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Two sides with hefty injury lists lock horns at Etihad Stadium when the Essendon Bombers host the Fremantle Dockers. Keep an eye on all the action with our live scores page on The Roar from 1:10pm (AEST).
The Bombers’ list of sidelined players is fast reaching critical mass. The latest addition to the casualty ward is in-form forward Jake Stringer, who is set to miss a month after suffering a hamstring injury in their 2-point loss to GWS.
Remarkably, the Dons are the year’s second highest-scoring side, despite sitting fifteenth on the ladder with just two wins. If the likes of Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Peter Wright and surprise Coleman Medal contender Cale Hooker can get going against the Dockers’ depleted backline, a big score could be on the cards – even without Stringer to lead the attack.
Sitting tenth with a 4-4 record, the time is now for the Dockers’ to reassert themselves as a finals contender. Unfortunately, they’ll have to do it with their own injury concerns.
Key defensive duo Joel Hamling and Alex Pearce have seldom played in the past two seasons, forcing their undersized defence to battle to contain opposition talls; and while Luke Ryan is a chance to return from a calf injury, he hasn’t played in either of the Dockers’ two ugly losses to West Coast and Brisbane.
The Dockers haven’t beaten the Bombers at Marvel Stadium since 2010. Should that streak continue, it will be difficult to see the Dockers mounting a charge to the final eight in the second half of the season.
Opening bounce: 1:10pm (AEST)
Venue: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
TV: Fox Footy, Channel Seven (WA only)
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go
Betting: Bombers $1.65, Dockers $2.24 (odds via PlayUp)