Preview Elimination Final: West Coast vs Essendon, Perth Stadium, Thursday 05/09/19 @ 8:10 PM AEST

Who will win?


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eth-dog

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Observations

West Coast: West Coast had a shock loss to Hawthorne to drop to 5th on the ladder, only kicking 5 goals after quarter time to lose by 38 points. Andrew Gaff was prolific despite this, collecting 37 touches playing a mixture of midfield and half back, whilst Willie Rioli was a livewire with 3 goals up front for the Eagles.

Essendon: Essendon elected to rest a few players in their game against Collingwood and despite the weakened side Essendon still ran them close, only going down by 2 goals. Conor McKenna was excellent off half back, with 35 disposals and 710 metres gained, whilst forwards Shaun McKernan and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked 2 apiece.


Head to Head (last 5)

West Coast 3-2 Essendon


Form Guide

West Coast: 3W 2L
Essendon: 2W 3L


Sportsbet odds

West Coast: $1.24
Essendon: $3.95
Line: 27.5 ($1.90)


Possible sides

West Coast vs Essendon

B: Aaron Francis - Cale Hooker - Adam Saad

F: Oscar Allen - Josh J Kennedy - Liam Ryan
HB: Martin Gleeson - Patrick Ambrose - Mason Redman
HF: Willie Rioli - Jack Darling - Jamie Cripps
C: Andrew McGrath - Dyson Heppell - Brayden Ham
C: Andrew Gaff - Elliott Yeo - Chris Masten
HF: Jake Stringer - Mitchell Brown - Orazio Fantasia
HB: Shannon Hurn - Will Schofield - Lewis Jetta
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti - Shaun McKernan - Jayden Laverde
B: Brad Sheppard - Jeremy McGovern - Jackson Nelson
R: Tom Bellchambers - Dylan Shiel - Zach Merrett
R: Nic Naitanui - Luke Shuey - Dominic Sheed
I: Darcy Parish - Conor McKenna - Kyle Langford - Dylan Clarke
I: Jack Redden - Liam Duggan - Jarrod Cameron - Tom Hickey

Essendon in: Cale Hooker, Dyson Heppell, Jake Stringer, Orazio Fantasia; Out: Michael Hurley (inj), Tom Jok, Josh Begley, Michael Hartley
West Coast in: Jarrod Cameron, Nic Naitanui, Will Schofield; Out: Tom Barrass, Jack Petrucelle, Jake Waterman


West Coast defence vs Essendon forward line

Essendon are ranked 10th in the AFL in terms of goals per inside 50 entry, getting one 22.3% of the time it enters the 50. West Coast's defence has been excellent, ranking 5th in this area, conceding a goal 20.9% of the time it enters defensive 50. The big match up at this end of the field is between Shaun cKernan and Jeremy McGovern, the Essendon big needing to make a contest and bring the ball to ground for the smaller Essendon forwards whilst Jake Stringer will be going head to head with Shannon Hurn, allowing Brad Sheppard to take the dangerous Orazio Fantasia, who is an important cog in Essendon's forward line when up and going.


Midfield/rucks battle

Two months ago Essendon were ranked in 4th in clearance differential but have slipped all the way to 13th in this stat, and have also slipped from 7th to 13th in contested possession differential. West Coast are currently ranked in 4th and 17th for those stats respectively, so West Coast should have the advantage at the stoppage but Essendon better at contesting around the ground. Dylan Clarke is likely to tag Dom Sheed after his 36 disposals the last time these sides met, and luckiy for Zach Merrett, eternal torturer Mark Hutchings isn't playing so he may get free reign. The head to heads of Luke Shuey, Elliott Yeo and Andrew Gaff against Dylan Shiel, Dyson Heppell and Merrett could be fascinating viewing, and then there's the likes of Jack Redden against Darcy Parish as a secondary battle. Rucks wise, expect Tom Hickey and Nic Naitanui to hold sway over an underdone Tom Bellchambers


Gold Coast forward line vs Essendon defence

West Coast's forward line is clearly it's on paper strength, and the numbers back that up with an their goals/inside 50 percentage being 25.6%, #1 in the AFL. Essendon have a relatively strong back 7, conceding a goal 21.2% of the time it enters defensive 50, 6th in the league in this area. Essendon are one of the clubs uniquely able to match with the West Coast forward group with Paddy Ambrose having a good record on Jack Darling, Cale Hooker on Josh Kennedy, Adam Saad on Liam Ryan and a rotation of the others on the likes of Willie Rioli, Oscar Allen and resting midfielders or ruckmen, with Conor McKenna and Mason Redman vita in their rebound from defence.


