West Coast will be aiming to keep their slim finals hopes alive when they confront an in-form Tigers outfit in Perth on Friday night.
Richmond have finally rediscovered their mojo, but West Coast will be aiming to steal it straight back off them when the two teams lock horns in Friday night’s AFL clash at Patersons Stadium.
The Tigers were tipped by many to challenge for a top-four berth this year after finishing fifth in 2013.
But just three wins from their first 13 games cruelled those hopes, with Richmond now set to miss the finals altogether.
Three straight wins have at least injected some joy into an otherwise painful season for the Tigers, and Eagles coach Adam Simpson has put his charges on red alert for a tough clash.
“They’ve got their mojo back,” Simpson said of the Tigers, who have beaten St Kilda, Brisbane and Port Adelaide in their past three games to improve their record to 6-10.
“In their last five weeks … their numbers are really high in everything from contested ball to time in possession, clearances and scores from stoppages.
“All the things that made them such a good team last year are back.
“They’re in a really good space. They did a number on us last year over here. It’s going to be a difficult game.”
Simpson said star Tigers trio Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio loomed as the biggest dangers for his side.’
West Coast (7-9) are still a slim chance to make the finals.
But those hopes will be extinguished if they lose to the Tigers, who beat West Coast by 41 points in Perth last year.
Simpson is set to make three or four changes to the team that beat Brisbane a fortnight ago.
Ruckman Dean Cox returns to the side after announcing his plans to retire at the end of the season, while defender Mitch Brown is on track to return after recovering from ankle/knee issues.
Midfielder Sharrod Wellingham, Jamie Bennell, Jamie Cripps and Josh Hill are others in the selection mix.
Wellingham has been dropped numerous times this year, but Simpson said the former Pie still had a future at West Coast.
“We think there is some terrific upside from Sharrod and we’re not writing him off in any stretch,” Simpson said.