It's Elementary For The Bombers Without Watson

Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au/Getty Images
David Zaharakis will have to pick up some of Jobe Watson's slack. Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au/Getty Images
Last 5 Meetings

Round 14, 2012 – Essendon 140 d Western Bulldogs 56 at Etihad Stadium
Round 21, 2011 – Essendon 150 d Western Bulldogs 101 at Etihad Stadium
Round 1, 2011 – Essendon 113 d Western Bulldogs 58 at Etihad Stadium
Round 22, 2010 – Western Bulldogs 107 d Essendon 78 at Etihad Stadium
Round 10, 2010 – Essendon 99 d Western Bulldogs 90 at Etihad Stadium


Form

  Rd 11    Rd 12    Rd 13    Rd 14    Rd 15 
Western Bulldogs

B

L

L

L

W

Essendon

W

W

B

W

W


Here is where we find out just how good the rest of Essendon’s team is. As if dealing with the drugs scandal wasn’t enough, Jobe Watson is out for the next month, leaving the Bombers bereft of their best player and the heart and soul of the footy club. They handled his absence relatively well against Port Adelaide last week, but with a tough run of six games to finish the season after they play the Bulldogs and Giants over the next fortnight, the Bombers need to find something extra to ensure they don’t fall away like they have the past couple of seasons.

The ‘Dogs brought a three-game losing streak to an end last Saturday, but only just. They trailed the Giants at every change but snatched the win with a four-point victory . After threatening to produce some good footy with back-to-back wins over the Saints and Power mid-season, the young Bulldogs have fallen back in to bad habits, and horrible efforts against Melbourne and GWS won’t have filled supporters with confidence.

The Bulldogs have dropped big man Ayce Cordy, while young guns Jesse Stringer (soreness) and Jason Jonannisen (shoulder) are both out with injury.


Key Men

(Bulldogs) Daniel Giansiracusa – It says something significant about the state of the Bulldogs’ forward line that Daniel Giansiracusa is by far the most integral part of it. The small forward is winding down his career, but with a complete lack of marking targets, he is still somewhat of a focal point. His three goals against the Giants were badly needed, and his 21 majors so far this year is a serviceable return.

(Bombers) Tom Bellchambers – He has been talked about as trade bait, but Tom Bellchambers didn’t do his future at Windy Hill any harm at all with a five-goal performance against Port Adelaide last weekend. The structure of the Bombers forward line remains in a state of flux, with queries over the best positions for Michael Hurley and Jake Carlisle, but Bellchambers dominated with 17 touches and 10 marks against a Power backline that really had no answer for his size.


Prediction

Essendon has won the last three matches between these teams, and in that time the Bulldogs haven’t even gotten close. There have been margins of 55 , 49 and 84 , and in the ‘Dogs current form, or lack of it, they should be chicken feed for the Bombers. A soft fortnight is an ideal time for Essendon to lose Jobe Watson. David Zaharakis picked up the slack last week, and it should give some other mids the chance to prove to James Hird they belong in the rotation come finals time. Essendon by 42 points .

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