WEST Coast star Elliot Yeo is ready to take on the challenge of running with Richmond Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin if the Eagles choose to lockdown on the Tigers' superstar on Sunday night.
Meanwhile captain Luke Shuey is set to make his playing comeback in the WAFL next week, after suffering a hamstring tear in the club's round three win over Port Adelaide.
Yeo, who is two matches into his return from a long battle with osteitis pubis, is a player who could follow Martin from the midfield and into the Tigers' forward line, according to coach Adam Simpson.
And despite averaging 65 per cent game time in his two matches back, the two-time club champion is physically ready if the Eagles decide they need to lock down on the Tigers' match-winner.
"Absolutely. I think we did it a few years ago with mixed success. But he's the type of player who could do that. It's happened a few times against the Tigers this year, but that's not to say we're going to do it," Simpson said.
"He (Yeo) is ready. His will to win is what we've missed a lot with all our strengths and weaknesses.
"He's such a competitor and sometimes he might push the line on that, even at training he'll go harder than he probably needs to. But that's what we like about him."
Yeo has built quickly in his return to the team, winning eight clearances from his 18 disposals in 66 per cent game time against Carlton in round 12.
The Eagles will have more concerns that just Martin, however, with Shai Bolton also in match-winning form after booting 10 goals in his past four games, including two in a final quarter burst against Essendon in last Saturday night's Dreamtime clash.
With Brad Sheppard missing because of concussion, Simpson said the Eagles' backline would need to work as a group to stop the Tigers' dangerous mix of forwards.
"Their speed at ground level, pressure in the front half, scoring off turnovers, that's all the stuff they've been good at for a long time," he said.
"We can't have one-on-one match-ups, there's not enough players. We're going to have to do it together and take the most dangerous and really work together as a unit to get this done."
The Eagles will regain key forward Josh Kennedy and young star Oscar Allen this week, while speedster Jack Petruccelle appears set to miss with a hamstring injury, with Jarrod Brander (adductor) needing to pass a fitness test.
Simpson said Allen's role either forward or in defence would be debated at match committee, as would the two-ruck structure against a Richmond team that has used midfielders as support for Mabior Chol.
Sunday's game was originally scheduled to open round 14 on Thursday, June 17, but border and quarantine challenges for Richmond saw the AFL bring it forward by five days.
The Eagles' acceptance of the switch with little or no fuss has been praised, with Simpson content to swap the match despite the likelihood more key players would have been able to return next week.
"We could have made it harder I suppose, (but) we're fortunate at the moment," the coach said.
"We're sleeping in our own beds, we're in a state that's reasonably clear of COVID. Some of these teams have been on the road for two or three weeks.
"We want to be ruthless as well and we want to take every advantage we can get, but I think doing the right thing for the competition is important as well.
"That's the way it landed, and the AFL probably would have overridden us anyway."
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