Preview Elimination Final: Western Bulldogs vs Essendon, York Park, Sunday 29/08/2021 @ 3:20 pm

Will we break the drought?

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Tier 1 WW Player
Jan 11, 2007
AFL Club
Other Teams
Coburg Lions, All Boston sides

Western Bulldogs: The Dogs had an agonisingly close loss to prevent them making top 4 last week, leading the game for the majority of it before Port ran them over in the last quarter. Jackson Macrae accumulated well throughout the game with 29 disposals and 4 clearances, whilst Tim English was the best of the forwards with 2 goals.

Essendon: An 11 goal to 5 first half allowed Essendon to cruise for the most part against arch rivals Collingwood, winning ultimately by 38 points. Jake Stringer had a very strong game, finishing with 24 disposals, 6 clearances and 2 goals for the match, whilst two forwards in Alec Waterman and Peter Wright kicked 4 goals apiece up front.

Head to Head (last 5)

Western Bulldogs 4-1 Essendon

Form Guide

Western Bulldogs: 2W 3L
Essendon: 3W 2L

Possible sides

Western Bulldogs vs Essendon

FB: Tom Cutler - James Stewart - Dyson Heppell

FF: Lewis Young - Aaron Naughton - Cody Weightman
HB: Jordan Ridley - Jayden Laverde - Nick Hind
HF: Jason Johannisen - Tim English - Laitham Vandermeer
MF: Kyle Langford - Dylan Shiel - Andrew McGrath
MF: Adam Treloar - Jackson Macrae - Bailey Smith
HF: Will Snelling - Aaron Francis - Archie Perkins
HB: Caleb Daniel - Ryan Gardner - Bailey Dale
FF: Alec Waterman - Peter Wright - Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
FB: Easton Wood - Alex Keath - Taylor Duryea
OB: Sam Draper - Zachary Merrett - Darcy Parish
OB: Stefan Martin - Josh Dunkley - Marcus Bontempelli
IC: Mason Redman - Devon Smith - Matthew Guelfi - Jake Stringer
IC: Lachie Hunter - Mitchell Hannan - Tom Liberatore - Bailey Williams
IS: Sam Durham
IS: Roarke Smith

Western Bulldogs in: Stefan Martin, Ryan Gardner; Out: Zaine Cordy (omitted), Josh Schache (unused sub)

Essendon in: Kyle Langford, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti; Out: Dylan Clarke (omitted), Nik Cox (unused sub)

Western Bulldogs defence vs Essendon forward line

Essendon have been the second most efficient forward line in the AFL this season, kicking a goal 24.78% of the time it enters their forward 50. Western Bulldogs have been very good at stopping the ball from entering their forward 50 this season, but once it gets in there they concede a goal 21.59% of the time. After kicking 7 against the Dogs last time, Peter Wright should expect Alex Keath for company this time, the key defender missing the last game and will be keen to shut him down. Another interesting match up could be Easton Wood on Alec Waterman, the Dogs former captain reaching his last legs and it could be something to exploit for Waterman.

Midfield/rucks battle

Essendon have steadily improved on the inside of the midfield in the second half of the year, moving from 16th in both contested possession and clearance difference before the bye, and are now 7th in both after the home and away season finished. The Dogs are similarly strong in both areas, being 4th in contested possession difference and 1st in clearance difference so far this season. Essendon's finally going to get close to its full strength midfield going around here, with Darcy Parish being the main man with great support from Dylan Shiel, Zach Merrett and Jake Stringer at the stoppage, whilst Brownlow Medal favourite Marcus Bontempelli has some extremely deep support on the inside with Jackson Macrae, Josh Dunkley, Adam Treloar, Bailey Smith and Tom Liberatore. On the outside, expect Kyle Langford and Will Snelling to be the main link up players for the Dons, both backing up good years last year to strong years again, whilst Lachie Hunter will be vital in terms of delivery for the Dogs. Sam Draper against Stefan Martin will be an interesting battle for the kid in his first final, Martin coming off a long injury layoff.

Western Bulldogs forward line vs Essendon defence

The Dogs are very efficient going inside 50, kicking a goal 23.92% of the time it enters, 3rd in the AFL. Essendon have been steadily improving in terms of goals per inside 50 as the season's gone on, from being clear cut bottom 2 at the bye to 12th after home and away is finished, conceding a goal 23.53% of the time. With no Josh Bruce, a lot of pressure will fall on Aaron Naughton to lead this forward line and he will receive attention from the undersized but much improved Jayden Laverde, who has been a revelation in defence this season. His main support act seems likely to be Tim English, who will cop attention from forward-cum-defender James Stewart, who has also been pretty solid for the Dons.

X-Factor Player

Cody Weightman missed the last clash between the sides but kicked 2 on debut against the Dons last year and was rather electric. Will be important for the Dogs that he has a good day.

Key stat

Western Bulldogs: Scores from turnovers. In 20 out of 22 matches Essendon have played, the winner of this has won the game this season.

Essendon: Goals per inside 50. Conversion of this stat won them the game last time, will be absolutely vital.


Logically I know we probably lose, but fu** it, Dons by 22.
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The Oracle
May 4, 2004
lurking in the shadows of the matrix
AFL Club
Other Teams
Penrith Panthers
Don't mind a competitive 3-4 goal loss to take confidence into next year. Our recent finals are usually over by half time which isn't fun.
Our recent finals have been interstate in WA and Sydney so it is the first time in a while we line up at a neutral venue.
We where a bit unlucky in 2018 going 12-10 but missing finals by 1 game which does not happen most years.


Nov 28, 2013
AFL Club
To all the mighty bomber supporters out there, the last 20 years have been a long hard slog especially through the saga (get f***ked Caroline Wilson you tried to destroy us but you failed) we have copped s**t for years but we have taken it on board, we have even had a go at each other on forums like this,but still the club has come out in front. Thankyou to Dyson and Rutts for growing this club and bringing us back to where we belong. I’m not saying we are going all the way, but we are rising and it is time the sleeping giant awakes, it is time to enjoy football again and time to be proud of the mighty red and black!
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