West Coast vs Fremantle
MATCH UP STATS
West Coast vs Fremantle
Season record:West Coast Eagles: 3-2Fremantle Dockers: 3-2
Line betting:West Coast Eagles: -20.5 ($1.92 @ Ladbrokes.com.au)Fremantle Dockers: +20.5 ($1.92 @ Ladbrokes.com.au)
The Eagles earned the dubious honour of granting Hawthorn their first win of the season, once again falling short on the vast expanses of the MCG.
They were well beaten in the clinches all day long, while ruck recruit Nathan Vardy was simply no match for the Hawks’ Ben McEvoy.
That worrying turn of events could see Jonathan Giles recalled to tackle the obvious hitout threat of Aaron Sandilands, who is revelling in the absence of a third man up this season.
Sam Mitchell could return from the ankle injury that kept him out against his former club, while Mark Hutchings, Lewis Jetta and Eric Mackenzie will feature in selection discussions after strong efforts in the WAFL.
With the Eagles losing two of their last three, it is Fremantle who come into the 45th WA derby with all the momentum.
The Dockers have survived a hat-trick of nail-biters against the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and North Melbourne to put themselves within spitting distance of the top eight.
The return of Nat Fyfe has vastly improved the Freo midfield, which ranks third in the competition for clearances at an average of 40.4 per game.
Stephen Hill is out with a hamstring strain, which leaves Danyle Pearce, Nick Suban and Cameron Sutcliffe as the likely candidates to fill out the centre line.
Harley Balic could also be considered after missing last week with a hip issue, although Ross Lyon and his panel are unlikely to make any unforced changes to a side that has won three on the bounce.
The Dockers coach will have to find some point of difference from previous seasons, however, as the Eagles have won each of the last three derby dates in comfortable fashion.
First goal-scorer betting
Yes, he is the short-priced favourite – but for a bloody good reason. He booted seven in the derby last year and will be difficult to stop if the Eagles can rediscover the quality of forward entry they displayed in the opening weeks.
Nat Fyfe – +1800 at Sportsbet
The first goalscorer market is tantalisingly open on Freo’s side of the ledger. Most will look to Cam McCarthy and Michael Walters (+1100 each), but we all know Fyfe is well capable of drifting forward early and doing some damage.
Ross Glendinning Medal picks
Matt Priddis – +750 at CrownBet
The former Brownlow winner is so often at the heart of everything good that comes from the West Coast midfield. While there is a little more competition for attention these days, especially with Sam Mitchell in the mix, this is exactly the kind of contest where Priddis’ peerless inside game will shine.
David Mundy – +1100 at CrownBet
The last fortnight has put Mundy’s box-to-box skills on full display. He started in midfield and had a crucial impact going forward against Melbourne, then flipped it against North Melbourne to finish with 30 touches and six clearances. He is one the Eagles will be eager to shut out.
WA derby betting specials
Andrew Gaff 40+ disposals – +1000 at William Hill
Cam McCarthy three for more goals/Fremantle win – +700 at Ladbrokes
Josh Kennedy six or more goals – +500 at William Hill
Matt Priddis 30+ disposals/West Coast win – +175 at Ladbrokes
Eagles vs. Dockers match tips
Fremantle by 1-39 points – +290 at Ladbrokes
Freo are offering all the value despite boasting the far better form. They have yet to dominate anyone, but they sure know how to win when things get tight. It is shaping up as a great battle between two tough and talented midfields, but the towering presence of Sandilands – playing his 250th game, by the way – might just tip it towards the Purple Haze.
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