Preview Round 7: Essendon vs Western Bulldogs, Carrara, Friday 17/07/20, 7:50 PM

Team with more points?


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    46
  • Poll closed .

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eth-dog

Premium Gold
Jan 11, 2007
85,810
42,674
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Essendon
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Observations

Essendon: Essendon had an ugly win against North Melbourne, taking the lead halfway through the second quarter and not giving it up for the rest of the game. Andrew McGrath was prolific, having 25 disposals and 8 tackles, whilst David Zaharakis had a sparkling return to form with 20 disposals and 3 goals.

Western Bulldogs: The Dogs had a shock loss against Carlton by 52 points, forcing them outside the top 8 which is placed on a knifes edge. Lachie Hunter was probably the Dogs best midfielder on his return, having 27 possessions, gaining 475 metres with them whilst young small forward Laitham Vandermeer kicked 2 goals in his 14 touches


Head to Head (last 5)

Essendon 0 - 5 Western Bulldogs


Form Guide

Essendon: 4W 1L
Western Bulldogs: 3W 2L


Sportsbet odds (currently unavailable)

Essendon: $1.80
Western Bulldogs: $2.00
Line: 1.5 ($1.90)


Possible sides

Essendon vs Western Bulldogs

B: Aaron Francis - Cale Hooker - Adam Saad
F: Laitham Vandermeer - Josh Bruce - Rhylee West
HB: Mason Redman - Michael Hurley - Conor McKenna
HF: Toby McLean - Josh Schache - Bailey Dale
C: Kyle Langford - Zach Merrett - Brayden Ham
C: Lachie Hunter - Marcus Bontempelli - Ed Richards
HF: Orazio Fantasia - Jayden Laverde - David Zaharakis
HB: Hayden Crozier - Lewis Young - Jason Johannisen
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti - Shaun McKernan - Jacob Townsend
B: Caleb Daniel - Alex Keath - Easton Wood
R: Andrew Phillips - Darcy Parish - Mitchell Hibberd
R: Tim English - Jack Macrae - Tom Liberatore
I: Andrew McGrath - Devon Smith - Jordan Ridley - Will Snelling
I: Mitchell Wallis - Bailey Smith - Patrick Lipinksi - Bailey Williams

Essendon in: Mason Redman, Aaron Francis; Out: Dylan Shiel (susp), Martin Gleeson
Western Bulldogs in: Hayden Crozier, Lewis Young; Out: Louis Butler, Zaine Cordy


Western Bulldogs defence vs Essendon forward line

First four games Essendon averaged 25.1% in terms of goals/inside 50, which currently has them 4th for inside 50 efficiency. The Bulldogs have conceded a goal 21.2% of the time it enters their defensive 50, amongst the best in the AFL. Essendon could welcome key forward James Stewart back, who will likely get attention from Lewis Young who could come into calculations as an athletic key defender, but the main battle will be between two former Crows, albeit at different times, in Essendon's Shaun McKernan and the Dogs Alex Keath, two strong, tall and mobile key position players. Jacob Townsend has done a tagging role a couple of times this year, so expect him to go to intercept marker Easton Wood to try to quell his influence on the game, and expect the Bombers try to exploit Caleb Daniel and Jason Johannisen defensively, though the pair are good offensively, they can be a little loose checking at times which you can't afford to do if Orazio Fantasia and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti are in form


Midfield/rucks battle

The Dogs, despite the impressive names running through their inside midfield group, are currently 14th for clearance differential and 12th for contested possession differential, whilst the Dons are 10th and 13th respectively for those particular stats. Essendon's midfield has been lead by Dylan Shiel, who is second for average clearances (7 per game) and 1st in average centre clearances in the AFL so far this season, whilst Andrew McGrath and Zach Merrett have been ably supporting him, averaging 4.25 and 3.33 clearances a game respectively. The Dogs have been lead by captain Marcus Bontempelli, who averages 4 clearances a game, whilst Jackson Macrae and Tom Liberatore have averaged 3.6 and 3.33 clearances a game respectively. The outside midfield battle will be interesting, Kyle Langford has been having a good year as a winger, averaging 17.5 disposals so far this year and being a real link man between the arcs, whilst Will Snelling and Brayden Ham both ahd really good games against Collingwood on the outside. Lachie Hunter however is probably the best outside midfielder on the park for this game, and arguably a top 10 winger in the game when he goes, as well as Ed Richards and Patrick Lipinski finding form in the past few games. Rucks wise, a true journeyman in Andrew Phillips comes up against one of the most promising young rucks in the league in Tim English.


