After being edged out on ANZAC Day, Essendon will look to return to the winner’s circle when they host the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium this afternoon. We’ll have live scores from 1.40pm AEST.
Despite being outplayed for most of the afternoon, the fact that the Bombers were able to hang in when in the past they would have been blown out would have been encouraging for Essendon boss James Hird.
His side still sit 4-1 and get the opportunity to shore up their top-eight position with a very winnable game against the Lions today.
While they have looked good against the Suns and Demons, the Lions have struggled dismally in their three losses to Carlton, Fremantle and Geelong.
In those three losses they’ve average only six goals a game and against a quality Essendon outfit who know how to kick a score, they could be in trouble again here.
Fortunately for Michael Voss’ men, the injury crisis that has attempted to derail the Bombers’ start to the year has continued, with Michael Hurley, Courtenay Dempsey, David Hille and Jason Winderlich leading their lengthy injury list, though Mark McVeigh and Travis Colyer may both return.
Brisbane do have the luxury of a near-unchanged lineup from last weekend, although Andrew Raines will miss with the one-match suspension he received for his incident with Joel Selwood last Saturday.
The key here might very well be how well Brisbane have recovered from a taxing game in abysmal conditions at the Gabba last Saturday. Essendon have one of the more athletic midfields in the competition and with three days extra rest, they might very well run over the top of the visitors this afternoon.
B: Ashley McGrath, Matt Maguire, Ryan Lester
HB:: Mitchell Golby, Joel Patfull, Daniel Rich
C: Jed Adcock, Tom Rockliff, Pearce Hanley
HF:: James Polkinghorne, Jonathan Brown, Todd Banfield
F: Ryan Harwood, Daniel Merrett, Aaron Cornelius
Foll: Ben Hudson, Simon Black, Jack Redden
I/C: Jared Polec, Patrick Karnezis, Billy Longer, Jack Crisp
Emg: Sam Sheldon, Niall McKeever, Joshua Green
In: James Polkinghorne, Ryan Harwood, Billy Longer
Out: Josh Drummond (Soreness), Sam Sheldon, Andrew Raines (Suspension)
First Bounce: 1.40pm AEST Venue: Etihad Stadium History: Essendon 21, Brisbane 15, Draws 1 Last Time: Essendon 15.15 (105) def Brisbane 8.9 (57) Betting: $1.16 Essendon, $5.25 Brisbane Lions TV: Fox Footy (LIVE) 7Mate (LIVE, QLD only)