West Coast v Hawthorn - http://www.flickr.com/dinlin47/4630202683/

West Coast Eagles v Hawthorn, Patersons Stadium, 5:40PM (7:40 AEDT), Saturday 21 April

The West Coast Eagles will be host to fellow premiership contender Hawthorn at Patersons Stadium tonight in what promises to be a fierce contest.

The Eagles, coming off a convincing win against GWS will be looking to create some breathing space between their opponents on the ladder whilst Hawthorn will be looking to claim their first win against the Eagles at Patersons since 2008.

The Eagles are set to welcome back key players Darren Glass, Matthew Priddis and Matt Rosa to boost their already strong squad, while the Hawks have introduced Brad Hill, brother to Fremantle’s Stephen, to make his senior debut for the club.

The game will be won or lost in one area, the Hawthorn defence. The Eagles boast one of the most impressive forward lines in the league, while the Hawks have a very circumspect defensive unit.

The Hawks defenders will be relying on their midfielders to control possession in order to limit the Eagles’ forward forays.

Failure to do so will see West Coast pile on a winning score.

Key Match-ups

Scott Selwood v Sam Mitchell:

Chris Scott learned the hard way in Round 2 that Sam Mitchell needs to be kept under control. Whilst he may not have the silk of a Pendlebury type, Mitchell will constantly feed the ball out to the Hawks’ army of left footers who will hurt West Coast.

Worsfold is likely to give the daunting Mitchell job to in-form Scott Selwood. In recent times Selwood has become very much an offensive weapon to the Eagles as well, meaning Mitchell will also have to be on his toes defensively.

Roughead/McCauley v Cox/Naitanui:

With Hawthorn needing their midfielders to step up in order to help out their defence, they will also be relying on their ruckmen to provide a an aerial challenge to their Eagle counterparts.

First use of the ball will be critical, meaning the Hawks pair cannot be comprehensively beaten if they hope to win.

The threat doesn’t stop there however, as Cox and Naitanui are more than capable of kicking a couple up forward and stretching the defensive line even further.

Roughead and McCauley will need to be at the top of their game if the Hawks are to be competitive.

Prediction: West Coast by 19 points

West Coast Eagles:
B: Eric Mackenzie, Darren Glass, Adam Selwood
HB: Beau Waters, Will Schofield, Shannon Hurn
C: Andrew Gaff, Matthew Priddis, Matthew Rosa
HF: Josh Hill, Quinten Lynch, Chris Masten
F: Dean Cox, Josh Kennedy, Ashton Hams
Foll: Nic Naitanui, Scott Selwood, Daniel Kerr
I/C: Luke Shuey, Ashley Smith, Patrick McGinnity, Jack Darling
Emg: Mitch Brown, Koby Stevens, Ryan Neates

In: Darren Glass, Matthew Priddis, Matthew Rosa
Out: Mitch Brown, Bradd Dalziell (Knee), Koby Stevens

B: Benjamin Stratton, Josh Gibson, Brent Guerra
HB: Grant Birchall, Ryan Schoenmakers, Matt Suckling
C: Brendan Whitecross, Sam Mitchell, Shane Savage
HF: Shaun Burgoyne, Lance Franklin, Michael Osborne
F: Cyril Rioli, Jarryd Roughead, Jack Gunston
Foll: David Hale, Brad Sewell, Jordan Lewis
I/C: Clinton Young, Liam Shiels, Kyle Cheney, Bradley Hill
Emg: Cameron Bruce, Jarrad Boumann, Broc McCauley

In: Bradley Hill
Out: Luke Breust (Concussion)
New: Bradley Hill (West Perth)

BigFooty Team Board Previews:

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