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Which Hawk has Simmo most worried? Not Tom

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He hasn't changed for 10 years, his running capability, the way he connects and hits the scoreboard
Adam Simpson on Isaac Smith

WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson believes damaging wingman Isaac Smith looms as Hawthorn's main midfield danger man – ahead of Brownlow Medal contender Tom Mitchell – standing in the way of the Eagles ending a 12-year hoodoo on Sunday. 

Ball magnet Mitchell racked up 46 touches and booted a goal in last round's loss to the Lions, while Smith kicked two majors from 25 disposals.

Mitchell's effectiveness and the value of tagging him has been a major topic of debate since his switch to Hawthorn from Sydney last year.

Asked how he would counter the prolific Hawk, Simpson declared it would take a collective effort, but singled out line-breaking speedster Smith as the biggest threat.

"(Mitchell's) been in pretty good form this year, I think Isaac Smith's probably been their best player in terms of what he can produce as well," Simpson said.

"He hasn't changed for 10 years, really, his running capability, the way he connects and he hits the scoreboard as well.

"I think he's in All Australian form at the moment."

The midfield battle is weighing heavily on both coaches' minds, with Alastair Clarkson considering recalling second ruckman Jon Ceglar to counter West Coast's dominant duo Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

Simpson said the Hawks' ruck setup wouldn't change much for the League-leading Eagles, who travel to Etihad Stadium seeking to end a six-game losing streak against Hawthorn in Melbourne, stretching back to 2006.

"Everyone's talking about our record against Hawthorn, can we win in Melbourne, all those things that will be there forever because an interstate game, it's hard to win on the road for anyone," he said.

"You've only got to look at the NBA finals at the moment, winning at home as opposed to winning away is difficult.

"We understand the challenge, understand the record, but we're embracing it at the moment.

"The guys are in a pretty good space. Their travel form has been pretty good this year (three from three).

"Every year is different, this is a different group, so hopefully we can get a different result this week."

Simpson said club champion Elliot Yeo would play despite suffering a medial ligament sprain early in the 47-point pumping of Richmond last round, the Eagles' eighth straight victory.

Star defender Jeremy McGovern will fly later than his teammates after being granted an extra day in Perth following the safe arrival of his son, Hudson.

"Sometimes you just catch yourself enjoying the moment – I've seen him do that a couple of times at training where he just realises he's a father and he's very proud of it all," Simpson said.

"We've got a lot of babies coming through at the moment.

"Trying to cater for those guys and understand where they're at is really important.

"Our list is probably maturing a little bit. The core group are not going to 21sts anymore, they're going to baby showers."

Gun midfielder Luke Shuey, who also has a baby boy on the way, has been given another week to recover from a hamstring strain suffered in round seven.