The Eagles will take on the Bombers in a Friday night fixture that has renewed anticipation after both teams performed well last week. They clash from Optus Stadium at 8.40pm and as always, we have you covered with a full preview and betting tips below.
Remember to head to our AFL Tips page for content on every game in Round 15 this weekend.
Optus Stadium, Friday 24th June, 8.40pm (AEST)
Injuries: Oscar Allen, Campbell Chesser, Tom Cole, Hugh Dixon, Luke Edwards, Tom Joyce, Zac Langdon, Jeremy McGovern, Nic Naitanui (Out)
Make no mistake, the Eagles are still without a bunch of their key players including the likes of Jeremy McGovern and Nic Naitanui, but over the last few weeks they have started to resemble the squad that one a premiership just a few years ago. Dom Sheed, Elliot Yeo, Jack Petruccelle and Willie Rioli all came back into the side last week and should continue to get more impactful as their match fitness increases.
The Eagles were competitve in their Round 14 clash against the Cats, losing by just 18 points and even holding slight leads at times in the third quarter. Andrew Gaff was the standout performer with 27 touches while Josh Kennedy looked ominous with two goals on four scoring shots.
Injuries: Nic Cox, Michael Hurley, Andrew McGrath, Devon Smith, James Stewart (Out) Darcy Parish, Zach Reid (Test)
The Bombers should get star midfielder Darcy Parish back this week but he'll likely be a straight swap for Andrew McGrath, who will come out of the side due to an adductor injury.
The Bombers were fantastic against the Saints on the weekend, snapping a four game losing streak to put out easily their best performance of the season. They kicked out to a five goal lead just before half time and despite a big comeback by the Saints in the third quarter, the Bombers were able to hold firm and kick away once again.
Peter Wright was dominant in the win, but his good performances have been too rare this season for the Bombers. If he can continue to be the lynchpin going forward for Essendon, their turn of form could be permanent.
I really like the Eagles at the 14.5 point line here. The Bombers will have felt like they played their Grand Final against the Saints at Marvel last week and now have to get on a plane for a massive trip to Perth. On the contrary, the Eagles seem to be building towards a season defining win like the Bombers had last week.
At Optus Stadium, I think the Eagles can definetely keep this one close or even win outright.
I like muti'ing up Josh Kennedy and Peter Wright to kick 2+ goals each on Friday night. I think this will be a pretty free flowing and high scoring game in which both defences will be tested by tall forwards. No Jeremy McGovern in the line-up for the Eagles and no James Stewart for the Bombers could see the two bigs have good nights.
Andrew Gaff has been solid over the last three weeks, racking up disposal numbers of 28, 30 and 27. The Bombers have allowed the 6th most disposals in the competition this season and the top opponent disposal getter through their 13 games this season so far has averaged 33.15.
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