Where and when: Fremantle Oval, Saturday, January 7, 5.50pm (AWST)
TV: Live on 7, FOX Footy and the AFLW website
Last time we met: Fremantle 11.9 (75) def. West Coast 1.2 (8) at Metricon Stadium, round six, 2021.
After narrowly coming off their first win of the 2021 season against Gold Coast in round five, West Coast were unable to capitalise with a second consecutive victory, falling to Fremantle the following week at Optus Stadium by 67 points. It was the Dockers' Gemma Houghton who made the most noticeable difference to the scoreboard - booting five goals - while Fremantle's Roxy Roux (two) and Sabreena Duffy (three) also cashed in.
What it means for the Eagles: West Coast will come into the match with some confidence after the recent pre-season practice match victory against Fremantle a fortnight ago. But the round one RAC Derby will be far more difficult to snatch from the 2021 finalists, with the Eagles yet to topple their cross-town rivals for four premiership points.
The stat: West Coast have clashed with the Dockers only once at Fremantle Oval, in round two 2021. While they may have fallen to Fremantle by nine points, it was the closest Derby to date, with the Eagles trouncing the Dockers in inside 50s (35 to 14) and narrowly beating out the opposition in clearances (26 to 21) and tackles (64 to 62).
The match-up: Dana Hooker v Kiara Bowers
It's likely returning star and vice-captain Hooker will spend time on Fremantle's midfield bull Bowers, who has won the best on ground medal in all three RAC Derby clashes. Hooker showcases the experience and composure needed to test Bowers in the centre, and has put together an excellent pre-season on track as one of the fittest Eagles in the squad of 30.
It's a big week for: Evie Gooch
Gooch will debut in the blue and gold today against former side Fremantle today. The lockdown defender will have a role to play on some of the competition's most dangerous forwards in Gemma Houghton and Kara Antonio, and will use her penetrating kick and intercept marking ability to her advantage. The superboot looks set to play deeper role across full-back, distributing the ball from West Coast's defensive 50 from kick in's.
Big call: West Coast Debutant Aimee Schmidt and returning forward Andrea Gilmore use their height to take soaring marks inside West Coast's 50, and capitalise to slot a combined five goals.