X-Factor Player

Jarrod Cameron is an extremely exciting player and could well play his first final here and produce some highlights his older brother has given us for years upon years. Good luck to this exciting young fella.


Key stat

West Coast: Inside 50's. They get more, it'll be very hard for Essendon to contain this excellent forward line.

Essendon: Clearances. They win clearances, they win the game most of the time. Must win with their near full inside group in.


Tip

I'd love to see it, but I can't. West Coast by 22
 
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Seagrave_Holmes

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Can't wait until we play ???, It's been ??? since we played them in a final.

Ambrose should definitely match up on ???, or possibly ??? through the middle. T-Bell will absolutely smash ??? and give our mids first use. Walla to kick 10 on ???.

Go Dons, we will smash ??? by 100 goals.
 
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Matthew_Lloyd

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Still prefer GWS, they’re really battling and crowd-wise we’d far outnumber them.
The thing with GWS, is that we don't know what the fu** we'll get from them. We might get the uninspired rabble that we've seen the past two weeks, or the dominant team that crushed us, Richmond and Collingwood.

I'd rather Collingwood. Even with their full team on ANZAC Day, it took a 5 goal headstart and some questionable umpiring to get over us.
 

blitzer

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Based on expected availability i'd be thinking:
Ins: Heppell, Hooker, Fantasia, Stringer, Snelling
Outs: Jok, Hartley, Begley, Laverde, Hurley (inj)

I think we had 1 too many Key Position defenders in the side. You'd certainly say against Collingwood that Hooker, Ambrose and Francis is enough.

Out of the outs I'd say Laverde is the best chance of staying in and Snelling may not come back but if he goes well in the VFL finals then I reckon they'll pick him considering how good his last VFL game was. I want to note that I'm keeping Ham in the side because I really like what he's shown this past 2 weeks. He's fit and in form.

Of course this is all way too early and I'll have to revise all of this in a week or so.
 

JayJ20

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Based on expected availability i'd be thinking:
Ins: Heppell, Hooker, Fantasia, Stringer, Snelling
Outs: Jok, Hartley, Begley, Laverde, Hurley (inj)

I think we had 1 too many Key Position defenders in the side. You'd certainly say against Collingwood that Hooker, Ambrose and Francis is enough.

Out of the outs I'd say Laverde is the best chance of staying in and Snelling may not come back but if he goes well in the VFL finals then I reckon they'll pick him considering how good his last VFL game was. I want to note that I'm keeping Ham in the side because I really like what he's shown this past 2 weeks. He's fit and in form.

Of course this is all way too early and I'll have to revise all of this in a week or so.
If Snelling comes in, I think Ham goes out and Laverde stays in. We need some height and size in the side. Laverde took 6 marks.

I’d be worried playing all of Snelling, Ham, Walla, Fantasia, Merrett, McGrath, Parish, Shiel etc. Not enough height or size there.
 

vass44

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I think Hurley will be OK. It’s 2 weeks rest so he should get up. At this stage I’d have;-

OUT: Jok, Begley, Hartley, and one of Ham/D.Clarke

IN: Fanta, Stinger, Hooker, Heppell

Hurley Hooker Saad
Gleeson Francis McKenna
Parish Merrett McGrath
Fanta Ambrose Laverde
Stringer McKernan Tippa

Bellcho Heppell Shiel

Bench: Redman Langford Brown D.Clarke/Ham


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Halftimehero

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Without Hurley

Francis Ambrose Gleeson
Saad Hooker McKenna
Heppell Shiel Mcgrath
Laverde Mckernan Walla
Fantasia Brown Stringer
Bellchambers Parish Merrett
Redman Laverde Langford ????

Last spot could go to a number of players for mine, Clarke if we wanna tag, Jok for a bit of X factor, Snelling if right and match ready for a bit of extra pressure, Ham still in the mix.
 

blitzer

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If Snelling comes in, I think Ham goes out and Laverde stays in. We need some height and size in the side. Laverde took 6 marks.

I’d be worried playing all of Snelling, Ham, Walla, Fantasia, Merrett, McGrath, Parish, Shiel etc. Not enough height or size there.
I agree that's a pretty valid counter-argument. On the other hand will Laverde actually make much impact playing alongside McKernan, Brown and Stringer? Or would we be better off with a smaller, quicker player? If Laverde could kick straight it'd be an easy choice in his favour.

