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AFL Round 9: West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs Betting Preview – Sunday 22 May, 2011

Fri, May 20, 5:13pm by Kevin Pitstock

When and Where:

2.40pm at Patersons Stadium
Overall Head-To-Head:

West Coast Eagles –
Western Bulldogs –
Draws –
Last Time They Met:

Western Bulldogs 17.17 (119) defeated West Coast 9.5 (59), round 13, 2010 at Patersons Stadium
Recent Form:

West Coast Eagles – LBWLW
Western Bulldogs – BLLLW
Current Ladder Positions:

West Coast Eagles – 7th (4-3)
Western Bulldogs – 11th (3-4)
Key Players:

Josh Kennedy is developing into one of the most dangerous forwards in the competition. The 23-year-old currently sits seventh on the Coleman medal tally. He’s kicked 16 goals from seven games, which is an average of 2.3 goals per game – a career-high. Kennedy is no longer a second or third option behind Mark LeCras or Quinten Lynch – he is West Coast’s main focal point up forward. With Tom Williams and Brian Lake to miss Sunday’s match, Kennedy must make the most of the Bulldogs’ exposed back line and hit the scoreboard early.

Callan Ward has always been touted as future star of the Bulldogs and last weekend he proved why. The 21-year-old might have earned himself three Brownlow votes, accumulating 27 touches, six tackles and a goal against a stunned Richmond outfit. But it was more Ward’s intent and ferocious attack on the contest, rather than his numbers, that impressed Bulldog fans, as well as the wider AFL community. As the midfielder develops and further adapts to the pressures of being a star player, he will have to learn to cope with a tag. But with Adam Cooney and Ryan Griffen probably higher on opposition priority lists at the moment, Ward must make the most of his freedom now.    
West Coast Eagles Team Changes:

IN – Andrew Embley and Daniel Kerr
OUT – Brad Sheppard and Andrew Gaff
Fremantle Team Changes:

IN – Shaun Higgins, Tom Williams and Easton Wood
OUT – Adam Cooney (knee), Tom Williams and Josh Hill
Who Wins?

Round 9 concludes with two western teams – one heading south and the other heading north – in the west – if that makes sense.

It’s official. After last weekend’s derby, West Coast is the most dominant Western Australian team in the 2011 AFL season. Despite losing in-form veterans Andrew Embley and Daniel Kerr just minutes before the opening bounce, the Eagles dominated against the Dockers and never looked like dropping the match. Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui worked well in tandem against Aaron Sandilands, Quinten Lynch pushed hard up the ground, while Matthew Priddis was named best man on the ground for his gritty 27-possession performance.

Western Bullldogs had to win against Richmond last week – and it delivered. The Doggies kicked 23 goals for the match to run out comfortable 35-point winners. Two unlikely types in Will Minson and Lindsay Gilbee stepped up in the absence of number one forward Barry Hall, to boot 10 goals between them.  The Dogs now sit in 11th spot on the ladder, however they do have an excellent percentage up their sleeves, which could be handy come season’s end.

If this game was being played in Round 1, many would predict the Dogs to annihilate the Eagles, even though the game was in Perth. But things have changed immensely since then, which is evident from the ladder positions and recent form. Jump on the West Coast bandwagon, because it is going places this season, including to a victory this Sunday.
Best Head-To-Head Bet:

West Coast Eagles by 1-19 points ($4.40 – Centrebet)

Also Sportingbet Australia is doing a first goal scorer special on the AFL, on top of the usual first goal scorer payout.  If your first goal scorer bet scores the second goal, the guys at Sportingbet will pay you out as well! If he kicks the first two, they will pay you double! Get on!
Other Suggested Bets:

First Goal Scorer – Jack Darling or Mark LeCras on Sportingbet

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