Preview Round 20: Essendon vs Sydney, MCG, Sunday 01/08/2021, 3:10 PM

Chicken dinner?


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    42
  • Poll closed .

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eth-dog

Premium Platinum
Jan 11, 2007
100,056
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Melbourne
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Essendon
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Observations

Essendon: The Bombers started well against GWS but faded after half time, their 16 point lead at the main break flipping into a 13 point loss as the young side ran out of legs. Dyson Heppell was one of the better performed Bombers with 28 disposals off half back along with Jordan Ridley having 25, but it wasn't great apart from those two, with no multiple goal scorers for the Dons.

Sydney: Sydney trailed by 7 points at quarter time to Fremantle, but injuries to Nat Fyfe, Alex Pearce and Michael Walters helped the Swans kick 11 goals to 4 after the first change. Josh Kennedy was a pig yet again, grabbing the ball 34 times including 7 clearances, whilst mercurial forward/midfielder Isaac Heeney had 22 disposals, 11 marks and 5 goals in a BOG performance.


Head to Head (last 5)

Essendon 3-2 Sydney


Form Guide

Essendon: 2W 3L
Sydney: 4W 1L


Sportsbet odds

Essendon: $
Sydney: $
Line: .5 ($1.90)


Possible sides

Essendon vs Sydney

FB: Jayden Laverde - James Stewart - Dyson Heppell
FF: Isaac Heeney - Hayden McLean - Will Hayward
HB: Jordan Ridley - Aaron Francis - Nick Hind
HF: Tom Papley - Sam Reid - Sam Wicks
MF: Sam Durham - Dylan Shiel - Nik Cox
MF: Errol Gulden - Luke Parker - Justin McInerney
HF: Will Snelling - Jake Stringer - Archie Perkins
HB: Nick Blakey - Robbie Fox - Jake Lloyd
FF: Nick Bryan - Peter Wright - Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
FB: Dane Rampe - Tom McCartin - Harry Cunningham
OB: Sam Draper - Zachary Merrett - Darcy Parish
OB: Tom Hickey - Josh Kennedy - Callum Mills
IC: Mason Redman - Kyle Langford - Matthew Guelfi - Brayden Ham
IC: James Rowbottom - Jordan Dawson - Oliver Florent - George Hewett
IS: Martin Gleeson
IS: James Bell

Essendon in: Aaron Francis, Nick Bryan, Kyle Langford, Martin Gleeson; Out: Devon Smith, David Zaharakis, Cale Hooker, Tom Cutler (omitted)
Sydney in: Callum Mills, Harry Cunningham; Out: Lance Franklin (suspended), Ben Ronke (omitted)


Sydney defence vs Essendon forward line

Essendon have dropped from the third most efficient forward line in the league this season to sixth, kicking a goal 23.68% of the time it enters their forward 50. Sydney are pretty good defensively, conceding a goal only 20.54% of the time it enters their defensive 50. Forward turned defender Tom McCartin has been massive for Sydney, and will likely take the match up on Peter Wright, who has been pretty much the only forward to fire a shot after the bye this season, but may get more support from Jake Stringer, who has kicked 6 goals in the last two games against the Swans; something captain Dane Rampe will be hoping to fix this time around.


Midfield/rucks battle

The difference between the two sides' inside work is what will probably be the game here, with the Bombers in 13th and 14th for clearance and contested possession difference in the AFL in comparison to Sydney's 7th and 4th respectively. Essendon's one wood in Darcy Parish has had a career year but has shown to struggle with a tag recently, so watch George Hewett probably go to him, meaning players like the just back from injury Dylan Shiel and Zach Merrett need to come back well to support him. For Sydney, Callum Mills has been excellent since moving to the midfield this year, whilst Luke Parker seems like he's hitting form at the right time of the year for the Swans inside. On the outside of the contest, look for two rising star contenders in Justin McInerney and Nik Cox go head to head whilst mid season draftee Sam Durham continues to impress for the Dons up against young gun Errol Gulden, who was the early favourite for the Rising Star before injury. Rucks wise, Sam Draper and Nick Bryan may get their first game as a pairing, up against this seasons surprise packet Tom Hickey at his fourth club, who has been fantastic for Sydney


Sydney forward line vs Essendon defence

Sydney are kicking a goal 23.89% of the time it enters their forward 50, up to 3rd in the AFL for this season. Essendon have struggled defensively this season, conceding a goal 24.04% of the time it enters their defensive 50, 16th in the AFL. The big worry for Essendon here will be star Isaac Heeney, who has 28 goals this season including 9 from the last four, who may well cop a match up from Jayden Laverde, who has been a mainstay of the Essendon defence. James Stewart is likely to go up against Hayden McLean, the solid forward/ruck for the Swans only averaging the 1 goal/game this season but his strong hands will make it tough for the Essendon defence.


X-Factor Player

Jordan Dawson has been a bit of a tweener for a while now, but now that he's settled into a half back role and they're using that damaging left foot to great effect, we may see him dominate the Bombers here


Key stat

Essendon: Goals per inside 50. Absolutely must get this back to maybe stay in finals contention.

Sydney: Clearance Difference. They're simply too good in this area to not win this count most weeks, but very important against Essendon


Tip

Honestly think we'll struggle. Too tired as a whole. Swans by 17
 
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MiguelM

Club Legend
Feb 22, 2014
2,691
2,616
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Essendon
We are as flat as a tack.