Western Bulldogs forward line vs Essendon defence

Western Bulldogs have averaged a goal 22.5% of the time it enters their forward 50, below the AFL average this season so far. Essendon have been really good at restricting the opposition in this area, conceding a goal 19.3% of the time it enters defensive 50, top 4 in the AFL. Expect Cale Hooker to try to quell Josh Bruce, who has a very good record against the Dons, kicking 19 goals in 6 games against them since moving forward. Josh Schache is the secondary tall for the Dogs, Michael Hurley is the most likely match up despite the height difference, as Schache is a bit more mobile than Bruce. Bailey Dale is only 183 cm tall but he plays more like a medium, so you can expect one of Aaron Francis or Jordan Ridley to quell him, whilst Mitchell Wallis is the only other player averaging 1 goal/game so far this season, expect one of the other mediums to go to him as he's quite strong in the air


X-Factor Player

Laitham Vandermeer has caught a few people's attention so far this season, the small forward showing good dash and skills so far, his next step will be to hit the scoreboard more often and really cement his spot as that forward pocket for the Dogs


Key stat

Essendon: Clearances. They win this, they win the game most of the time, and it's absolutely vital against a strong Dogs midfield that has height and weight on them

Western Bulldogs: Offensive conversion. Bruce and Schache are vital to the Dogs, the pair are their main avenues to goal, otherwise we could see Essendon's defense intercept the ball all day long


Tip

Our bogie side, but we've been good at breaking streaks this year. Dons by 3 in what I predict will be a top 10 game of the year.
 
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Godzke

Brownlow Medallist
May 13, 2009
11,630
784
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So who would be on the sidelines potentially coming in ... Redman, Francis, TBC, Stewart?
Can't see us making any unforced changes
 

JayJ20

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 28, 2016
12,659
17,529
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Essendon
Shouldn't be a week, but Shiel will probably be out.

OUT: Shiel (susp), Gleeson
IN: Francis, Redman

Francis for Gleeson and Redman to replace Hibberd, with Hibberd replacing Shiel in the middle. If Shiel gets off, then I'd only have the one change.

We just really need to beat the dogs. It's been so long since we've beaten them. Perfect opportunity to beat them away from Marvel.
 

Macca18

EFC
Jul 6, 2009
4,788
2,821
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
This is the same club that we allowed to kick 21 goals in a row against us towards the end of last season. Humiliating scenes which we all remember... and I’d like to think this playing group has a bit of pride in them.

They have made a habit of beating up on us (our last victory against them was during Mark Thompson’s coaching year of 2014) and they deserve to enter this game as firm favourites and very confident of knocking us off again. Luke Beveridge, as coach, has never lost to Essendon and the wins have been margins of 87, 40, 30, 21 & 104 points. A dismal record.

Our main aim is to be competitive for four quarters and challenge them. One thing that might be in our favour is the very short 5 day break the Bulldogs have going into this game... playing on the Sunday night (tomorrow vs Carlton) followed by the Friday night game with us. Teams aren’t really used to such short turnarounds plus I don’t think the conditions at Metricon are conducive for teams kicking 21 goals in a row.

A really big game and test for us.
 

BrunoV

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2009
17,092
21,077
AFL Club
Essendon
Assuming the Dogs bring something close to their A game this looms as a great test of the developing system. They've had our measure for what seems like 4 or 5 years now. Their contested game has troubled us all the way back to 2014 when it took Carlisle kicking 8 to get us over the line.

North were far too strong around the ball for my liking, given that Cunnington and Ziebell weren't playing.

Dogs run wave after wave of very strong clearance units in the middle. We're likely to be down Shiel.

