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AFL Round 22 Preview: GWS v West Coast

WHERE: Spotless Stadium, Saturday, August 19, 2.35pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R10, 2017: GWS 14.14 (98) def West Coast 14.6 (90) at Domain Stadium
R21, 2016: West Coast 14.13 (97) def GWS 14.12 (96) at Spotless Stadium
R5, 2015: West Coast 18.12 (120) def GWS 4.9 (33) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2014: West Coast 30.8 (188) def GWS 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium
R9, 2013: West Coast 23.17 (155) def GWS 8.7 (55) at Spotless Stadium

OVERVIEW

Following an unconvincing win against the Blues last Saturday night, the Eagles find themselves back in the top 8. However, they’ll need to win at least one of their last two games to secure a finals birth. Unfortunately for Adam Simpson’s men, they’ll have to go through both GWS and Adelaide to do so.

The last time these two teams met at Spotless Stadium was one of the greatest finishes in football history, with Nic Naitanui stealing victory with the last kick of the game. The Eagles may need another miracle to get over the top of a hot GWS team away from home.

Toby Greene was dynamic against the Eagles in round 10. The fiery forward narrowly avoided suspension this week, and the Eagles look set to get under his skin on Saturday.

TALKING POINTS

1. At 61%, West Coast is ranked second for time in front this season, only Adelaide at 63% has held the lead for longer. It may be a painful statistic for West Coast fans, but the silver lining is that the Eagles are clearly not too far off from getting things right.

2. Luke Shuey was incredible in the Eagles’ last win over GWS, amassing 38 touches, 13 clearances, six tackles, six inside-50s and two crucial goals. They’ll need another huge performance from the reigning John Worsfold Medallist.

3. Back in round 10, GWS managed their first ever win over West Coast. It was an ugly day for the Eagles, losing Josh Kennedy to a calf injury and getting smashed 54-31 in the clearances.

4. While there’s much speculation surrounding Josh Kelly’s future, his form is undeniable. The talented midfielder had a day out against the Eagles in round 10, collecting 29 touches, six tackles, seven clearances and a goal. Will Mark Hutchings go to Josh Kelly?

5. The Giants are ranked number one in the AFL for clearances, with an average of 24.9 per game. On the other hand, the Eagles average just 36.4 in that area. The return of Shane Mumford should only hurt the Eagles cause.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Nathan Vardy.

Shane Mumford is one of the AFL’s most feared big men. Adam Simpson will be looking for a strong contest from Nathan Vardy in the ruck. Vardy can’t compete with Mumford in the strength department, but he can make him accountable by running him around the ground all day.

TIP: West Coast by 1.

SECOND TIP: The Eagles win with the last kick of the day.

AFL Round 21 Preview: West Coast v Carlton

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Saturday, August 12, 5.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R17, 2016: West Coast 12.10 (82) def Carlton 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R2, 2015: West Coast 20.11 (131) def Carlton 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R6, 2014: Carlton 14.8 (92) def West Coast 12.17 (89) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2013: Carlton 12.17 (89) def West Coast 7.23 (65) at Domain Stadium
R12, 2012: West Coast 10.19 (79) def Carlton 10.9 (69) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

It has been a rough week for West Coast following yet another fourth-quarter fade-out. While last week’s score line may have been somewhat flattering for West Coast, the stats were a completely different story. From contested possessions to tackles and clearances, all the crucial numbers from last Sunday suggest a serious lack of hunger from the Eagles’ midfield.

There is no denying that the lack of a full-time ruckman has hurt West Coast this year, and the job does not get any easier on Saturday night against Matthew Kreuzer. Recent images of Nic Naitanui on the training track may have Eagles fans filled with hope of a late-season return, but there is no point in a return if there is nothing to play for.

While Carlton may be in the race for the spoon, some of their performances this year suggest they are making progress as a playing group. They have pushed Melbourne, Essendon and the Dogs in recent weeks, but simply pushing teams will not cut it for much longer.

