Melbourne aim to put Perth demons to bed

Jack Viney insists Melbourne have no mental scars from last year's hammering at Optus Stadium.
Jack Viney insists Melbourne have no mental scars from last year's hammering at Optus Stadium.

Melbourne co-captain Jack Viney insists there won't be any mental scars or anxiety when his side rock up to Optus Stadium for Friday night's AFL clash with West Coast.

The Demons' most recent appearance at the venue - in last year's preliminary final against West Coast - was the stuff of nightmares.

Melbourne failed to even kick a goal in the first half on the way to a 66-point loss.

Some experts believe that loss still affects some Demons players.

But Viney doesn't think that's the case.

"It's a different year, different teams," Viney told the club's Inside Melbourne podcast.

"I doubt there'll be many people with that thought or anxiousness of going to West Coast with what happened at the end of last year. I know I'm certainly not."

Melbourne (3-5) have revived their finals hopes with thrilling wins over Hawthorn and Gold Coast.

West Coast (5-3) have been bolstered by recent victories over Gold Coast and St Kilda, but are still yet to hit the heights they reached during last year's premiership campaign.

The return of goalsneak Willie Rioli will give the Eagles some much-needed spark.

Melbourne have been hit hard by injury, with Michael Hibberd (broken collarbone), Jake Melksham (foot) and Jordan Lewis (ankle) all ruled out.

Declan Keilty was dropped.

Wingman Oskar Baker will become the Demons' fifth debutant of the season, and he'll be joined in the side by Alex Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith, and Harrison Petty.

Australian Associated Press