West Coast’s premiership puzzle is fast coming together but coach Adam Simpson knows he’s missing one vital piece at the moment – luck.
The Eagles’ defence has been battered by injuries to key players this season.
West Coast didn’t have a single key defender on deck during last week’s 77-point win over the Bulldogs, with Jeremy McGovern (hamstring), Will Schofield (hamstring), Eric Mackenzie (knee) and Mitch Brown (knee) all watching on from the sidelines.
Although McGovern is expected to return for Sunday’s clash with the Crows in Adelaide, Schofield isn’t due back until the round 23 encounter against St Kilda.
Brown and Mackenzie are done for the season.
Forward Jack Darling (foot) and midfielder Scott Selwood (ankle) are other key players to have missed long periods this year.
But the Eagles have defied their injury toll to surge into second spot, with the club needing just one more win to secure a home qualifying final.
West Coast are now rated second favourites for the flag behind Hawthorn.
However, Simpson is well aware that injuries at the wrong time of the year could dent the Eagles’ hopes.
“It’s a war of attrition and we’ve been battling for a while,” Simpson told Perth radio station 6PR.
“Hopefully we get some blue skies in the next week or so.
“A healthy list getting into the last game or two of the year is probably the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to a premiership tilt.
“At the moment we are probably fighting against the odds with our injuries but hopefully we get a few back.”
West Coast’s undersized defence will be severely tested against a Crows outfit boasting Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Tom Lynch.
Walker booted seven goals in last week’s demolition of Brisbane and looms as a big danger to the Eagles.
Simpson will consider recalling two-gamer Tom Barrass to help out McGovern in the key defensive posts.
Rebounding defender Sharrod Wellingham is in some doubt with an ankle injury, while Sam Butler (hamstring) has been ruled out for another week.