Adelaide Crows and West Coast Eagles meet tonight at AAMI Stadium, with both teams scrambling to stay in touch with the top eight. We’ll have live scores from 7.40pm AEST.
Entering the year off top-four finishes last season, it’s fair to say that 2013 hasn’t been kind to either side after 14 rounds.
With matching win-loss records of 6-7, both sides sit two games out of the eight and would need a significant run in their final nine games of the season.
For one of those sides, that can begin tonight.
The Crows ended a three-game winning streak with a 28-point win over the Suns at Metricon Stadium last Saturday.
Coach Brenton Sanderson has made just one change to the side who travelled to the Gold Coast, with 22-year-old ruckman Shaun McKernan replacing injured defender Brent Reilly.
After Essendon experienced success against against the ruck duo of Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox with Paddy Ryder, it’s a move clearly designed to try and disrupt the Eagles’ dominance in hitouts.
West Coast have won just once in their last four outings, scraping home by four points against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium.
Under-pressure coach John Worsfold has made four changes to the side who went down by seven points to the Bombers last Thursday night.
Andrew Embley returns from a one-game suspension while Josh Hill comes back in after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. Jacob Brennan and Jamie Cripps are the other two inclusions.
Unfortunately for the Eagles the return of Embley and Hill comes at the expense of several key players, none bigger than Daniel Kerr, while Sam Butler and Ashley Smith have been ruled out through injury as well. Simon Tunbridge has been omitted.
Adelaide have won three of the past five encounters between the two sides, including a 49-point win at AAMI Stadium in Round 17 last year.
The home side should do enough to get the four points tonight but it’s hard to tip either side with any real confidence.