Get all of the latest information and watch every minute of the game here live.
Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
When: 08.50 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch online with AFL Global Pass!
The last time these sides met was round 18 in 2013, when Hawthorn was top of the ladder and Essendon beneath them holding second spot.
A lot has happened between then and now, but both sides appear primed for an entertaining clash at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
Essendon has a forward line structure that might stretch the Hawks’ defence, but a lot will depend on how both midfields go.
If Jobe Watson and Brendon Goddard get a run on like last week the Bombers will fancy their chances, but the Hawks have been able to negate them in past encounters and will be keen to step up their form after a workmanlike win over the Brisbane Lions last weekend.
Brendan Goddard (Essendon) – Paul Chapman stole many of the headlines in week one, but Goddard will need to step up again.
Joe Daniher (Essendon) – Looking to improve off his solid hit-out last weekend, needs a couple more goal to do it though.
Jose Watson (Essendon) – Had a sensational half against North last weekend with 25 touches in the first half. Tough to replicate against Hawthorn but will need to lead from the front.
Liam Shiels (Hawthorn) – Looks to have been turned into a genuine ball-winning midfielder who can go forward and snare a goal or two a game.
Kyle Cheney (Hawthorn) – With Brian Lake suspended and Cheney handed Jonathan Brown last weekend, another good performance could see him in the starting side for good.
Grat Birchall (Hawthorn) – The Dons will need to watch him across half-back otherwise he could control the game for the Hawks.
1. Can the Bombers keep the ball off the Hawks? Last week Essendon had 450 disposals, comfortably the most in the competition. A remarkable 299 of those were uncontested, again the most in the League for round one.
2. The Hawks have dominated the Bombers in recent seasons, winning the last four matches by 16, 65, 94 and 56 points. Essendon’s last win was by 43 points in round six, 2010, at the MCG.
3. Expect a very healthy crowd. At Etihad Stadium the average attendance to watch these teams is 47,596 in seven games, with four wins to three in Hawthorn’s favour.
4. The Bombers should relish the prospect of taking on Hawthorn without Lance Franklin. Franklin kicked 50 goals in 10 games against Essendon.
5. But another danger man will be out there for the Hawks, with Cyril Rioli back into the team after serving a one-match suspension from the Grand Final. A big job looms for Mark Baguley.
6. Bombers captain Jobe Watson started the year as the fifth-ranked player in the Gatorade Official AFL Player Ratings. After his 38-disposal and two-goal effort last week against the Kangaroos, he looks set for an ascent.