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Match preview: St Kilda v West Coast

Pick a Winner: StK v WC Duck and Browny preview the Saints v Eagles

Where and when: Marvel Stadium, Saturday May 11, 7.25pm AEST

Last time they met: Optus Stadium, round 11, 2018: West Coast 16.5 (101) beat St Kilda 14.4 (88)

West Coast led by 48 points at the last change but the Saints showed spirit and mounted a late comeback. Josh Kennedy and Tim Membrey each bagged six goals. It was an important outing for Membrey, who shook his yips and didn't miss any of his chances.

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What it means for St Kilda: The season is starting to look a tad shaky, with the Saints having dropped their past two games. They're facing the Grand Finalists over the next fortnight, and it comes at a bad time, when key players keep being sidelined. Victory would be steadying.

What it means for West Coast: It's hardly been a convincing recent run for the reigning premiers. Traveling to Melbourne and coming away with a thumping victory would help the Eagles reassert their authority on the competition.

 

How St Kilda wins: The Eagles have shown they can be exploited in the clinches, so Seb Ross, Jack Steele and Jade Gresham have to bring their physicality and win the footy.

How West Coast wins: This Saints line-up is bereft of so many of their best players. If West Coast matches them for effort, its superior skill should win out.

The stat: St Kilda's leader for clearances per game isn't one of its hard-nosed midfielders, but rather emerging ruckman Rowan Marshall, who's averaging 6.2 through his five games.

The match-up: Jack Darling v Josh Battle

There was scrutiny over the Eagle's form before he broke a goalless two-match patch with four in the win over Gold Coast, but Darling, ranked No.119 in the AFL Player Ratings, faces a tough test against the quickly improving Josh Battle, who's at No.488. 

It's a big week for: Josh Bruce

The key forward was starring early in the season, but a recent leg injury seems to at least be part of the reason he hasn't slotted a goal in the past two games. He needs to have more presence to add potency to the Saints' attack.

The Saints desperately need Josh Bruce to deliver in front of goals. Picture: AFL Photos

Big call: A blistering performance from Gresham to keep his side in it for much of the contest, finishing with 28 disposals and three goals.

Prediction: West Coast by 12 points

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs