Fan favourite Brendan Goddard is expected to return for the Bombers. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/Getty Images
Essendon Bombers v Western Bulldogs
Saturday May 3 - 7:40 PM (AEST)
With the painful loss to the Pies still fresh in their minds, Essendon will be out to break their three game losing streak when they host the Bulldogs in Round 7 of the AFL.
Coach Mark 'Bomber' Thompson desperately wants his troops to bounce back from the 23-point loss, a match they looked to have wrapped up halfway through the second quarter. The Bombers came out firing against the Pies, racing to a 31-point lead at the first break. It was all downhill from there though, the team’s four-quarter performance highlighting the inconsistencies plaguing them this year. Essendon is likely to welcome back fan favourite, Brendon Goddard, after missing two weeks with an adductor injury. Tom Bellchambers is also set to play his first game of the season, after getting through a full hit-out at VFL level last week.
The Western Bulldogs head into the clash following back-to-back defeats - the latest a nine-point loss to the Crows. The Bulldog’s, similarly to the Essendon, blew a handy margin midway through the second quarter to go down on Sunday. The defensive line has been the weak link in the squad in recent weeks but will be bolstered by the return of Dale Morris, if he's over an ankle injury. The Bulldogs have been ripped to shreds by tall opposition forwards and hope the height and experience of Morris can deal with an Essendon attack that showed glimpses of brilliance on ANZAC day.
Both coaches will be begging for a solid, consistent performance for the whole four quarters. Essendon showed their talent in patches against the Pies, but will have to show up against a Bulldogs side that is capable of an upset. The Bombers have won the past four meetings with the Bulldogs by more than 30 points and with that painful loss to Collingwood still fresh in their minds, they should produce a spirited all-round winning performance.
Click here to bet on Round 7 AFL matches.