I think if we bring the ground level pressure then that's when we play our best footy and then allows us to get our defensive run going etc. So I'd want to select the best pressure side we can.

I don't think the coaches would have a problem playing the 3 small forwards though. Last year we ran with Fantasia, Tippa and Green plenty of times. Fortunately Ham is a much better runner than Green was. Snelling can play solid midfield minutes and rotate up forward to relieve our small forwards. Its worth noting that plenty of good teams are playing lots of small forwards right now. In fact most of the top sides have quite a few of em (West Coast - Rioli, Ryan, Cripps, Richmond - Bolton, Baker, Rioli, Castagna etc, Collingwood - Elliot, Stephenson, Thomas, Varcoe, Geelong - Dahlhaus, Atkins, Miers). Admittedly some of them are good in the air but certainly we aren't breaking new ground if we play 3 primarily ground level players in our forward 50 right now.
 

JayJ20

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I agree that's a pretty valid counter-argument. On the other hand will Laverde actually make much impact playing alongside McKernan, Brown and Stringer? Or would we be better off with a smaller, quicker player? If Laverde could kick straight it'd be an easy choice in his favour.

I think if we bring the ground level pressure then that's when we play our best footy and then allows us to get our defensive run going etc. So I'd want to select the best pressure side we can.

I don't think the coaches would have a problem playing the 3 small forwards though. Last year we ran with Fantasia, Tippa and Green plenty of times. Fortunately Ham is a much better runner than Green was. Snelling can play solid midfield minutes and rotate up forward to relieve our small forwards. Its worth noting that plenty of good teams are playing lots of small forwards right now. In fact most of the top sides have quite a few of em (West Coast - Rioli, Ryan, Cripps, Richmond - Bolton, Baker, Rioli, Castagna etc, Collingwood - Elliot, Stephenson, Thomas, Varcoe, Geelong - Dahlhaus, Atkins, Miers). Admittedly some of them are good in the air but certainly we aren't breaking new ground if we play 3 primarily ground level players in our forward 50 right now.
I think Laverde's impact is underrated. He always makes a contest, locks the ball in and dishes the ball off for a score assist. Very similar to Stringer's strength in contests. His size means that he is rarely beaten in a one on one. Also relatively quick for his size.

With McKernan, Brown and Stringer, that leaves only McKernan that can genuinely take a contested mark. Stringer can bring the ball to ground, but Brown is next to useless in marking contest. He gets pushed out too easily. Unless we're planning to play Hooker forward, 3 smalls won't work because the 3rd defender will intercept most of our kicks inside 50. Laverde in makes 3 players that can genuinely impact aerial contests.

I like Ham and Snelling in the side, but not both with so many undersized players already in the side.
The difference between the sides you mentioned and our side is that they have size across the ground.
 

Old Stuckup

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Out: Jok, Hartley, Begley, Clarke
In: Heppell, Hooker, Stringer, Fantasia

B: Francis - Hooker - Gleeson
HB: McKenna - Hurley - Saad
C: McGrath - Heppell - Parish
HF: Stringer - Brown - McDonald-Tipungwuti
F: Fantasia - McKernan - Laverde
R: Bellchambers - Shiel - Merrett
I/C: Redman - Ambrose - Langford - Ham
 

ghostdog

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I want Collingwood.

I want at least one game against them without umpire influence...
Still prefer GWS, they’re really battling and crowd-wise we’d far outnumber them.
I'm not fussed about either; I think we match up well against the Pies so it would be a great game with more intensity than last night. I could actually get to the GWS game though. We can win though. The way we played last night and v. Freo has been different; scoring from the start and multiple goals rather than chasing the lead. We need to reincorporate the defensive strength we'd been playing with as well.
 

Mikevk123

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Hopefully we play Collingwood.

My Finals Team

B Saad Ambrose Gleeson
HB Mckeena Hooker Redman
C McGrath Merrett Shiel
HF Stringer Brown Tipungwuti
F Fantasia Mckernan Laverde
Foll: Bellchambers Heppell Parish
Inter: Langford, D.Clarke, Francis, Ham
 

TheGreatBarryB

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Have to figure out a way to reduce impact of Grundy, Pendlebury and of course Sidebottom. They always tear us a new one.

D Clarke seemed ineffectual last night as a tagger and his ball drop looks even worse in high pressure game.

Ambrose very good up the ground in that first quarter but they have too many dangerous forwards to keep him out of defence.
 
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