Feathers Set To Fly In Bird Battle

Picture: Daniel Wilkins/News Limited
Matt Priddis has been a consistent performer for the Eagles this season. Image courtesy of Daniel Wilkins/News Limited
Last Five Matches

Round 17, 2012 – Adelaide 124 d West Coast 75 at AAMI Stadium
Round 24, 2011 – West Coast 145 d Adelaide 50 at Patersons Stadium
Round 12, 2011 – West Coast 106 d Aselaide 67 at AAMI Stadium
Round 15, 2010 – Adelaide 117 d West Coast 95 at Patersons Stadium
Round 21, 2009 – Adelaide 122 d West Coast 48 at AAMI Stadium


Form

     Rd 10       Rd 11       Rd 12       Rd 13       Rd 14   
Adelaide    L  L  L  B  W
West Coast    L  W  B  L  L

Adelaide kept its finals hopes alive with a win on the Gold Coast last Saturday. The Crows had a lot more of the footy than the Suns, but their lack of accountability let them down. Dion Prestia was allowed to run rampant all afternoon gathering 42 possessions, and unless the Crows’ midfield starts working harder, they will find it tough against the better teams in the league.

After winning four on the bounce against some admittedly weak teams mid-season, the Eagles have now lost three of their last four. Last Thursday night’s game against the Eagles was there for the taking, but they were run down in the final quarter by an inspired Bombers outfit, led admirably by the under siege Jobe Watson.

West Coast has suffered a blow with silky-skilled midfielder Daniel Kerr out with a rib injury. The Eagles have added some speed with Josh Hill back in the team, while veteran Andrew Embley has also regained his place in the 22. Veteran Crows defender Brent Reilly is out for the season with a shoulder injury.


Key Men

(Crows) Sam Jacobs – He has copped plenty of flak this season, but Sam Jacobs took young Suns ruckman Tom Nicholls to school last weekend. He finished with 38 hit outs while the home side could only muster 20 as a team, and most of the time his taps gave his midfielders first use of the footy. He’s not in the class of either Dean Cox or Nic Naitanui, but at his best, he is a formidable opponent. With a bit of assistance from Josh Jenkins , he needs to go close to breaking even for the Crows to get on the front foot.

(Eagles) Matt Priddis – With tough nut Scott Selwood sidelined for the immediate future, West Coast’s senior players needed to step up, and nobody took up the challenge more than Matt Priddis . He picked up nine clearances on the way to tallying 33 touches for the game. He just needs some of his midfield mates to follow.


Prediction

West Coast hasn’t had any dramas winning in Adelaide in recent seasons. The Eagles have taken out five of the last eight clashes between these teams at AAMI Stadium, but in saying that, the Crows hammered the visitors by 49 points in the corresponding match in round 17 last year. Neither side can lay claim to being in good form, although the Eagles were more than competitive in close losses to the Hawks and Bombers the past fortnight. Adelaide has been woeful at home this year, winning just two of seven matches they’ve played in the City of Churches. The Eagles are 4-2 away from Perth, and if they can push Hawthorn to the limit, you’d think they should be able to get over the hometown Crows, especially with far more weaponary in the forward 50. Eagles by 13 points .

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