Match day guide and preview for the AFL Round 10 game between the Giants and the Eagles.
Who, when and where?
GWS Giants vs West Coast Eagles
Sunday 23 May 2021 at 1.10pm (AEST)
Giants Stadium, Sydney, NSW
All time head-to-head record: Played 12. Giants 3 wins. Eagles 9 wins.
Ladder position and recent form
GWS Giants 9th – 98% | 724 points for |739 points against | 4 wins & 5 losses | LWLWW
The Giants looked the winners most of the night against the Tigers last week, until a horrible bounce in the dying stages condemned them to a heartbreaking loss.
The Giants midfield has been outstanding in recent weeks having won the clearance and contested possession count in each of their past three matches.
Despite the heartbreaking loss to the Tigers, the Giants again showed they can compete with the better sides.
West Coast Eagles 7th – 112.2% | 844 points for | 752 points against | 6 wins & 3 losses | WWWLW
On the surface the Eagles form looks good with four wins from their past five matches.
However, the one loss was a 97-point belting at the hands of the Cats down in Geelong in Round 6 with their wins coming against lowly teams ranked 10th, 15th, 16th and 17th.
Their form outside of Perth is also a concern, losing 3 of 4 away games with the only win coming against the Hawks. They need to claim a scalp on the road and the Giants in Sydney should provide a good test for them.
Last 5 meetings and Giants Stadium history
- 2020 Round 13 – Eagles 9.7 (61) defeat Giants7.7 (49) at Optus Stadium
- 2019 Round 2 – Eagles 16.8 (104) defeat Giants 7.10 (52) at Optus Stadium
- 2018 Round 16 – Eagles 13.8 (86) defeat Giants 10.15 (75) at Optus Stadium
- 2018 Round 8 – Giants 8.13 (61) defeated by Eagles 12.14 (86) at Giants Stadium
- 2017 Semi Final – Giants 19.11 (125) defeat Eagles 9.4 (58) at Giants Stadium
The Eagles have a very good overall record against the Giants having won 9 of their 12 matches, including the last four straight.
The last three matchups have been played at Optus Stadium which is such a fortress for the Eagles, but they also have a strong record in Sydney.
The Eagles hold a 4-2 advantage over the Giants at Giants Stadium including winning the last matchup there in 2018.
The Giants have played just two matches at Giants Stadium this season with a 1-1 record while the Eagles are 1-3 on the road in 2021.
Ins and outs
The Giants just keep on picking up injuries and unfortunately now their best player Toby Greene is out. He managed to play out the Tigers match with a fractured shoulder but will now be sidelined for a month. Harry Perryman was also injured his hamstring during last round and will miss 3-4 weeks.
They do have some good news on the injury front with Nick Haynes named to return. The 2020 All-Australian is an important inclusion given the Eagles fire power up forward.
Sam Reid has also been named to return along with Jeremy Finlayson while Shane Mumford and Zach Sproule have been named on the extended bench.
Josh Kelly will be the stand-in Giants captain in the absence of Greene and Stephen Coniglio.
The Eagles are boosted by the returns of Shannon Hurn and Liam Ryan for the trip to Sydney with young defender Harry Edwards also coming into the side.
However, in a huge blow for the Eagles, four time All-Australian Jeremy McGovern will miss with a knee injury.
Click here to the view 26-man squads. Final teams will be named on Friday at 5pm.
Players to watch
Giants – Tom Green
The Canberra junior is fresh off the second Rising Star nomination of his career after 25 disposals and a goal against the Tigers.
Green isn’t the biggest name in the Giants midfield, but he is quietly going about an impressive second season in the AFL.
The 191cm inside midfielder is averaging 20.8 disposals, 10.4 contested possessions and 4.1 clearances a game.
He has become a great addition to the Giants midfield that is firing right now with the likes of Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper and Josh Kelly all near career-best form.
The Eagles have a dominant ruckman in Naitanui, so Green and the rest of the Giants midfield will have to rove to his taps to negate his impact.
Eagles – Nic Naitanui
The two-time All Australian can be one of the most destructive players in the competition with his brilliant tap work.
He is fourth in the AFL for hitouts to advantage with 11.2 per game and first for ruckman in clearances at 6.7 per game, illustrating his prowess around stoppages.
He will either be coming up against the inexperienced pair of Kieren Briggs and Matt Flynn or veteran Shane Mumford. Whoever the Giants pick in the ruck, Naitanui has the edge in class and could give the Eagles a massive advantage at stoppages.
Pre match predictions
Green light: Tom Green to light it up in the midfield with over 25 possessions and two goals.
Hop to it: Inside bull Jacob Hopper will back up his 35-touch effort against the Tiges with another 30+ disposal game. – Denholm Samaras
Other match details
Sunday’s match will be live on 7mate in the ACT and NSW and Fox Footy and Kayo nationally from 1pm.
Gates open at 12.10pm for the 1.10pm start.
For more sport: