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Where: Patersons Stadium
When: Friday July 25, 11.40am (BST)
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The second half of the split round begins out west at Patersons Stadium as the West Coast Eagles take on Richmond.
Both teams have under-performed majorly this season, but have shown signs of improvement in the back half of the year.
West Coast got back to winning ways in Round 17 with a 12-point victory over the Lions at the Gabba and will be spurred on by the announcement of Dean Cox’s retirement at season’s end.
The Tigers shocked then top-of-the-table Port Adelaide before the bye and will go into the game full of confidence in the knowledge of their 41-point defeat of the Eagles at Patersons Stadium in 2013.
With Dan Jackson and Ricky Pettard out of the line-up, Richmond will utilise hungry fringe players keen to impress before season’s end.
Going by previous form, this should be a tight game with numerous lead changes right until the very end.
Finals may be out of reach for both teams, but this match promises to be a cracker.
1. Richmond’s defeat of West Coast at Patersons Stadium last year was a rare win at the venue for the Tigers. The clubs have met here 16 times, with the Eagles winning 13 of the clashes.
2. West Coast is ranked 10th in the AFL for inside 50s this season and Richmond 11th – both one place higher than they stand on the ladder. The Eagles are averaging 49.9 inside 50s a game, the Tigers 49.7.
3. Richmond has struggled in contested possession this season. The Tigers are ranked 14th with an average of 134.2 a game. West Coast is ranked eighth at 140.4.
4. Richmond has been a poor tackling side this year, ranked 15th with an average of 64.2 per game. West Coast is seventh for tackles at 68 a game.
5. Tiger forward Jack Riewoldt has played eight times against the Eagles for four wins and four losses. He kicked 10 goals at the MCG in mid-2010 against West Coast and has booted four or more three other times. Yet, excluding that 2010 haul, his average against the Eagles is below his career average.
6. Neither team has a player ranked in the top 40 of the Official AFL Player Ratings. Nic Naitanui is the highest ranked Eagle at 41, having dropped outside the top 40 for the first time since round 10, 2012. Brett Deledio is the highest ranked Tiger at 53.(AFL.com.au)