Where and when: Optus Stadium, Saturday August 24, 6.10pm AWST
What it means for West Coast: Plenty. Victory guarantees a finals double chance, and keeps the slender hope of a home qualifying final alive. If other results go the Eagles’ way, namely a Geelong loss to Carlton or heavy defeat for Brisbane against Richmond, they could finish top two.
What it means for Hawthorn: The Hawks are one of four teams in the hunt for eighth spot and an upset win in the west, combined with a narrow Adelaide win over the Bulldogs, should be enough to clinch the last spot in the finals.
The stat: Elliot Yeo’s 15 clearances against Richmond was the third-most in a game by a West Coast player. Matt Priddis holds the top two spots, with 17 against the Dogs in 2012 and 16 the next season versus Hawthorn.
The match-up: Josh Kennedy v James Frawley
The Eagles would love their spearhead to rediscover some form before finals, but it won’t be easy against nemesis Frawley. When the teams met at a wet MCG in round 13, the Hawks’ full-back held Kennedy goalless for the first time in 68 games, a streak stretching back to their duel in the 2015 Grand Final. Kennedy has only three goals and 19 disposals from his past three games.
It’s a big week for: Adam Simpson
Pressure in the AFL comes in many forms and while the reigning premiership coach won’t publicly admit he is worried about round 23 ladder permutations, Simpson will know a loss to the dangerous Hawks could be catastrophic for the Eagles’ back-to-back flag bid.
Big call: Jack Darling, who is one shy of his career-best tally of 53 majors, to bag six goals and demand selection in the All Australian team for the first time.
Mottsy’s Tip: Eagles by 30 points
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