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|13.8 (86)||Third Quarter [+]||7.8 (50)|
|11.7 (73)||Second Quarter [+]||3.5 (23)|
|7.2 (44)||First Quarter [+]||2.2 (14)|
In what promises to be a match full of curiosity and intrigue, the resurgent Essendon Bombers take on the upstart Brisbane Lions at the theatre that is the MCG. Join The Roar from 2:10pm (AEST) for live scores and updates of the game.
Coming into this matchup, if you had said that the team on a record of one win, one loss was playing one of the unbeaten sides, you would not have been alone in thinking the struggling Lions are meeting the unbeaten Bombers.
What a fascinating start to the year it has been for these two sides.
The Bombers have flattered to deceive in the opening stages of season 2019, and their last-start win over the Demons, who until Thursday had failed to win a game, will not yet silence the naysayers for good.
So what has happened to the Bombers this season? Well, it has been a couple of things.
One is that their scoring in front of goal has been atrocious.
The Bombers still manage to get inside 50, on average, about 53 times a game, yet they are only averaging about 80 points a game, and when you factor in that they scored a whopping 130 against the Dees, then they a paltry 40 against the Giants, and a slightly less satisfactory 65 against the Saints.
So the Bombers scoring efficiency in attacking positions was awful, until last week.
The second issue for Essendon is that their contested possession stats leave a lot to be desired, averaging on 140 per game, however they managed only 116 against the Giants, a significantly improved 144 against the Saints, before last week upping the ante with 162 against the Demons.
The Bombers are a team that when they play harder at the ball, and improve their efficiency in front of goal, they can win games.
It really isn’t rocket science.
As for the Lions, well their stats funnily enough in comparison with inside 50s and contested possessions are remarkable, averaging 158 contested possessions per game and 58 inside 50s per game, resulting in 316 points scored (or an average of 100+ points per game).
What the new and improved Lions are doing well is winning the ball, and scoring from it.
You throw in a dash of Charlie Cameron magic, a pinch of Cam Rayner excellence, the ball-winning output of Lachie Neale (no coincidences there), and the hard-nut toughness of warrior Luke Hodge, and the Lions have a recipe for finding and maintaining winning ways.
Essendon were last-start winners against the Lions, and have won three out of these teams’ last five confrontations, but this year is a whole new ball-game, and you can’t read too much into the recent history.
Bombers at home and coming off a win should put them in position to land win No.2 of the season, and hand a gallant and rapidly improving Lions team their first loss of the season.
Bombers by 10.
Join The Roar from 2:10pm (AEST) for live scores and blog of the game, and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section below.
When: Saturday, 13 April 2019, at 2:10 PM
Where: Melbourne, the MCG
TV: Fox Sports 3, AFL app and live streaming
Betting: Bombers $1.74, Lions $2.10, Lin 4.5 $1.90
B Jordan Ridley, Patrick Ambrose, Conor McKenna
HB Andrew McGrath, Michael Hurley, Adam Saad
C David Zaharakis, Zach Merrett, Mason Redman
HF Darcy Parish, Zac Clarke, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
F Devon Smith, Mitch Brown, Mark Baguley
FOL Tom Bellchambers, Orazio Fantasia, Dylan Shiel
I/C Cale Hooker, Dyson Heppell, David Myers, Jake Stringer
EMG Kyle Langford, Aaron Francis, Matt Guelfi, Sam Draper
B Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Daniel Rich
HB Alex Witherden, Darcy Gardiner, Mitch Robinson
C Jarrod Berry, Lachie Neale, Hugh McCluggage
HF Cam Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Lincoln McCarthy
F Charles Cameron, Daniel McStay, Oscar McInerney
FOL Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons
I/C Allen Christensen, Josh Walker, Nick Robertson, Rhys Mathieson
EMG Ryan Bastinac, Lewis Taylor, Connor Ballenden, Archie Smith