Light training sessions this week IMO,

Defended Cutler last week, can no more

In: Guelfi, Waterman, Langford
Out: Cutler, Zacka, Ham

Tippa 1 more chance
 

Keystone agony

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 15, 2011
17,398
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If we lose this ill be happy to lose the rest and finish 12th/13th and get pick 6-7

Think weve had a tough run with injury and travel/ground

Weve got what we needed out of this year

Z.Merrett signed ✅
Cox, Perkins, Harry J look super ✅

Think we need to play a final next year
 

citizen-erased

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 11, 2007
23,436
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**** it. ballistic changes time

In: Bryan, Langford, Waterman, Francis, Hird
Out: Hooker, Zaka, Cutler, Ham, Smith

Ridley Stewart Laverde
Hind Francis Redman
Langford Parish Shiel
Cox Wright Perkins
Tippa Bryan Waterman
Draper Merrett Stringer
Hird Heppell Snelling Durham
S: Guelfi

not even sure how ready Hird is, or Langford to come back tbh.
 

eth-dog

Premium Platinum
Jan 11, 2007
100,056
56,622
Melbourne
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Essendon
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**** it. ballistic changes time

In: Bryan, Langford, Waterman, Francis, Hird
Out: Hooker, Zaka, Cutler, Ham, Smith

Ridley Stewart Laverde
Hind Francis Redman
Langford Parish Shiel
Cox Wright Perkins
Tippa Bryan Waterman
Draper Merrett Stringer
Hird Heppell Snelling Durham
S: Guelfi

not even sure how ready Hird is, or Langford to come back tbh.
Hird's not close. He's very promising, but not close.
 

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Bombers36

Club Legend
Jul 15, 2008
2,966
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Essendon
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Essendon
Need bigger stronger bodies against the Swans… I’d change our line up a little and bring Zerk in who was excellent in the reserves so we can give Hooker a spell and swing Stewart forward.

OUT: Hooker, Cutler, Ham
IN: Francis, Langford, Zerk

Team:

Ridley Zerk Francis
Redman Laverde Hind
Heppell Merrett Shiel
Perkins Stringer Snelling
2MP Stewart Smith

Draper Langford Parish

Bench: Durham Tippa Zakka Cox
SUB: Waterman

Tippa been poor for more than a few games now hes averaged 8 possessions and 0.7 goals a game in his last 7 games tackle counts well down also not sure what’s happening with him…


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Last edited:

Duckworth

Peptide Awareness
Oct 8, 2006
8,649
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Melbourne
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Essendon
Out: Zaharakis, Ham
In: Bryan, Clarke

The previous forward set-up when working had Wright, Hooker and Jones. I think we can have a bit more of a look at Bryan (or Francis) alongside Wright and Hooker. Clarke has been doing well in the VFL.
 

ghostdog

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 18, 2008
10,451
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gondawanaland
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Out: Zaharakis, Ham
In: Bryan, Clarke

The previous forward set-up when working had Wright, Hooker and Jones. I think we can have a bit more of a look at Bryan (or Francis) alongside Wright and Hooker. Clarke has been doing well in the VFL.
Francis was given a run forward in the VFL. Maybe he comes in to play the Jones role but he surely has not the stamina to constantly lead up to the wings.
 

owen87

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
14,704
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Essendon
Think we're getting to the part of the season where we might want to decide we're out of the finals race, and get a look at a couple of fringe guys who might or might not deserve another contract.

If Clarke's papers aren't stamped, his VFL game was good. Hird & Johnson both look like they might maybe have potential as role players, or equally, to be delisted. Does Bryan get a look at AFL level somehow?

Think we're better off putting the cue in the rack irrespective of being a game out of finals after the GWS result, with Sydney and the Dogs coming up we're likely to fall short anyway.
 

cAsEy_18

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 13, 2007
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Frankston
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Think we're getting to the part of the season where we might want to decide we're out of the finals race, and get a look at a couple of fringe guys who might or might not deserve another contract.

If Clarke's papers aren't stamped, his VFL game was good. Hird & Johnson both look like they might maybe have potential as role players, or equally, to be delisted. Does Bryan get a look at AFL level somehow?

Think we're better off putting the cue in the rack irrespective of being a game out of finals after the GWS result, with Sydney and the Dogs coming up we're likely to fall short anyway.
I don't think Johnson has any potential for any role or any position...at AFL or VFL level haha.

But Bryan is the one I'd be playing.
The whole 'we're undecided if we give Hooker another year' thing from the club I think is more saying "We don't really want to, but it will depend on whether we have another option".

Bryan could be another option. Probably not, as he has shown no forward craft to date, nor has he really been trialled there.
But it's worth a look in these last 3-4 games. Otherwise the poor guy is going to rot away in the VFL for the next 2yrs, only coming in when Draper is injured, and he'll eventually be poached away.
 

ghostdog

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 18, 2008
10,451
6,214
gondawanaland
AFL Club
Essendon
Think we're getting to the part of the season where we might want to decide we're out of the finals race, and get a look at a couple of fringe guys who might or might not deserve another contract.

If Clarke's papers aren't stamped, his VFL game was good. Hird & Johnson both look like they might maybe have potential as role players, or equally, to be delisted. Does Bryan get a look at AFL level somehow?

Think we're better off putting the cue in the rack irrespective of being a game out of finals after the GWS result, with Sydney and the Dogs coming up we're likely to fall short anyway.
Really, I would have prefered we spent the year doing this so we can really get an understanding of our personnel. Zerk is a good example; reportedly played a very good game yesterday, likely helped along by his exposure in the ones.
 
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