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Match preview: West Coast v Brisbane Lions

Alex Malcolm  March 22, 2016 7:13 AM

Pick a Winner: WC v BL Duck and Browny preview the Eagles v Lions

SUMMARY
The Eagles start overwhelming favourites against the Lions. It looks a mismatch on paper but the Eagles have suffered injuries to some experienced midfielders and their NAB Challenge form was patchy. The Lions are set to unleash exciting No.2 draft pick Josh Schache and have been competitive during the pre-season. But the Lions' recent record in Perth is poor and the Eagles' dominance at home last season was frightening at times. The Lions must be competitive at the stoppages to avoid the Eagles' forwards getting silver service.  

WHERE AND WHEN: Domain Stadium, Sunday, March 27, 4.40pm AWST 

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE TIMES
R4, 2015, West Coast 17.16 (118) d Brisbane Liona 9.11 (65) at the Gabba
R17, 2014, West Coast 11.10 (76) d Brisbane Lions 9.10 (64) at the Gabba
R7, 2013, West Coast 17.6 (108) d Brisbane Lions 12.10 (82) at the Gabba
R18, 2012, West Coast 28.7 (175) d Brisbane Lions 12.5 (77) at Domain Stadium
R10, 2012, Brisbane Lions 16.6 (102) d West Coast 15.10 (102) at the Gabba 

THE SIX POINTS 
1. The Eagles' midfield was the difference when they thrashed the Lions early in 2015. Andrew Gaff had 30 disposals while Josh Kennedy and Josh Hill kicked three goals each.

2. West Coast was one of the highest scoring teams in 2015. The Eagles ranked second for points per game with 102. In contrast, the Lions struggled to score, averaging only 70 points per game.

3. The Eagles and the Lions meet for the 45th time and the Eagles hold a clear advantage winning 31 games to 12. There has been one draw.

4. The Lions struggled to take the ball inside 50 in 2015. They ranked 17th averaging only 44 entries per game. The Eagles ranked second in the AFL with 54 per game.

5. West Coast won 12 of 14 games at Domain Stadium in 2015 kicking an average score of 112 points compared to the opposition's 64. The Lions haven't won in Perth since 2010.

6. The Eagles were an impressive clearance team in 2015. They ranked third in the AFL. Matt Priddis led all players in the AFL for total clearances with 183.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
Stefan Martin. He was one of the Lions' four best and fairest winners last year and is a very important player. But he hasn't got the leap of Nic Naitanui and he must find a way to negate Naitanui in the centre bounces.

PREDICTION: West Coast by 60 points