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|11:19||J. P. Kennedy|
|12.5 (77)||Third Quarter [+]||12.7 (79)|
|6.5 (41)||Second Quarter [+]||4.5 (29)|
|3.3 (21)||First Quarter [+]||2.1 (13)|
The Essendon Bombers are back in Melbourne after their clash with the Sydney Swans was dramatically shifted from the Gabba due to Queensland’s snap lockdown. Follow along with the action right here on The Roar with live scores from 3:10pm (AEST).
The AFL’s quick move to get the Bombers and Swans out of Queensland on the brink of the shutdown and to Melbourne has ensured this game can go ahead, against the odds.
The Bombers’ upset loss to GWS last week was a hammer blow to their chances of making finals. However, Ben Rutten’s team still sit ninth with a healthier percentage than the eighth-placed Giants and even the seventh-placed West Coast – but face a tricky final month to scrape into September.
Following the Swans, they face ladder-leaders the Western Bulldogs, before an easier final fortnight against Gold Coast and Collingwood. You suspect they’ll need to win one of their next two to have any chance of an unexpected finals berth.
Rutten has opted for youth to take on Sydney, with veterans Cale Hooker and David Zaharakis both dumped, while swingman Kyle Langford returns from a hamstring injury.
The Swans’ surge towards a top-four spot is gaining momentum by the week, with a big win over Fremantle their fourth on the trot. Now just a game and percentage behind the fourth-placed Port Adelaide, the Bloods are seen by many as a dark horse for the premiership – but lose here, and that precious double chance could be beyond their reach.
Controversially, they’ll have the services of champion forward Lance Franklin for this match, after they successfully overturned a one-match ban for striking the Dockers’ Luke Ryan. Having towelled the Bombers up in the past, a big game from Franklin would certainly frustrate the Dons – as well as many neutral observers.
B: 15 Jayden Laverde, 10 Aaron Francis, 27 Mason Redman
HB: 19 Nick Hind, 14 Jordan Ridley, 21 Dyson Heppell (c)
C: 13 Nik Cox, 7 Zach Merrett, 42 Sam Durham
HF: 16 Archie Perkins, 17 James Stewart, 5 Devon Smith
F: 25 Jake Stringer, 20 Peter Wright, 40 Will Snelling
FOL: 2 Sam Draper, 4 Kyle Langford, 3 Darcy Parish
I/C: 9 Dylan Shiel, 12 Tom Cutler, 37 Dylan Clarke, 43 Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
EMG: 24 Nick Bryan, 33 Brayden Ham, 35 Matt Guelfi, 45 Alec Waterman
IN: Aaron Francis, Dylan Clarke, Kyle Langford
OUT: Brayden Ham, Cale Hooker, David Zaharakis
B: 7 Harry Cunningham, 24 Dane Rampe (c), 42 Robbie Fox
HB: 34 Jordan Dawson, 30 Tom McCartin, 22 Nick Blakey
C: 27 Justin McInerney, 14 Callum Mills, 29 George Hewett
HF: 45 Sam Wicks, 5 Isaac Heeney, 9 Will Hayward
F: 11 Tom Papley, 23 Lance Franklin, 20 Sam Reid
FOL: 31 Tom Hickey, 26 Luke Parker (c), 21 Errol Gulden
I/C: 12 Josh Kennedy (c), 13 Oliver Florent, 32 James Bell, 44 Jake Lloyd
EMG: 3 Dylan Stephens, 15 Sam Gray, 18 Callum Sinclair, 38 Colin O’Riordan
IN: Callum Mills, Harry Cunningham
OUT: Ben Ronke, James Rowbottom