Some big names have been included back into the West Coast Eagles’ squad this week!
The West Coast Eagles come into this round off an awesome win over the Western Bulldogs last week, beating the reigning Premiers by seven points at Etihad Stadium. The Eagles have been without some of their biggest names recently such as their star forward Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras, Brownlow Medallist Matt Priddis and the skipper Shannon Hurn, yet still managed to get the win away from home last week. Very promising signs as September approaches!
The Eagles take on Port Adelaide at Domain Stadium on Sunday, and there have been a few changes to the squad this week! Hurn returns from suffering a concussion, Priddis is back after pulling up well from general soreness, LeCras has finally overcome a hip complaint and Scott Lycett returns from a shoulder injury. Sam Butler is out with a hamstring injury, while Thomas Cole, Chris Masten and Jack Redden have been omitted. Lycett will bring up his 50 game milestone, a happy occasion for him after his struggle with injuries in 2017.
Port Adelaide have made just two changes to their line-up this week. Jack Hombsch and Joe Atley have been included into the squad for Jake Neade who has been omitted, and Matthew Broadbent who is out with an ankle injury. Power comes into this round off a 13-point loss to Richmond last week, which they will be looking to rectify on the road against the Eagles on Sunday, especially because they are yet to beat a top eight team in their last five attempts.
The West Coast Eagles are looking pretty good as we head towards the pointy end of the season. They’ve found some depth and have managed to lift in the absence of their main goal kicker Josh Kennedy, and their main ruckman Nic Naitanui. Nathan Vardy has been impressive since stepping into the ruck role and looks to be improving and gaining confidence with each game that he plays. He’s not afraid to use his body around the ball, and loves a cheeky snap in front of goal.
Andrew Gaff finished with an extraordinary 42 disposals last weekend, Dom Sheed was also impressive with 28 disposals and a goal. Port Adelaide will be looking to limit the Gaff/Sheed influence through the midfield this week so I think we will see a tag or two. Jack Darling and Malcolm Karpany kicked three goals each against the Bulldogs, hopefully they can replicate that on Sunday, and I expect a couple of goals from LeCras on his return.