WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Sunday, May 20, 2.40pm AWST
The Eagles are making a mockery of gloomy pre-season predictions and if Adam Simpson’s men aren’t already considered serious contenders in 2018 they have another opportunity to prove it when reigning premier Richmond comes to town for a blockbuster top-of-the-table clash. West Coast comfortably accounted for the Giants in another valuable road win last round, and returns to the club’s Optus Stadium fortress searching for eight consecutive victories for the first time since 2005. West Coast will be bolstered by Nic Naitanui’s return from suspension and could regain Jeremy McGovern (calf). In-form forward Jack Darling (22 goals), Josh Kennedy (15) and Mark LeCras (15) pose a threat to the Tigers, but Richmond’s small and quick forward line – ranked No.1 for scoring – will worry the Eagles. Superstar Dustin Martin is coming off just 16 touches thanks to Ben Jacobs’ close-checking in Richmond’s tense sixth-straight win over North Melbourne but he torched West Coast last season and how the Eagles counter the Brownlow medallist will be a major talking point.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R3, 2017, Richmond 11.10 (76) d West Coast 8.17 (65) at the MCG
R4, 2016, West Coast 18.17 (125) d Richmond 9.3 (57) at Subiaco Oval
R12, 2015, West Coast 13.12 (90) d Richmond 10.10 (70) at the MCG
R18, 2014, Richmond 8.11 (59) d West Coast 6.6 (42) at Subiaco Oval
R10, 2013, Richmond 16.7 (103) d West Coast 8.14 (62) at Subiaco Oval
Hutta’s Tip: West Coast by 5
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