West Coast Eagles v Brisbane Lions

Picture: Daniel Wilkins/News Limited
Matt Priddis is averaging the most clearance per game in the AFL in 2012. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/New Limited
After suffering a shock 102-100 loss to Brisbane  in round 10, West Coast  will be looking for revenge when the two teams meet at Patersons Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Defeats to Adelaide and Sydney in the past fortnight have seen the Eagles drop out of the top four and this is a must win match if they are to earn a second chance in the finals. Their cause is boosted by the return midfielder Luke Shuey.

The Lions unconvincing win against the Suns last weekend was their first in three weeks and things certainly don’t get easier with the long trip over to Perth. Daniel Rich was one of the Brisbane’s best in their round 10 win but he misses this clash through suspension.

Where It Will be Won – When these sides met at the Gabba earlier in the year, West Coast won the hitouts 75-29 yet somehow managed fewer clearances than their opponents. Matt Priddis  has been prolific at the stoppages this season and he will be largely responsible for ensuring that the work of his ruckmen doesn’t go unrewarded. His battle with Simon Black  in the middle of the ground will be one to savour, and is one that the Lions must win to have any chance of being victorious. Although they beat the Gold Coast last weekend, they were comprehensively outdone in the clearance (43-22) and need to improve this part of their game as well.

Prediction – West Coast had made Patersons Stadium a fortress, with eighteen consecutive win at the ground prior to their defeat to the Swans there in round 16, and will be determined to reaffirm the stadium as a difficult place for opposition sides to play. They will be too good for the Lions and will manage a comfortable victory. West Coast 40+

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