Essendon v Hawthorn

Picture: Getty Images/
Jordan Lewis has been in great form. Picture: Getty Images/
Hawthorn  goes into it’s clash against Essendon  on Friday night determined to continue in the form that has seen them win ten of their past eleven matches, including the last seven. Last week’s 47 point victory over former competition leaders Collingwood proved that the Hawks are the team to beat in 2012 as they hit top gear at the right time of the year.

While Hawthorn is starting to peak, the Bombers appear to be dying on their run. The long injury list that they have battled this season is finally taking its toll, with James Hird’s side winning just one of their past three matches. There is no relief this weekend either with Michael Hurley, David Zaharakis and Paddy Ryder all still out, while Stewart Crameri and David Myers are both doubtful.

Where It Will be Won – After a career best season in 2011, Sam Mitchell  made a slow start to the new campaign but is finally starting to hit his straps. The former skipper has collected 30+ disposals in each of his sides past four matches and has dominated the midfield. It could be a long night for Essendon if he gets going, and Jobe Watson  will need the help of his teammates to limit the affect that Mitchell has at stoppages.

Prediction – Hawthorn are finally starting to play the type of football that everyone has expected from them this season and even without Lance Franklin, they should have too much firepower for the embattled Bombers at Etihad Stadium. ‘Buddy’ sat out the last clash between these sides but Hawthorn still managed a 65 point win and a repeat of that result seems the most likely outcome of this match. Hawthorn 40+

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