AFL Round 23 Preview: West Coast v Adelaide

WHERE: Domain Stadium, Sunday, August 27, 2.40pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R23, 2016: West Coast 14.16 (100) def Adelaide 10.11 (71) at Adelaide Oval
R12, 2016: Adelaide 15.15 (100) def West Coast 11.10 (76) at Domain Stadium
R22, 2015: Adelaide 19.12 (126) def West Coast 10.9 (69) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2015: West Coast 22.15 (147) def Adelaide 14.7 (91) at Domain Stadium
R19, 2014: West Coast 20.16 (136) def Adelaide 16.9 (105) at Adelaide Oval

OVERVIEW

It has been a season of missed opportunities for West Coast. Coming into round 23, the last thing a team wants is to not be in control of your own destiny. However, that is the exact situation the Eagles find themselves in. The Eagles need one of two huge upsets to go their way — Collingwood to beat Melbourne or Fremantle to somehow beat Essendon. Even if the unlikely does happen, West Coast will still need a healthy percentage boost against Adelaide to sneak into the finals.

Sunday will be the final AFL game ever played at Domain Stadium, and the Eagles will be hoping to farewell the ground, Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell in style.

The Crows blew a major opportunity to seal top spot last week. Now, with GWS breathing down their neck, they don’t have the option to rest players for an extra week before the pre-finals bye.

TALKING POINTS

1. Sunday will be West Coast’s 326th game at Domain Stadium. It’s been an intimidating venue for rival clubs over the years, with the Eagles boasting an all-time record of 221 wins, 103 losses and one draw at the ground.

2. Since returning from injury, Josh Kennedy has kicked 26% of the Eagles’ goals. Josh Kennedy leads the Coleman race with 64 goals. Jack Darling is the Eagles’ next best with 38.

3. Tackling continues to be an issue for the Eagles. Matt Priddis (6), Luke Shuey (39), and Jack redden (44) are the only Eagles players in the league’s top 100 for average tackles. Jamie Cripps (150) is their next best averaging 3.9 per game.

4. Before the first bounce, Josh Kennedy will know how many — if any — goals he needs to kick to win his third-straight Coleman Medal. The big forward enters round 23 with a four-goal lead over Joe Daniher.

5. Despite being the Eagles’ best-on last week, Matt Priddis will play his final game in the blue and gold on Sunday. The Brownlow Medallist hangs up the boots after 238 AFL games.

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell.

By the time Sunday’s game rolls around, the Eagles may very well be playing for nothing but pride. However, the retirements of Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell should add some fuel to the fire. It’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting off-season for Adam Simpson and the Eagles.

TIP: West Coast by 1.

SECOND TIP: No one actually misses the mess that is Domain Stadium.

 

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