Key Geelong v West Coast match-ups
KEY GEELONG V WEST COAST MATCH-UPS
* Rhys Stanley/Mark Blicavs (Geel) v Nic Naitanui (WC): Geelong's ruck headache is again set to be a doozy. Cats coach Chris Scott has copped plenty for his late axing of Stanley in last week's qualifying loss to Collingwood. Stanley is set to be recalled for the battle with Naitanui, whose statistics of 24 hit-outs and 14 disposals in last week's elimination final win against Essendon don't do justice to his impact. That would free Blicavs to return to a key defensive post and a likely match-up against Josh Kennedy or Jack Darling.
* Patrick Dangerfield (Geel) v Mark Hutchings (WC): Hutchings is likely to be deployed as a tight tagger on Dangerfield, who remains the ace in the Geelong pack. Dangerfield was superb last week against the Magpies with 32 touches including seven clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal. The unheralded Hutchings is a tough nut who has shut down many high-profile opponents. Whether he succeeds in quelling the star Cat will be pivotal to the result.
* Tom Hawkins (Geel) v Tom Barrass (WC). Hawkins' radar was off with 0.4 against Collingwood but he still holds the key to how Geelong's forward line functions - and he kicked four goals in the Cats' resounding 58-point win against the Eagles in round six. Barrass will likely curtail his preference to out-mark opponents and concentrate on spoiling Hawkins, while also hoping his midfield can stop frequent supply to the Geelong threat.