West Coast v Sydney

Picture: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times
Shane Mumford and Dean Cox will clash in another ruck battle. Picture: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times
A depleted West Coast outfit will be determined to retain top spot on the competition ladder when they face second-placed Sydney  at Paterson’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles have built an impressive record at the ground, winning their past eighteen matches there, but that record will be put to the test by the Swans. Key players Quinten Lynch and Luke Shuey have been ruled out through suspension, while Beau Waters is still out with a knee injury.

Sydney’s win over Brisbane last weekend was their fifth in succession and they are finally starting to be given some respect as genuine premiership contenders. The Swans have won the five most recent meetings between the sides, including two in Perth, and another win here would really make the rest of the competition sit up and take notice.

Where It Will be Won –Dean Cox and Nic Natanui are the AFL’s dominant ruck duo and just how Sydney contain them could be a decisive factor in this match. Shane Mumford and Canadian Mike Pyke have been playing well recently but this is their biggest test yet. If they can provide good service for their midfielders, including Josh Kennedy  and Ryan O’Keefe , the Swans will go very close to winning. With so many of their first choice players out, the Eagle will be more reliant than ever on Matt Priddis  and Scott Selwood  winning a lot of the footy.

Prediction – While West Coast have built a formidable record at Paterson’s Stadium, the one team that has caused them real problems in recent times is the Sydney. With numerous key players out for the hosts, the Swans can continue their recent dominance. Sydney 1-39

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