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The Brisbane Lions host the Essendon Bombers in a crucial game for the Dons in particular, who are looking to show they are bona fide contenders for the finals this year. Follow the live scores on The Roar and join in the banter from 4:40pm AEST.
Brisbane couldn’t keep pace with Swans last week as the Sydney side posted a big margin. Brisbane are now 1-6 and are desperate to reach to the level of quality that Sydney produced.
Brisbane are ranked last for disposals and just can’t seem to move the ball on quickly enough to give their forwards are chance.
For the fourth match running, Brisbane will have seven teenagers in their 22, which highlights the side’s youth. One thing the Lions will have to keep on top of is the amount of free kicks they give away – they’re ranked in the top three for free against. They can’t give Essendon any extra help if they are to post their second win of the season.
Brisbane will be wearing the ill-fated Brisbane Bears Hall of Fame jumpers. The last time the Bears played the Bombers, Brisbane posted a 32-point win. They will be hoping for a similar result tonight.
The young side will benefit from the addition of Jonathan Brown and Pearce Hanley to the squad, while Matt Maguire and Jackson Paine are also back in the to team. James Polkinghorne, Mitch Golby and Rohan Bewick have all been dropped while former Tiger Luke McGuane has been ruled out due to a knee injury.
Essendon sit 3-4, the only positive being that their still above Richmond and Carlton. Essendon’s game plan was shut down well by the Bulldogs last week and couldn’t get a decent lead throughout the match, winning by eight points.
Ben Howlett and Jason Ashby have both been given a rest this week, with Jason Winderlich out with what could be a serious knee injury.
Kurt Aylett makes his Bombers debut and he’s joined in the squad by Martin Gleeson and Patrick Ambrose.
Both teams have strengths in the midfield as Tom Rockliff, Jack Redden and James Aish will all have to brilliant games to keep Goddard, Watson, Stanton and co from opening the game apart.
Essendon will provide a similar test to the Sydney Swans last week, and Brisbane never looked in that one. Essendon will hope to get that Footscray scare out of their minds so they can collect a pencilled-in four points.
Essendon by at least four goals.