1.80
Melbourne $2.05

*Correct at the time of writing.

Team News


Brad Sheppard injured his hamstring in West Coast's win over Collingwood and will miss the big game. Will Schofield is his likely replacement, while Jake Waterman and Brayden Ainsworth are among others in the mix. 

Melbourne have no injury concerns out of the Hawks game aside from Angus Brayshaw, who copped a couple of hard hits. But the tough nut should be good to go. Melbourne's feeder club, Casey Scorpions, played their VFL game on Saturday and Bernie Vince and Joel Smith are a couple of players that are on the cusp of selection. 

Stats


Melbourne claimed the Round 21 clash between the two sides by 17 points and that game was played at Perth Stadium. On that occasion it was Angus Brayshaw and Max Gawn that starred for the Dees, while Jake Melksham and Tom McDonald combined for seven goals. 

Elliot Yeo and Dom Sheed were among West Coast's best and it should be noted that the Eagles were without Josh Kennedy for that game, while Jack Darling went down early with concussion. 

Melbourne have won four of their five interstate games in 2018. West Coast are nine from 12 at Perth Stadium this year. The two sides have met in finals on four occasions and it is the Eagles that have won all of those but the most recent was way back in the 1994 Preliminary Final. 

Prediction and Tips


Melbourne are the fairytale side and have knocked over a couple of seasoned campaigners in Geelong and Hawthorn so far. But with Kennedy and Darling in the side as well, as the plenty of vocal home fans behind them at Perth Stadium, West Coast should have the answers. 


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West Coast Eagles v Melbourne Demons Preliminary Final Predictions and Match Preview - Eagles to edge into a Grand Final

Can the Demons keep the dream alive or will it be the Eagles? They play off for a Grand Final berth on Saturday afternoon.

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