Round 9 Preview - Claremont v PerthFriday, May 12, 2017 - 2:26 PM - by Chris Pike

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CLAREMONT is on a four-game losing run and Perth has lost its last three meaning both enter Saturday's clash at Fremantle Community Bank Oval desperate to return to the winner's list.

Claremont started the season on fire with three wins but the Tigers have lost four straight games since to slip outside of the top-five to now need a victory on Saturday against the Demons.

Perth, meanwhile, has managed just the one so far this season and if the Demons have any hope of remaining an outside hope of playing finals in 2017, this is a game they can't afford to lose.

It will also be played on neutral turf with Claremont again needing to use Fremantle Community Bank Oval to host the game with the redeveloping Claremont Oval still unavailable.

It is the first time the two teams have ever played at the port in what will be their 257th meeting.

Claremont's season started so impressively with wins over East Fremantle, Perth and East Perth. But things have turned sour since with losses to South Fremantle, Subiaco, Swan Districts and Peel Thunder.

That now sees the Tigers sit outside the top five with a 3-4 record. They could return to fifth position with a win on Saturday but a loss and they will be a game and percentage outside the top five.

Perth did breakthrough for a win this season back in Round 4 over East Fremantle after starting the season with three losses. But since then the Demons have gone down to East Perth, West Perth and South Fremantle to currently sit on a 1-6 record.

The two teams have already met once this season back in Round 3 at Lathlain Park and on that occasion the Tigers proved far too good, winning over the Demons by 59 points.

Over their first three wins of the season, Claremont was scoring on average 125 points a game. But in their four losses since the Tigers have only been scoring an average of 57 points.

They were also just conceding 72.7 points in those wins and they have been giving up 97 points on average since.

Perth, meanwhile, is struggling in third quarters across the season being outscored by a total of 97 points over the first seven games.

Claremont's hopes of returning to the winner's list and beating Perth for a second time this season won't be helped with three significant players going out of the line-up.

Jack Bradshaw and Tom Ledger are two of Claremont's most important and experienced players and go out of the side from the one that lost to Peel Thunder last Saturday also at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. Morgan Davies is also out of the Claremont line-up.

Alex Manuel was terrific in the reserves last week for the Tigers 38 possessions and four goals to demand a recall to the league side this Saturday against Perth.

Bailey Bennett, Lachlan Martinis, Tom Shanahan, Jacob Sideris and Nick Winmar are the other players in the mix at selection for Claremont this week.

If Winmar is selected it will be his first league game for Claremont since the 2013 second semi-final loss to West Perth at Claremont Oval.

Perth will look to blood some more young talent in search of its second win of the season.

Marshall Jones, Jayden Johnstone, Kurtis Chester and Josh Burke are the four players in contention to be included in the Perth side to take on Claremont.

At this stage, Taran Etto is the only out from the team that lost to South Fremantle by 60 points with him struggling in his attempted tagging role on Bulldogs midfielder Tim Kelly.

CLAREMONT (3-4, 6th) v PERTH (1-6, 8th) – FREMANTLE COMMUNITY BANK OVAL, SATURDAY 2.15PM

Selected teams, live stats 
Broadcast – KIX Digital, Footy Radio (WAFL App)