WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Sunday, July 22, 1.20pm AWST
Ending a 23-year MCG drought against Collingwood came at a massive cost for West Coast, with talismanic ruckman Nic Naitanui expected to be ruled out for at least 12 months due to a ruptured ACL. It was a major blow for the Eagles’ flag hopes but, after leapfrogging the Pies into second spot on the ladder, they need to quickly refocus and get the job done against the Bulldogs, whose form has improved since West Coast rolled them by 51 points in round two. Luke Beveridge’s men have been thumped in the past two games by Melbourne and Hawthorn, but shocked Geelong and pushed North Melbourne all the way the previous fortnight. Taking it up to the Eagles will still be a challenge for the visitors, especially without star Marcus Bontempelli (appendix), and they will need to contain West Coast’s twin towers Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling to notch only a second win from the past 12 trips west.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R2, 2018, West Coast 18.13 (121) d Western Bulldogs 9.16 (70) at Etihad Stadium
R15, 2017, West Coast 12.15 (87) d Western Bulldogs 11.14 (80) at Etihad Stadium
R8, 2017, West Coast 9.15 (69) d Western Bulldogs 8.13 (61) at Subiaco Oval
2EF, 2016, Western Bulldogs 14.15 (99) d West Coast 7.10 (52) at Subiaco Oval
R11, 2016, Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) d West Coast 11.9 (75) at Etihad Stadium
FD’s Tip: Why not another Bulldogs match that ends up close to the end. Good things come in threes right? The Eagles without Nic Nat = the Dogs by 1 point.
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