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Match preview: Eagles v Blues

Travis King, AFL.com.au  August 9, 2017 9:00 AM

AFL 2017 Round 06 - West Coast v Fremantle

Matt Priddis will be keen to get another finals series in before he retires

SUMMARY
Yet another fourth-quarter fadeout against St Kilda has left West Coast with very little margin for error in the run home if the Eagles want to play finals. Adam Simpson's men probably need to win at least two, and possibly all three, of their remaining games, and beating Carlton is an absolute must considering daunting challenges against GWS (away) and Adelaide (home) await. Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis and ruckman Nathan Vardy are set to be recalled after West Coast was smashed around clearances and in contested ball when the game was on the line against the Saints, and the Blues’ midfield looms as the Eagles' major concern this weekend. Carlton has lost seven-straight games but found some life against arch-rival Essendon last round in an eight-point loss. It's difficult to see the defensively-minded outfit upsetting West Coast, but they could frustrate the Eagles, who also need a percentage boost. 

WHERE AND WHEN: Domain Stadium, Saturday, August 12, 5.40pm AWST

LAST FIVE TIMES
R17, 2016, West Coast 12.10 (82) d Carlton 11.9 (75) at the MCG
R2, 2015, West Coast 20.11 (131) d Carlton 9.8 (62) at Domain Stadium
R6, 2014, Carlton 14.8 (92) d West Coast 12.17 (89) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2013, Carlton 12.17 (89) d West Coast 7.23 (65) at Domain Stadium
R12, 2012, West Coast 10.19 (79) d Carlton 10.9 (69) at Domain Stadium 

THE SIX POINTS
1. West Coast holds a 14-9 win-loss record over Carlton at Domain Stadium. Overall the Blues have 16 wins from 42 matches at the soon-to-be defunct venue.   

2. These teams have fought some close matches in recent years. West Coast has won five of seven contests since 2011 - four of those by 10 points or less.

3. Josh Kennedy’s return has made a big difference for the Eagles and shown how much they rely on the star forward. In four games back he’s kicked 20 majors, which is 36% of his team’s goals.

4. Brendon Bolton's Carlton is the League's lowest-scoring outfit, averaging only 72 points per game and is still yet to kick 100 points in a match. West Coast is averaging 89 points, but 94 at Domain Stadium.

5. Carlton kicks the ball more than any other team, averaging 225.3, but are ranked last for handballs. The Eagles are ninth for kicks and 12th for handballs.

6. In-form big man Matthew Kreuzer poses a huge threat to an undermanned West Coast ruck department. Kreuzer is in All Australian contention and has risen 101 spots in the Schick AFL Player Ratings to 86th overall since the start of the season.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Matt Priddis. 
The Eagles veteran was controversially left out of the loss to St Kilda and the Eagles were hammered at the coalface when it counted late. West Coast needs the Brownlow medallist to be at his best around the clearances against Carlton's onball division.