TALKING POINTS

1. 2017 has been a year of missed opportunities for the Eagles, losing five games less than 10 points. Throw an 11-point loss to Richmond into the mix and the Eagles have lost six games by a combined 42 points.

2. The Eagles’ midfielders lowered their colours last week losing the clearances 42-30, the contested possessions 162-128, and the tackle count 83-51. Matt Priddis’ return should help their case in tight around the contest.

3. While most visiting teams struggle at Domain Stadium, Carlton has won 38% of their games played at the venue. Silver linings, right?

4. Another week, another bag for Josh Kennedy. The two-time reigning Coleman Medallist is averaging five goals a game since his return from a calf injury, and now only two goals, Joe Daniher and his filthy moustache stand between the big forward and his third Coleman.

5. When you are fighting for a finals spot, the last thing you need is to finish off the season against quality teams. For the Eagles, however, that is exactly the position they find themselves in. Saturday night is a must-win, with GWS and Adelaide to finish off the home-and-away season.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Josh Kennedy.

Team success is all well and good. However, it is not often that someone wins three Coleman Medals in a row, especially after missing five games through injury. With GWS and Adelaide to come, Kennedy should be looking to cash in against the struggling Blues.

TIP: West Coast by 38.

SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy kicks 10.

AFL Round 20 Preview: St Kilda v West Coast

WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, August 6, 11.20am AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R2, 2017: West Coast Eagles 18.8 (116) def St Kilda 13.19 (97) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2016: West Coast Eagles 20.12 (132) def St Kilda 3.11 (29) at Domain Stadium
R23, 2015: West Coast Eagles 18.17 (125) def St Kilda 4.6 (30) at Domain Stadium
R8, 2015: West Coast Eagles 20.11 (131) def St Kilda 12.6 (78) at Etihad Stadium
R14, 2014: West Coast Eagles 15.13 (103) def St Kilda 10.10 (70) at Etihad Stadium

OVERVIEW

West Coast and St Kilda find themselves in quite similar positions coming into Sunday’s crucial clash. At 10-8 and 9-9, respectively, the Eagles and Saints have both managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in recent weeks. West Coast coughed up a 24-point lead to Collingwood, and St Kilda somehow managed to lose to Port Adelaide last week.

As we near the end of yet another AFL season, we are beginning to see more and more players hang up the boots. The Eagles will be without the on-field services of Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell next season, while the Saints are set to lose favourite son Nick Reiwoldt.

Whilst neither side has done anything to suggest they are serious contenders this season, we all know what happened last year when the Dogs hit form towards September. With a crucial four points up for grabs, there is no reason for both teams to not fire up this week.

TALKING POINTS

1. Accuracy cost St Kilda a rare win in Perth back in round 2, kicking rotten 13.19 in front of the big sticks. Five goals to one in the fourth saw the Eagles storm home for a rather unconvincing win in front of a nervous Domain Stadium crowd.

2. Before Sunday’s game Nick Reiwoldt, Sam Mitchell and Matt Priddis have combined to a total of 891 AFL games. With Reiwoldt set to miss again, he has almost certainly played his last game against the Eagles.

3. For Eagles fans, Luke Partington’s inclusion in the West Coast side last week was a welcome injection of youth. 16 touches and a goal on debut should be enough for the promising South Australian to hold his spot for at least one more week.

4. Against the Lions last week, West Coast cracked 100 points for just the third time this season. On the flip side, St Kilda is struggling to hit the scoreboard, averaging just 59 points per game in their last three outings.

5. Since his return from a calf injury, two-time Coleman Medalist Josh Kennedy has kicked 15 goals in just three games. Remarkably, following five weeks on the sidelines, Kennedy sits just four majors behind Joe Daniher. Even if Kennedy fails to reclaim his crown, there is no doubt who is the best spearhead in the competition.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Sam Mitchell.

