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Match preview: West Coast v Sydney

Pick a Winner: WC v Syd Duck and Browny preview the Eagles v Swans
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 23: Jake Lloyd of the Swans celebrates after kicking a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 05 match between the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney on April 23, 2016. (Photo by Craig Golding/AFL Media)
The Swans are desperate to break their duck in 2017

SUMMARY
West Coast's premiership credentials took a hit under stormy skies at the MCG against Richmond. The Eagles were exposed for speed in dry conditions in the opening half and the Tigers relished the contest more when the going got tough during a second-half downpour. A five-day break coming off a slog at the MCG isn't ideal for West Coast, but Adam Simpson's men are keen to get their season back on track after their first loss. Another contested ball slugfest is on the cards against Sydney. The Swans have remarkably gone winless over the opening three rounds, but John Longmire's injury-hit and youthful side could easily have snatched victories over the Bulldogs and Magpies. The Swans will be desperate to open their account and keep their slim top-four hopes alive at what has been a happy hunting ground in recent years.

WHERE AND WHEN: Domain Stadium, Thursday, April 13, 6.10pm AWST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide  

PAST FIVE TIMES
R5, 2016, Sydney 12.16 (88) d West Coast 7.7 (49) at the SCG
R17, 2015, West Coast 15.13 (103) d Sydney 7.9 (51) at Domain Stadium
R16, 2014, Sydney 10.19 (79) d West Coast 7.9 (51) at Domain Stadium
R17, 2013, Sydney 17.11 (113) d West Coast 11.13 (79) at Domain Stadium
R16, 2012, Sydney 18.13 (121) d West Coast 10.9 (69) at Domain Stadium 

THE SIX POINTS
1. Sydney has dominated West Coast over a long period of time, winning nine of the last 10 contests, including three by more than 50 points. The Eagles' only victory since 2008 was in round 17, 2015.

2. West Coast is still ranked fifth for scoring in 2017 despite kicking their lowest score of the season last week. The Eagles are averaging 105 points, compared to the Swans' 97.

3. The Eagles were beaten up around the ball by Richmond and are the worst contested possession side so far in 2017, averaging 135 per game. Contested ball is a hallmark of Sydney's game and the Swans are ranked equal fourth (151).

4. West Coast holds the advantage at Domain Stadium winning 13 games to nine, but the Swans have had the wood on the Eagles recently with five victories from their last six games in Perth.

5. Another loss and it will be the first time since 1993 the Swans have lost their first four games of a season. Sydney has never lost four consecutive games in the same season under John Longmire.

6. Sydney will have four of the five top players on the ground, according to the Schick AFL Player Ratings. Josh Kennedy (second overall), Luke Parker (11th), Lance Franklin (12th) and Dan Hannebery (18th) are inside the top 20. Matt Priddis is the highest-ranked Eagle in 17th spot. 

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … John Longmire
The 2012 premiership mentor finds himself in unfamiliar territory with Sydney at 0-3 and Longmire will need to mastermind an upset of West Coast to keep the Swans' fading top-four hopes alive. 

PREDICTION: West Coast by 13 points