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Flip-flopping Eagles face Power test at home away from home

Football

West Coast coach Adam Simpson concedes his team won't be top-four material until they rid themselves of their nastiest habit - inconsistency.

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The Eagles have been hit and miss over the past two seasons, demolishing teams at home, but at times looking frail away from Domain Stadium.

The MCG has become West Coast’s biggest hoodoo venue, with the team losing five of their past six games there.

A common theme during those losses has been a significant drop-off in their intensity, which has often translated into big deficits in the contested possession stats.

West Coast lost that key stat by 22 in a big loss to Hawthorn a fortnight ago, before rebounding strongly with a plus-20 display in their 41-point win over Fremantle last week.

The Eagles will face a huge test on Saturday when they take on the high-scoring Power at Adelaide Oval.

Simpson knows people will continue to question the mettle of his players until they start consistently proving they can match it against the best – both home and away.

“Until we do that, there’s always going to be question marks about us,” Simpson said.

“It’s a big test for us.

“Until we get that right, we won’t press top four, and top eight is always going to be a challenge. The facts are the facts at the moment.”

In contrast to their MCG flops, West Coast have won four of their five matches at Adelaide Oval.

But with the Power shaping as a top-four contender this year, West Coast face a major battle to topple Ken Hinkley’s men.

The Power have been boosted by the return of skipper Travis Boak from injury, while West Coast are hopeful ruckman Nathan Vardy can overcome an elbow complaint in time for the encounter.

Power superstar Robbie Gray looms as a match-winner.

Gray has booted 18 goals this season while splitting his time between the forward line and midfield.

Simpson said it would be difficult to run a hard tag on Gray, but hinted Elliot Yeo might be given first crack.

“Gray along with Chad Wingard are playing more midfield time. It’s dangerous to try to lock down someone like that,” Simpson said.

“We did a little bit of work with Elliot Yeo on the weekend playing on Nat Fyfe.

“That might be an option for us, but there’s no guarantees on that.”

-AAP

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