Eagles settled in bid for unlikely AFL win

West Coast head to Etihad Stadium with an unchanged AFL team for the first time in more than three seasons as they attempt to end a 12-year winless run against Collingwood in Melbourne.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson confirmed on Thursday the Eagles would take an unchanged team into the clash on Saturday night, with the same side to line up for West Coast as the team that beat Adelaide in Perth last Saturday.

It’s the first time since Rounds 1 and 2 in 2012 the Eagles have had an unchanged 22.

But it’s longer still since West Coast have beaten Collingwood in Melbourne.

The Eagles have lost against the Pies in Melbourne 11 times since Round 8, 2003.

But Simpson isn’t taking too much notice of history as his team looks to consolidate second position on the AFL ladder and extend their four-game winning run.

“We don’t look at that at all. You can chop up any team you play and there will be some sort of stat that we haven’t done something for so long,” Simpson said.

“We haven’t played finals too often the last five years so I’m anticipating that a lot of teams that we play at the top end of the ladder there’s going to be some sort of stat that looks bad. We’re not particularly worried about the past.”

Working in favour of the Eagles is that eight of those 11 losses against Collingwood have been at the MCG, and the Magpies are not as familiar with Etihad Stadium.

“We like playing at the ground,” Simpson said of Etihad Stadium.

“I don’t know about wins and losses in the past couple of years but I don’t think we worry about our recent form or past form there – we’re not intimidated by the ground.

“Collingwood at Etihad is a little bit different, we’re used to playing them at the MCG and I am sure they are as well.

“It’s a quick deck and it’s cold in Melbourne at the moment, so playing under the roof you’re guaranteeing what the conditions are going to be. We plan for it, train for it here and we reduce the length of the ground to adapt to it.”

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