WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Thursday, June 21, 8.10pm AEST
The Eagles (10-2) slipped from the top of the ladder after a second loss to Sydney for the season but they have a game in hand and can reclaim the lead from Richmond with victory over long-time rival Essendon on Thursday night. The 13th-placed Bombers are coming off the bye and, at 5-7, can kiss their finals chances goodbye if they can’t conjure a massive upset on their second visit to Optus Stadium this year. Although star forward Jack Darling’s absence was telling against the Swans, the Eagles’ firepower at home looms as a major problem for the Dons, with West Coast averaging 106 points at its new fortress, where it has won six on the trot. Essendon breathed some life into its flagging campaign with three wins from four games before the bye, including two road triumphs, but has a shocking record in Perth, losing seven-in-a-row.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R9, 2017, Essendon 19.11 (125) d West Coast 8.16 (64) at Etihad Stadium
R15, 2016, West Coast 20.10 (130) d Essendon 7.10 (52) at Subiaco Oval
R11, 2015, West Coast 14.12 (96) d Essendon 6.10 (46) at Subiaco Oval
R21, 2014, Essendon 11.11 (77) d West Coast 11.8 (74) at Etihad Stadium
R20, 2013, West Coast 18.12 (120) d Essendon 9.13 (67) at Etihad Stadium
Thommo’s Tip: West Coast by 36 points.
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