We're going to have to bite the bullet and get Hibberd in the middle. He should at least be up to the speed of the game now (he has started very slowly twice now). I wouldn't be surprised to see Begley or Clarke come in this week or even for Townsend to get midfield minutes.

Having said all of that there is no reason to approach the game with any real pessimism. The combination of Saad, McKenna and Fantasia running from half back is dangerous enough to keep us in any game. Good to see the forwardline take shape against North.
 

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vass44

Senior List
Sep 17, 2016
268
164
AFL Club
Essendon
Huge test this game - if their ruckman English gets in top and gives the likes of Bont, Liberatore and Macrae first use of the ball it could get ugly. Thankfully Naughton is out but Josh Bruce is still more than capable of causing headaches for our defence.
Not sure there will be many changes to winning formula for us though - so unless Shiel gets rubbed out (which would be unfair) I’d say it will be

OUT: Gleeson
IN: Francis

Team:

Hurley Hooker Francis
McKenna Ridley Saad
Ham Smith Merrett
Zakka Laverde Fanta
Townsend McKernan Tippa

Phillips Parish McGrath

Bench: Langford Snelling Hibberd Shiel

Would love to see either Stewart or Daniher come in but not sure the club will roll the dice on either of them just yet

Comon Bombers!


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

IggypopsTshirt

Premiership Player
Jun 27, 2013
3,705
9,221
AFL Club
Essendon
Redman needs to come in. He’s quality and we should be persisting with him. Stewart should come in if he’s ready. We need marking targets in forward 50. He seemed to play managed minutes in scratch match though.

I see this game as a potential reality check for us. It will be interesting to see our response 1. To rising expectation which often results in us turning up with a gut full of our own bath water and playing like sh*t. 2. To the embarrassment that was our previous meetings against the Dogs.
 

Macca18

EFC
Jul 6, 2009
4,788
2,821
Victoria
AFL Club
Essendon
It will be a very wet night on the Gold Coast tonight for the Dogs vs Blues game. Rain/storms predicted this evening up there with around 10mm of rainfall.

Will make for some ugly viewing, yes, but... they are not ideal conditions to be playing in prior to a very short 5 day break before playing us on Friday night.

We will need a lot more than just conditions and a short break to go our way to beat the Dogs... but we’ll take it for now.
 

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
34,125
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Your girlfriend's dreams
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Essendon
B: Saad - Hooker - Gleeson
HB: Ridley - Hurley - McKenna
C: McGrath - Hibberd - Parish
HF: Smith - McKernan - Tippa
F: Fantasia - Laverde - Townsend
R: Phillips - Clarke - Merrett
I: Ham - Snelling - Langford - Zaharakis

In: Clarke
Out: Shiel

Forced change only though hopefully Shiel gets off. Hard to tell changes without reserves. Clarke seemed to get a bit of it in the limited footage we saw. We'll need a genuine mid to replace Shiel. Clarke might be a reasonable matchup for Bont when he goes into the middle too.
 

EnolaGay

Premiership Player
Oct 2, 2012
4,327
6,759
Adelaide
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Essendon
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The litmus test so far for 2020. They're in form and a recent nemesis.

A win, or at least a competitive loss, would be a positive sign.
 

Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
11,632
6,545
AFL Club
Essendon
B: Saad - Hooker - Gleeson
HB: Ridley - Hurley - McKenna
C: McGrath - Hibberd - Parish
HF: Smith - McKernan - Tippa
F: Fantasia - Laverde - Townsend
R: Phillips - Clarke - Merrett
I: Ham - Snelling - Langford - Zaharakis

In: Clarke
Out: Shiel

Forced change only though hopefully Shiel gets off. Hard to tell changes without reserves. Clarke seemed to get a bit of it in the limited footage we saw. We'll need a genuine mid to replace Shiel. Clarke might be a reasonable matchup for Bont when he goes into the middle too.
Not sure we need to worry about adding an extra mid. Langford played as permanent HFF, Hibberd spent the majority of the game not in the midfield rotation means we have room to just bring in best available
 
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