It's been a strange sort of week for West Coast and the Brisbane Lions as they prepare to face off at The Gabba in Round 8.
Here's Three Things to Know before bounce:
Beware the Wounded Eagle
Documented all week has been West Coast's selection dramas after a wretched run following another COVID-19 outbreak.
The Eagles will be forced to field top-up players for the second time this season after ahead of Saturday night's away game against Brisbane.
The club confirmed eight Eagles players are currently in health and safety protocols, with stand-in coach Matthew Knights – who'll step in with Adam Simpson entering protocols on Thursday – revealing at least two top-up players will be required to play.
Following last weeks 109-point loss to Richmond, the Lions should be wary of the wounded Eagles, who may come into The Gabba with a 'nothing to lose' mentality.
Chris Fagan spoke to media yesterday and said he's expecting the very best from West Coast.
"I talked to our players about 'what the obstacles are to us playing at our best tomorrow night'.
"They certainly identified some of those things (complacency).
"A picture can easily be painted we're playing a West Coast Eagles team full of young blokes that have hardly played any football, but the truth is they'll still run out tomorrow with 12 or 13 players that played in their premiership side not so long ago.
"To disrespect them in any way, shape or form would be a big mistake by us.
Last Time We Met
For Brisbane fans, it's hard to forget the last time these two sides met.
It was Round 23 last year and the Lions had a slim but possible chance to make the Top Four by percentage if they were able to get past an in form West Coast side.
Enter Linc McCarthy, who in the dying moments of the last quarter kicked the best behind Brisbane's ever seen, nudging the Lions into the top four by the slimmest of margins.
What was even more incredible however, was Charlie Cameron's intercept mark from the kick-in.
The speedy forward made sure of the Lions double chance by winding down the clock and kicking a laser goal to a packed Gabba crowd.
While Brisbane won comfortably by 38-points, in the eyes of Lions fans it was one of the tensest games of the year.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled For...
Chris Fagan said it's nice to be able to provide opportunity to the young tall.
“We’re going to give Jack Payne a run this week,” he said.
“He’s had injury setbacks but we’ve seen a growth in his maturity and it’s good to be able to reward him with an opportunity.”
He is one of two fresh faces for the Brisbane side, with Ryan Lester coming in for Darcy Gardiner, who will miss this weekends clash under AFL Health & Safety Protocol.
Lester will bolster an already in-form Lions backline and also has the ability to go forward, as seen in his clutch snap goal in the finals last year.
What has caught Lions fans eyes however, was the unexpected naming of Harris Andrews at full forward... an exciting possibility.