Saying goodbye is never fun. For Sam Mitchell, Sunday’s clash may very well be his final game in Melbourne, unless West Coast sneak into the eight and are forced to travel interstate. Mitchell will swap his boots for dress shoes next year as he moves into the Eagles’ coaching box. Expect a big game from the 323-game veteran, who will surely be lacing them up in front of a large collection of friends and family.

TIP: West Coast by 3.

SECOND TIP: If the game is close in the fourth, Liam Duggan will think twice before playing on.

Choosing the Right Voice for Your Brand

We’re told from a young age that “first impressions are everything”; they’re the ever-lasting picture a new person paints of you from the moment you meet. While we tend to take this with a pinch of salt when socialising with others, the idiom rings all the more true when there are physical barriers in place, such as communicating over the phone.

When it comes to the first impression of your business, the stakes are much higher, as this often determines whether or not a new customer will jump on board with you and what you have to offer. While meeting customers in real life gives you ample opportunity to charm with your smile and warm personality, interacting over the phone is an entirely different story, and it’s the initial aural handshake that truly counts.

This is why choosing the right voice talent for your audio production is so important to your branding and customer reach. If a new customer is calling your company for the first time, it’s imperative they’re greeted with a warm and welcoming audio greeting that perfectly reflects your brand.

If your business is in a delicate industry, such as respite care or a funeral home, your voice talent ought to be soothing, comforting, and informative, rather than energetic and bubbly. On the other side of the coin, a younger voice with bright tones and a vivacious energy will be better suited to a childcare centre or café.

Each of our voice talents offers varying degrees of tone, warmth and personality types, to mirror your company’s image. There’s Candice, whose glowing, cheerful smile can actually be heard down the phone line; Magnus offers a host of character voices; Grayton has an authoritative, deep tone that commands attention; and Annie’s mature voice connects with callers while being helpful and comforting.

The right voice talent for your audio production shouldn’t be so out of line with your brand that it distracts the callers: what your callers should be focusing on is the content of the messages, rather than the voice. If you currently have a welcome message recorded in-house by your nervous receptionist or ambivalent IT guy, then the impression you’re offering isn’t all that strong or professional.

Take a listen below and see what you think. Here’s an average run of the mill in-house welcome example:

 

And here’s something we rustled up with one of our professional voice artists, Adrian:

 

So what do you think? How are you greeting each and every customer and prospect over the phone?

The right voice talent for your brand will not only receive every customer with professionalism, they’ll also get your customers excited about your promotions, keep them informed with vital information, or even calm them down if they’re stressed out.

Think about your company and brand as a person. What are their values? What do they talk about? What do they sound like? Now head over to our massive voice talent library and find the right voice to bring your messages and business to life!

– Cassie

AFL Round 19 Preview: West Coast v Brisbane

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, July 30, 2.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R13, 2016: West Coast 20.11 (131) def Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba
R1, 2016: West Coast 26.10 (166) def Brisbane Lions 15.12 (102) at Domain Stadium
R4, 2015: West Coast 17.16 (118) def Brisbane Lions 9.11 (65) at the Gabba
R17, 2014: West Coast 11.10 (76) def Brisbane Lions 9.10 (64) at the Gabba
R7, 2013: West Coast 17.6 (108) def Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba

OVERVIEW

It has been one rough week for West Coast. With a 24-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles looked home and hosed last week against the Pies; however, Adam Simpson’s men stumbled at the last hurdle by conceding the last five goals.

Unfairly, Adam Simpson has copped the brunt of the backlash from Eagles fans this week. At the end of the day, however, there is not much Simpson can do during the last five minutes of a game—that responsibility falls solely on the players.

If last week’s game was a must-win, this week is a must-must-win game. For a team struggling for form, there could not be a better time for the Eagles to face the last-placed Lions, especially considering they will be without Dayne Zorko.

TALKING POINTS

1. After failing to crack the ton in their last 11 games, could this be the week that the Eagles finally return to their high-scoring ways of old?

