Thu, Jul 11, 6:53am by Clarinda Campbell
Match: West Coast Eagles vs Fremantle Dockers – AFL Round 16
When/Where: 2:40pm, Sunday 14 July 2013 at Patersons Stadium
Bet on Eagles vs Dockers: IASbet.com
This match will be a battle of the athletic ruckmen (NicNat and Cox). The key to this match will be winning the clearances and getting first option with the all-important football.
Fremantle have been a pretty good starting side this year in terms of getting early points on the board. Last week they got off to an uncharacteristically slow start. They can’t afford to put their foot on the brake this week.
The Eagles have shown this season that when their attack is on, they are hot. Disappointingly they have been inconsistent, but they have had quite a lengthy injury list. This week sees the return of some of the players who were on that list. They need to be returning in sharp form to counter the tight defence of the Dockers.
Each side will have plenty of fans at Patersons Stadium this week in what is shaping as one of the toughest Western Australian derbies to be played.
The head to head betting market has not changed since odds opened with IASbet, with the Dockers still the firm favourites heading into the match on Sunday.
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Fremantle failed to impress in their first half against St Kilda last week, trailing into the break. Lyon expects more from his side this week. Prior to last week’s victory, the Dockers were left bewildered by a near 7 goal loss to Geelong. Prior to that loss to Geelong the Dockers had been in outstanding form, not dropping a game since way back in Round 4.
The Dockers will be missing Luke McPharlin this week to a calf injury and the loss of the key full-back may cause a slight weakness in their defence. Pavlich and Sandilands returned last week and they will be better for the run, after appearing a little rusty against the Saints. Class always shines through and it won’t be too long before Pavlich and Sandilands are back to their match winning best.
The Eagles returned to some form last round against the Crows, coming from behind to secure a tight victory before an Adelaide home crowd. They had come off consecutive losses against competition heavyweights, Hawthorn and Geelong. Josh Kennedy starred for the Eagles, kicking four goals. He is one to watch in player markets when they are released (number of goals).
The fitness of the Eagles for this match has been called into question, with four players returning from injury, and NicNat is said to have been constrained during the week by a groin and thigh problem. The Eagles have also been dealt a blow by the loss of Beau Waters, who will miss at least a month of football with a knee injury.
Ross Lyon sides are notorious for their distinctive defensive side of play, so it is also worth commenting on the Eagles form against Lyons coached sides. Lyon began coaching Fremantle in the 2012 season, and prior to that was the coach of St Kilda between 2007 and 2011. In matches last year, Fremantle and West Coast won one apiece against each other. In their only clash this year (Round 1), Fremantle defeated the Eagles by 28 points.
When Lyon coached St Kilda, they played the Eagles seven times. Of those 7 matches, the Lyon side won 6 of those. This suggests the Eagles struggle to dominate the match with attack. Their forwards really need to fire this week to be a chance of coming out on top of the Dockers.
The Dockers have shown that they are susceptible with consistency in the past fortnight. Lyon is well aware of this and would no doubt have drilled his side to produce a greater effort this week.
Eagles Head to Head: $2.45
Dockers Head to Head: $1.55 with IASbet.com
The Dockers are the deserved favourites for this match based on their win/loss record and their recent form against the Eagles. If you like the simple head to head bet then it is worth having some money on the current odds on offer.
Eagles 1-39: $2.85
Eagles 40+: $9.50
Dockers 1-39: $2.25 with IASbet.com
Dockers 40+: $4.80
I do not believe this game will be a rout for the Dockers. They only managed to beat St Kilda by 30 points last week. The Eagles are a better side compared to St Kilda so the margin to Fremantle should fall safely in the 1-39. You can currently get a little over even money in this margin betting market, and it’s worth a go for punters that like to take the small risk in this market.
Eagles +8.5: $1.92
Dockers –8.5: $1.92
A tight line has been offered in this market, but Fremantle should cover the 8.5 handicap. The odds are better in the 1-39 market though.
The player markets should open Thursday after teams are announced. In any goal scoring markets Josh Kennedy should feature. He is known to collect almost a handful each match. He’ll likely be worth a bet (depending on the odds) in the 3 or more goals market.
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