GWS will take on one of the form teams in the competition this weekend, clashing with Essendon in an early dead rubber at Giants Stadium.
The Giants must start to generate some hope for the 2023 campaign, while for the Bombers Round 21 will be about continuing the momentum of previous weeks.
Before the match, be sure to check out these Round 21 AFL betting tips!
Remember, Before You Bet will be previewing every game of the 2022 AFL season, so be sure to check out our AFL Tips page for regular updates.
GWS vs Essendon Betting Tips
Giants Stadium, Saturday 6th August, 2:10pm (AEST)
Injuries: Jacob Wehr (out), Ryan Angwin, Jarrod Brander, Jack Buckley, Finn Callaghan, Brent Daniels, Phil Davis, Matt De Boer, Josh Fahey, Matt Flynn, Bobby Hill, Connor Idun, Conor Stone
A lengthy GWS injury list is now even longer with the addition of Jacob Wehr, who will miss the next few weeks with a calf injury. Midfielder Stephen Coniglio returns this week after missing Round 20 with soreness.
It’s been a season to forget for GWS, who sit above only West Coast and North Melbourne in 16th. Leon Cameron is gone, the future of star players is in question, and overall, it is hard to see a way forward for the expansion club which has performed so well for so long.
The biggest on-field challenge for the current crop of Giants is scoring – in each of the last four weeks GWS have failed to tally 60 points. It’s no surprise that each of those matches have resulted in losses, a sorry run of form which would have many fans begging for the season to be over. On the bright side, GWS return to Giants Stadium this week, so perhaps the familiarity of their home venue will kick them into gear for a solid performance. Such a performance will rely on the team generating scoring opportunities, with Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan the main targets in the front half. Swingman Harry Himmelberg has been outstanding since moving down back, however perhaps we see him spend more time forward this weekend.
Injuries: Jye Caldwell (out), Dylan Shiel, Nik Cox, Devon Smith, Tex Wanganeen
It’s a case of one out and one in for the Essendon midfield this week, Darcy Parish replacing Jye Caldwell who is out with a calf injury.
Essendon returned to winning ways last week with a comfortable win over lowly North Melbourne, again demonstrating the quality attacking football that they have consistently played over the last two months. The Bombers may be 14th on the ladder with seven wins, however they are playing like a team worthy of a finals appearance at the present.
It will be interesting to see how the return of Darcy Parish impacts on Essendon’s midfield balance, given that the on-ball group has thrived in his absence led by seasoned stars Zach Merrett and Dylan Shiel. With Andrew McGrath also returning to the line-up this week, the Bombers are now near full strength so it can be expected that they will chalk up some premiership points before the season is out. Regardless of what happens over the last three rounds, Essendon fans will surely enter 2023 with hope after this unexpected flurry in the back half of the 2022 campaign.
GWS and Essendon have been well matched in recent years - their last three encounters have been decided by a total of 19 points. Each of those contests went the way of the Giants, so the home team should take some confidence into this game despite their poor form.
Indeed, several players have been put on notice by interim coach and former Bomber Mark McVeigh, so I expect to see some heat in this one.
Essendon are clearly playing better football at the moment and have shown far more power in the forward half, but can we trust this team yet? I’m not sure. It seems that the markets reflect this – the Bombers are favourites but not to the extent that you would expect.
Taking all these factors into account, I’m going to stay away from the Head-to-Head market and predict a close game in Sydney on Saturday.
Either team to win by less than 24.5 points
$1.78 (2 Units)
Kyle Langford returned to the midfield last week with great success, racking up 21 disposals and two goals for 113 fantasy points. He has a great record against GWS and should continue to get opportunities this week with Caldwell out of the side, so I think 80 fantasy points is very achievable, especially if Essendon get on top.
Kyle Langford 80+ Fantasy Points ($2.10 at Ladbrokes)
Guelfi has found form during Essendon’s recent surge, kicking eight goals in his last seven matches. He has failed to hit the scoreboard in just two games over that period, so the value is strong for him to find the big sticks on Saturday.
Matt Guelfi Anytime Goal Scorer ($1.83 at Ladbrokes)