2. The Lions don’t have a great record at many venues around the country, and Domain Stadium is no exception. Brisbane has failed to leave Perth with any points in their last seven visits.

3. Shannon Hurn has led the Eagles’ possession count in their last two games. Normally, having your captain lead your possession count is a great sign; however, when that captain plays in defence, it is probably time to look closely at your midfield.

4. Much has been said about the Eagles’ fitness, following a spate of recent fourth-quarter fadeouts. West Coast has lost five of their last six final quarters by a combine 102 points.

5. Eagles fans have been crying out for an injection of youth, disregarding the fact Adam Simpson picked Tom Barrass, Tom Cole, Jackson Nelson, Liam Duggan and Dom Sheed last week. Following 29 touches and two goals in the WAFL, Luke Partington looks almost certain to make his senior debut this against the Lions.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Adam Simpson.

Adam Simpson has a contract until the end of 2019. However, many hot-headed West Coast fans are already calling for the boot. How quickly people forget that Simpson is a coach who took a team that finished 13th in 2013 to a Grand Final appearance in just two years’ time. Sure, West Coast has some work to do, but Adam Simpson is the man to do it.

TIP: West Coast by 33.

SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy kicks seven.

AFL Round 18 Preview: Collingwood v West Coast

WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, July 23, 1.20pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R19, 2016: Collingwood 13.13 (91) def West Coast 11.6 (72) at the MCG
R6, 2016: West Coast 18.16 (124) def Collingwood 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R16, 2015: West Coast 11.21 (87) def Collingwood 7.14 (56) at Etihad Stadium
R20, 2014: West Coast 19.12 (126) def Collingwood 10.6 (66) at Domain Stadium
R10, 2014: Collingwood 17.7 (109) def West Coast 15.11 (101) at the MCG

OVERVIEW

The Eagles are clinging to a top-eight spot, following a less-than-convincing win over Fremantle last week. However, their case for being a genuine contender looks shaky to say the least. To put it simply: this is a must-win game for an Eagles side struggling to get any real momentum going this season.

Last week’s Western Derby was not particularly pretty viewing, but Eagles fans should be encouraged by the more attacking style Adam Simpson was trying to play (at least in the first half). The Eagles looked into the corridor at every opportunity against the Dockers, something that could pay dividends on a fast Etihad deck.

No Scott Pendlebury could be the difference this week. If it is not, 200 games for Josh Kennedy and 150 for Luke Shuey should give the Eagles all the motivation they need to get the job done. West coast is yet to really put a team to bed this season, and Sunday might just be the day they get going.

TALKING POINTS

1. If there was ever a time for Josh Kennedy to kick a bag, Sunday is the day. The two-time reigning Coleman medalist finds himself just 10 goals off the pace following five games on the sidelines. A big bag would be the perfect way for the spearhead to celebrate his 200th AFL game.

2. Averaging 56.6 inside-50s per game, Collingwood is forth in the competition in that area, 6.3 per game more than the Eagles.

3. It appears that the days of big scores and big wins for West Coast are over. The Eagles have been an offensive powerhouse in recent years; however, in 2017, they’ve only managed over 100 points on three occasions — twice against Freo and once against the Kangaroos.

4. West Coast has been dubbed a poor travelling side, but their recent form at the Adelaide Oval and Etihad Stadium suggests otherwise. The Eagles have won four from their last six at Etihad, while Collingwood has managed just one win from their last seven at the venue.

5. Clearances continue to be a struggle for the Eagles, losing the count 40-28 against the Dockers last week. No Scott Pendlebury for the Pies, however, should help West Coast’s cause around the contest.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Liam Duggan.

Coming off the best game of his short AFL career, Liam Duggan will be looking to cement his place in the Eagles’ best 22. Duggan looked at home at half-back in last week’s Western Derby, racking up a career-best 31 disposals. Duggan’s silky ball use combined with a hard edge around the contest is exactly what the Eagles have been lacking in 2017. Can Perth’s most eligible bachelor continue his hot form against the Pies?

