Matt Rosa says slick ball movement is West Coast's best hope of trumping arch rivals Fremantle, saying the players are capable of nailing the "sweet spot" needed to win Saturday's western derby at Patersons Stadium.

The 27-year-old conceded a four-game derby losing streak could be put down to a gulf in talent between the two sides, but said the Eagles' rejuvenated forward line, inspired by fourth-gamer Jeremy McGovern, was a major strength that could cause havoc against the Dockers.

The assessment came as Luke Shuey was cleared to play after the AFL match review panel ruled the key midfielder's clumsy spoil on St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt in Sunday's win had not been "unreasonable".

Fremantle defender Zac Dawson is also in the clear after a spoil on Lion Lewis Taylor from Saturday's thrashing was not deemed worthy of assessment.

Rosa, who chalks up his 150-game milestone on Saturday, said the Eagles would need to play their best game of the year to end their derby drought.

"That's our biggest focus, just when we're in possession making sure we're using the ball well," Rosa said.

"It feels like we're making inroads, but we've still got a little bit to go. Our ball use is something we focused on massively over the pre-season and just identifying crucial moments in games when we can control the footy and take a bit of sting out of the game and really hold on to it and maintain possession.

"At times we've either rushed it or bombed away too much … once we really nail that sweet spot for four quarters, I think we can really do some damage."

West Coast have not won a derby since round nine, 2012. They have beaten Fremantle just three times in their past 14 meetings.

"I guess it could be talent in the end," Rosa said of the barren run.

"They've obviously been going a lot better than us the last couple of years, but we really feel that if we're at our best we can really challenge any team. Our forward line is a strength, especially adding big Jezza up forward.

"He's taking some nice marks at the moment, so hopefully we can get some good ball in there."

Rosa is the only Eagle apart from Matt Priddis to average more than 24 disposals this year and said the midfield group had to take the load off the man who captained the side last week.

Rosa is an unrestricted free agent and coming out of contract at the end of the season, but said he could sign a new deal to stay at West Coast as early as this week.

"I've indicated to the club that I'd like to be a one-club player," he said. "Hopefully it gets sorted."

West Coast have revealed that young defenders Tom Barrass (groin) and Rowen Powell (shoulder) will not play again this season.

"That's our biggest focus, just when we're in possession making sure we're using the ball well.""West Coast midfielder *Matt Rosa *


The West Australian

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