Last Time They Played...
It was the Saints who got the better of this H2H match up last time these teams met in Round 16 last year. The Saints held on to beat an inaccurate Essendon team by 9 points after the Bombers came back to hit the front in the final minutes of play.
Despite getting the better of that match it is worth remembering that the Bombers were without half of their best team in 2016 due to suspension and entered the game that day as 40.5 point underdogs as the Saints were installed as the $1.13 favourites.
The Saints have hit a purple patch of form lately, putting together 4 straight wins after they lost 3 matches in a row by 40+ points. They were electric early last week against the Tigers but fans will be disappointed they didn't go on with it in the second half.
Minus a 20 minute patch in the final quarter against Brisbane, the Bombers have also been in great form this last month. After going down narrowly to the Giants they put in a dominant performance against the top 4 Power crushing them here at Etihad by 70 points. After that they should have beaten the in form Swans away from home and were too good for Collingwood last week.
Two big outs for the Saints with ruckman Billy Longer and forward Tim Membrey out of the side. Both were very good last week with Longer dominating the ruck and Membrey kicking 5 goals up forward. The pair will be replaced by Hickey and Battle.
While Jobe Watson goes out for the Bombers with Bird coming in.
Essendon have been performing against a better quality of opponent of late and as outsiders in this match up look great value to kick off the weekend with a win.
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