TIP: West Coast by 29.

SECOND TIP: Eddie McGuire is unbearable yet again.

AFL Round 17 Preview: Fremantle v West Coast

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, July 16, 2.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R6, 2017: West Coast 16.7 (103) def Fremantle Dockers 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R20, 2016: West Coast 17.8 (110) def Fremantle Dockers 9.10 (64) at Domain Stadium
R3, 2016: West Coast 12.20 (92) def Fremantle Dockers 8.11 (59) at Domain Stadium
R20, 2015: West Coast 15.14 (104) def Fremantle Dockers 11.14 (80) at Domain Stadium
R3, 2015: Fremantle Dockers 17.9 (111) def West Coast 12.9 (81) at Domain Stadium

OVERVIEW

The end of an era is upon us. Yes, this Sunday will be the 46th and final Western Derby played at Domain Stadium. After 45 matches between these two bitter rivals, the Eagles hold the overall advantage 25-20, having won the last four on the trot. However, in a season where form seemingly counts for nothing, picking a winner on Sunday looks difficult.

Freo has made a habit of the close finish this season, most recently escaping with a four-point victory over North Melbourne (thanks, Todd Goldstein). While close wins are always exciting, what is most promising is Nat Fyfe’s return to form and the emergence of first-year ruckman Sean Darcy. Another close win on Sunday and the Dockers might just be a sneaky finals chance.

When was the last time you can remember a team making four changes to a winning side? That’s exactly what Adam Simpson and the Eagles’ match committee did last week, resulting in West Coast’s third home loss from their last four games. Will Adam Simpson find the answers at the selection table this week?

TALKING POINTS

1. Josh Kennedy’s return cannot come soon enough for the Eagles. The dual Coleman Medallist has booted 13 goals in his last two derbies.

2. A win on Sunday would make it five-straight Western Derby wins for West Coast. Before that, Fremantle won the last six.

3. The biggest crowd between these teams was 43,527 back in 2006. Surely Gillon McLachlan will be licking his lips over the increased seating capacity at Perth Stadium next year.

4. Michael Walters has had 56 touches and nine goals over his last two games. More time on the ball this season has added a new dimension to Freo’s midfield as they wait patiently for Nat Fyfe to regain his dominance. Who gets the job on Walters this week? A run-with role for Brad Sheppard could be an interesting move.

5. West Coast lowered their colours around the contest last week, only managing to lay 51 tackles. The Eagles average 66.4 tackles per game, 2.8 more than the Dockers. Which side will step up in pressure on Sunday?

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Michael Walters’ opponent.

Tagging is back in fashion in season 2017. For the Eagles, Mark Hutchings has been Adam Simpson’s go-to run-with player over the last few weeks. Hutchings, however, may not have the pace to tag Michael Walters around Domain Stadium. Walters has shown what he can do when he gets off the leash, so Adam Simpson will certainly put some time into quelling his influence on Sunday.

TIP: West Coast by 21.

SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy puts himself back in Coleman contention.

Why You Should Use IVR

If you’re not using IVR for your business, you should be. Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated telephony system, allowing businesses to interact with callers, collect information and direct traffic to the appropriate areas without even having to pick up the phone.

IVR is a perfect example of man and machine working together in perfect harmony for man’s benefit. If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that man and machine don’t mix, and eventually the machines will rise up and try to eliminate us all. IVR, however, is more like a romantic comedy, where an unlikely pairing meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. Essentially, IVR is to man what Meg Ryan is to Tom Hanks.

So, why should your business use IVR?

Personalised Messages and Menu Prompts

Whether a customer is calling about a new product, a complaint, or for technical support, the last thing they want is to spend forever trying to get to the right area. With IVR, you’re able to record custom greetings, after-hours messages and menu prompts, allowing you to direct, reassure and inform callers without lifting a finger.

