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Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
When: 10.40 (BST)
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Essendon will be keen to bounce back from its Anzac Day loss, which compounded a difficult three weeks for the Bombers.
But the Western Bulldogs will also be disappointed with their consistency against Adelaide last week, which saw them burst to an early lead but ultimately overrun.
Expect a hostile response towards Stewart Crameri from Essendon supporters, in the first game the former Bomber forward has played against his old club.
Essendon is likely to welcome back midfielders Brendon Goddard and Heath Hocking, as well as Tom Bellchambers, which will help their work around the stoppages.
Winning stoppages will be the key given the Western Bulldogs’ strength in this area.
1. The Dogs performed well against Essendon last year, having more disposals and more inside-50s. With a more potent forward line this season, they might be better placed to take their chances.
2. Essendon’s game style is interesting: despite its drop-off in form, it remains ranked No.1 this season for kicks, disposals, marks and uncontested possessions.
3. The Bulldogs have struggled to get the ball inside 50 this season. They are ranked 15th in the AFL for forward entries, averaging just 45 a game.
4. Bombers supporters might say ‘I told you so!’ No team has received less free kicks in 2014 than the Bombers with just 79 in the opening six rounds.
5. The Official AFL Player Ratings show the Bombers to depend on Jobe Watson too much. The club’s captain is ranked No.5 overall in the competition, but its next player is Brendon Goddard, back at No.55.
6. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have four players in the top 50 of the rankings: Ryan Griffen (10), Matthew Boyd (28), Tom Liberatore (33) and Will Minson (44).
ESSENDON v WESTERN BULLDOGS
Saturday 3 May at Etihad Stadium, 7.40pm (EST)
B: D.Fletcher, C.Hooker, M.Hibberd
HB: M.Baguley, M.Hurley, D.Heppell
C: B.Stanton, J.Watson, C.Dempsey
HF: B.Goddard, J.Carlisle, J.Merrett
F: J.Winderlich, J.Daniher, P.Chapman
Foll: P.Ryder, J.Melksham, H.Hocking
I/C: Z.Merrett, D.Zaharakis, J.Ashby, B.Howlett
Emer: P.Ambrose, T.Bellchambers, K.Hardingham
INS: B.Goddard, H.Hocking
OUTS: K.Hardingham, M.Gleeson
B: L.Picken, M.Talia, E.Wood
HB: S.Higgins, D.Morris, R.Murphy
C: M.Bontempelli, R.Griffen, J.Macrae
HF: A.Cooney, S.Crameri, T.Dickson
F: L.Dahlhaus, L.Jones, T.Williams
Foll: W.Minson, M.Boyd, T.Liberatore
I/C: J.Stringer, L.Hunter, K.Stevens, J.Johannisen
Emer: L.Jong, F.Roberts, J.Tutt
INS: T.Williams, D.Morris, J.Johannisen, M.Bontempelli
OUTS: D.Giansiracusa, T.Campbell, T.Young, L.Jong