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AFL 2021 LIVE updates: Dees have top spot in sight as they tackle Eagles

In an indicator of how scratchy the Demons have been since starting the year all guns blazing with an 11-1 record, they are surprisingly aiming for back-to-back wins tonight for the first time since Round 12.

They’re also attempting to bring a four-game losing streak against the Eagles to a halt.

Melbourne have lost their last three matches at Optus Stadium after beating West Coast there in their first meeting in 2018.

But the Eagles’ recent form at home has been far from solid, losing three of their last five game there, with their two victories in that period achieved by a combined total of just 12 points.

Alex Neal-Bullen (Melb) – 100 games

Alex Neal-Bullen.

Alex Neal-Bullen.Credit:Getty Images

5.1 7.3 11.6 12.6 (78)
0.4 3.6 5.9 7.9 (51)

West Coast:
Ryan 3, Ah Chee 2, Sheed 2, Gaff, Kelly, Jetta, Darling, Petruccelle
Melbourne: Pickett 2, T.McDonald 2, Viney, Neal-Bullen, Melksham

West Coast:
L Shuey, N Naitanui, A Gaff, S Hurn, D Sheed, L Ryan.
Melbourne: J Viney, E Langdon, O McDonald, C Petracca, C Oliver, H Hibberd.

Umpires: Dalgleish, Findlay, Dore

As football follows the rest of the world into a hiatus due to COVID-19, for at least 10 weeks, Melbourne will be forced to dwell on a disappointing round one performance in Perth.

The league went into a shutdown when the final siren sounded at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon, as West Coast ended the opening round of the season with a 12.6 (78) to 7.9 (51) win over the Demons.

The Eagles took the lead seven minutes into the game with the first of Liam Ryan’s three goals and they didn’t hand it back.

Make or break: West Coast's Elliot Yeo fends off a tackle from Melbourne's James Harmes.

Make or break: West Coast’s Elliot Yeo fends off a tackle from Melbourne’s James Harmes.Credit:Getty Images

Hello and welcome to our rolling live coverage of the huge Monday night clash between West Coast and Melbourne at Optus Stadium.

After a couple of stunning upset losses suffered by the Western Bulldogs and Geelong, the door has flung wide open for Melbourne to take top spot on the ladder with two rounds to go.

All the fourth-placed Demons have to do is beat the Eagles tonight.

But West Coast have plenty to play for as well. For the first time in a long time, their spot in the top eight is looking a bit vulnerable.

A loss tonight would see the Eagles precariously placed only four points clear of ninth-placed Essendon, who have a vastly superior percentage.

But a win for West Coast would all but guarantee their spot in the finals.

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