Handle Traffic

For businesses, IVR is all about streamlining your service. Depending on the size of your business, an IVR system can handle hundreds of calls at the same time. Imagine trying to do that yourself.

For callers, IVR is all about streamlining their experience. Callers want to reach the most capable department in the shortest amount of time possible. Occasionally, due to high call volumes, callers may have to spend a significant time waiting. IVR, however, allows the caller to make a choice, with the ability to configure your IVR system to allow callers to request a call back or simply leave a message if they wish not to wait.

Customers Prefer It

When not done well, IVR can be the source of much frustration for callers. An unorganised system will see callers bouncing around like loose change in a tumble dryer. However, when IVR is done well, it’s a massive time-saver for both callers and businesses. Plus, according to Fonolo, 90% of consumers now expect a brand or organisation to offer a self-service customer support portal.

IVR is Cost-Effective

According to Forrester Consulting, chatting with a live agent can cost as much as $6-12 per chat, while an IVR interaction can cost as little as 25 cents.

Present a Professional Image

Remember when Annie (Meg Ryan) writes a letter to Sam (Tom Hanks) in Sleepless in Seattle? Remember how Jonah (Ross Malinger) reads the letter and only really likes it because Annie mentions the Baltimore Orioles? If you haven’t seen Sleepless in Seattle, you’re probably wondering where this is going. If you have seen it, you’ll understand what I’m saying: first impressions count.

Whether a caller is contacting you for the first time or the one hundredth, IVR allows you to present a consistent, polished and professional image every single time.

What Are You Waiting For?

If adding a personal touch to your existing IVR system sounds like something your business could benefit from, get in touch with the Messages On Hold team, and request a free demo!

AFL Round 16 Preview: West Coast v Port Adelaide

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, July 9, 2.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R7, 2017: West Coast 15.7 (97) def Port Adelaide 12.15 (87) at Adelaide Oval
R9, 2016: West Coast 14.10 (94) def Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) at Adelaide Oval
R6, 2015: West Coast 11.12 (78) def Port Adelaide 10.6 (68) at Adelaide Oval
R5, 2014: Port Adelaide 10.10 (70) def West Coast 7.14 (56) at Domain Stadium
R5, 2013: Port Adelaide 12.12 (84) def West Coast 10.19 (79) at AAMI Stadium

OVERVIEW

Round 16 marks the first time West Coast and Port Adelaide will play twice in one season since 2011, and it’s the first time the two sides will meet in Perth since 2014. Although West Coast may have taken the four points back in round seven, they were far from dominant. In fact, the Power smashed West Coast everywhere but the scoreboard, with 29 more inside 50s on the day.

This is a huge week for the Power. Their failure to beat a top-eight side from five attempts this season has them labelled by many as “pretenders”. Adam Simpson is surely relishing another team taking over the flat-track-bullies tag.

The bye certainly came at the right time for West Coast. Since the break, the Eagles’ brand of footy is noticeably different, with an emphasis on pressure and intensity around the contest. Port leads the AFL in inside 50s, averaging 61.6 per game. The Eagles will need to bring pressure to stifle Port’s supply.

TALKING POINTS

1. Since the bye, the Eagles are averaging 77.3 tackles per game, up 9.8 on their season average. Does Matt Priddis come back into a winning West Coast team?

2. In celebration of NAIDOC Week, West Coast will wear their indigenous jumper against the Power. Malcolm Karpany will be looking to back-up his three-goal performance from last week.

3. Mark Hutchings continues to strike fear into opposition coaches. The hardworking tagger effectively shut Jason Johannisen out of the game last week. It will be interesting to see who he goes to this week. Chad Wingard’s scintillating form through the midfield looks hard to ignore.

4. Sam Powell-Pepper, a WA product, returns to Perth for the first time since being drafted by the Power with pick 18. West Coast picked Daniel Venables (who is yet to debut) at 13 over Powell-Pepper. Currently ranked number one for first-year players in the AFL Player Ratings, Powell-Pepper will be looking to prove a point against his hometown club.

