Big Guns Return For Eagles

Picture: Daniel Wilkins/News Limited
Matt Priddis was excellent against the Lions last week. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/News Limited
Last 5 Meetings

Elimination Final, 2012 – West Coast Eagles 162 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 66 at Patersons Stadium
Round 15, 2012 – West Coast Eagles 86 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 86 at Blundstone Arena
Round 6, 2012 - West Coast Eagles 120 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 95 at Patersons Stadium
Round 1, 2011 – West Coast Eagles 92 d North Melbourne Kangaroos 88 at Patersons Stadium
Round 21, 2010 – North Melbourne Kangaroos 110 d West Coast Eagles 94 at Subiaco Oval

Current Form

  Rd 3    Rd 4    Rd 5    Rd 6    Rd 7 
West Coast

W

L

L

W

W

North Melbourne

L

W

L

W

W


The West Coast Eagles  will welcome a host of stars back for their match against North Melbourne  at Patersons Stadium on Friday night, with both clubs looking to improve on negative winning (3-4) records. Beau Waters, Adam Selwood, Daniel Kerr and Chris Masten all return after recovering from various injury layoffs and the return of influential midfielder Kerr will be particularly important for a side that has the second worst disposal efficiency in the competition.

Kangaroos skipper Andrew Swallow and NAB Rising Star nominee Aaron Mullet have been named to play despite picking up minor injuries against the Bulldogs in round seven, showing how important coach Brad Scott sees this match against a fellow finals contender. Defender Nathan Grima is a big inclusion after missing last week with general soreness and will add some height at the back as North Melbourne tries to contain the likes of Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy, but forward Robbie Tarrant remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Key Men

Matt Priddis (Eagles) – It is no coincidence that the three matches West Coast has won this season were also the best three performances that Matt Priddis  has put in this season. He was at his best against the Lions last week collecting 29 possessions and helping himself to 10 ten clearances. As a matter of fact, the 28 year-old leads the league for clearances despite succumbing to injury just minutes into the match against Port three weeks ago. It will be important that he capitalises on the work of Dean Cox and Nick Naitanui against the Kangaroos.

Majak Daw (Kangaroos) – The story of North Melbourne’s Majak Daw  is a remarkable one, with the Sudanese refugee making it to the big league in Australia’s premier football code. Although he is listed as a ruckman, the 22 year-old was used as a forward target with great success against the Bulldogs last weekend when he kicked six goals and is likely to operate in the same capacity at Patersons.

Prediction

It may seem a strange thing to say less than a third of the way into the season, but this could be a defining match for these teams 2013 fortunes. They are both sitting just outside the top eight but have the talent to be playing finals football. If the Kangaroos can collect four points in the West, they will have the confidence to kick on for the remainder of the campaign, but West Coast will be buoyed by the return of key players and the fact they are coming off back-to-back wins, albeit against less opposition. West Coast Eagles by 14

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