Where and when: Optus Stadium, Thursday June 20, 6.10pm
What it means for West Coast: The loss to Sydney before the bye – the Eagles’ fourth by at least seven goals – was concerning but West Coast can reclaim its one-win buffer inside the top four with victory over the Dons.
What it means for Essendon: Two-straight wins has revived the season and another upset of West Coast at Optus Stadium, after last year’s stunning ambush, could lift the Bombers back inside the eight for the first time since round five.
The stat: Essendon stunned West Coast at home in round 14 last year, booting the first eight goals in a 28-point win. The Eagles dominated inside 50s (59-45) but kicked 6.16.
The match-up: Josh Kennedy v Michael Hurley
Kennedy (27 goals) and sidekick Jack Darling (26) were both sidelined when the Bombers ambushed the Eagles 12 months ago. How Hurley and Cale Hooker handle the star West Coast forwards will have a major bearing on the contest.
It’s a big week for: John Worsfold
The West Coast legend has coached against his former club three times for two wins, and after facing serious scrutiny in the first half of the season another victory over the Eagles in Perth would see the Bombers surging towards finals.
Big call: West Coast tagger Mark Hutchings to make a beeline for Zach Merrett at the first bounce and hold the Bombers star to fewer than 20 disposals.
Mottsy’s Tip: Eagles by 30 points
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