5. Injuries to veteran Sam Butler and Sharrod Wellingham leaves the selection door wide open, with Shannon Hurn, Jackson Nelson and Will Schofield all looking to come back in this week. Adam Simpson may have a selection headache down back but Josh Kennedy’s return should offer some relief.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Matt Priddis.

West Coast’s favourite son may have signed a one-year deal to play on in 2018, but Matt Priddis’ place in the Eagles’ best 22 looks shaky. Priddis’ contract may be a sign that Sam Mitchell is destined for the coaching box next season, but the emergence of Dom Sheed, Liam Duggan, Kurt Mutimer and Jack Redden has serious question marks around Priddis’ place in the side right now. If he gets picked, look for Priddis to be ferocious around the middle.

TIP: West Coast by 13.

SECOND TIP: Josh Kennedy puts himself back in Coleman contention.

AFL Round 15 Preview: Western Bulldogs v West Coast

WHERE: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, July 1, 11:45am AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R8, 2017: West Coast 9.15 (69) def Western Bulldogs 8.13 (61) at Domain Stadium
2EF, 2016: Western Bulldogs 14.15 (99) def West Coast 7.10 (52) at Domain Stadium
R11, 2016: Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) def West Coast 11.9 (75) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2015: West Coast 25.12 (162) def Western Bulldogs 13.7 (85) at Domain Stadium
R1, 2015: Western Bulldogs 14.13 (97) def West Coast 14.3 (87) at Etihad Stadium

OVERVIEW

Based on form alone, West Coast’s round-eight win over the Bulldogs seems like years ago. With just a solitary win from their last five games, the Eagles are a team struggling to find their groove in 2017. However, their last three loses have been by only eight points, three points, and three points, so it is far from panic stations just yet.

For the Bulldogs, the premiership hangover continues. Two wins from their last five, including a sneaky one-point win over North last week, sees the Dogs outside the eight. If last year was any indication, teams will be wary of the Dogs catching fire towards the end of the season.

The Dogs had a dream finish to 2016, including a massive 47-point finals victory over West Coast. Winning from outside the top four seemed almost impossible until last year, but the Dogs proved all the experts wrong. But do you know what is impossible? Winning a flag from outside the eight. The Dogs better get a move on, and a big win over West Coast may be the place to start.

TALKING POINTS

1. While Jeremy McGovern managed to kick three goals last week, the Eagles missed him down back with Tom MacDonald booting five. Josh Kennedy will miss again this week. Who do the Eagles turn to up forward?

2. Tom Campbell had his best game for the Dogs last week, with 49 hit-outs. The Dogs, however, remain the worst centre clearance team in the competition.

3. Much is said about the Eagles’ poor road form, but the Eagles have managed to win five out of nine against the Dogs at Etihad Stadium. But maybe we should avoid talking about what happened when they visited the venue in round nine.

4. The Eagles lost the free kick count 12-15 at home against the Dogs in round eight, a rare occurrence at Domain Stadium. Josh Kennedy also managed 3.6 in front of the sticks. Who will step up and kick a bag of behinds for the Eagles this week? If recent form is anything to go by, Jamie Cripps looks like the odds-on favourite.

5. West Coast will be without Shannon Hurn’s hairline this week, which should open the door for Sharrod Wellingham’s return. For the Dogs, they welcome back Robert Murphy from a hamstring injury.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Will Schofield.

It is not easy being a ginger in Australia. It is definitely not easy being Clayton Oliver right now. Picking on redheads is pretty much a national sport down under, so it was not very surprising when seemingly the entire country jumped on the “Clayton Oliver’s a crab” bandwagon this week. Will Schofield will be looking to make the most of his win at the tribunal.

TIP: West Coast by 5.

SECOND TIP: Mark Hutchings tags Marcus Bontempelli.