When you thought things couldn’t get any worse for West Coast, they have. With barely 20 players to fill a side, the Eagles are in for a football education from the flying Brisbane Lions in Round 8 of the AFL season. It’s set to be a slippery encounter at the Gabba, so pack your rain jacket!
Remember, Before You Bet will be previewing every game of the 2022 AFL season, so be sure to check out our AFL Tips page for regular updates.
Gabba, Saturday 7th May, 7.25pm (AEST)
Injuries: Joe Daniher (out), Eric Hipwood, Kai Lohmann, Jaxon Prior
Brisbane’s top goalscorer Joe Daniher will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, joining fellow key forward Hipwood on the sidelines.
Brisbane proved their worth with a convincing victory over Sydney on unfamiliar territory, confirming their status as a premiership contender in 2022. The Lions have stars on every line, and Lachie Neale is back to the scintillating form that earned him a Brownlow Medal. Four wins from the last five is a strong form line and West Coast have posed little challenge in the past few encounters. This game will likely became a training run, so it will be interesting to see how the home team approaches the contest. With no players rested from the starting side, will we see any late changes or quirky tactics from Chris Fagan?
Injuries: Oscar Allen, Tom Cole, Campbell Chesser, Luke Edwards, Brady Hough, Tom Joyce, Zac Langdon, Nic Naitanui, Wilie Rioli (out), Xavier O’Neill (out), Dom Sheed, Bailey Williams, Elliot Yeo, Luke Shuey (out), Alex Witherden (H and S), Greg Clark (H and S), Jackson Nelson (H and S), Luke Strnadica (H and S)
It’s a dire state of affairs at West Coast with almost a full team of players missing, some injured and some through the COVID protocols.
The nightmare will seemingly never end for West Coast, who travel to Brisbane off the back of a 100+ point loss to the Tigers. By far and away the Eagles are the worst side in the competition right now, and it will probably be mid-season before there is any sort of turnaround. If there is any silver lining, some young players are being identified and developed, however this is not the way you want to be blooding inexperienced talent.
This match is, simply, a matter of Brisbane by how many. The line is currently -71.5 to the Lions, a huge number, which does add some difficulty to making a prediction here. A further question mark is the weather – the rain is meant to come down hard on Saturday in Brisbane and the margin will likely be limited if the game is heavily impacted by the conditions.
Despite that risk, I’m going with the Lions at the line here.
With Joe Daniher going down and Eric Hipwood going out of the side, McStay is the Lions key target going forward. The conditions may not end up suiting the big man, but he kicked three last week and if it stays dry he should manage it again this Saturday.
McCluggage has been injected into the centre bounce crew in the last few weeks and hit 25+ disposals three times this season. He should feast on a weakened West Coast midfield today.
Known to feast in blowout matches, McCarthy is set for a big day here. Playing his usual half forward role, he should kick goals and gather the ball, collecting it 15 times in the process.
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