Venue: Etihad Stadium at 4:40pm.
Last 5 times:
R9, 2016, St Kilda 16.13 (109) d Essendon 9.9 (63) at Etihad Stadium
R14, 2015, St Kilda 25.12 (162) d Essendon 8.4 (52) at Etihad Stadium
R5, 2015, Essendon 11.16 (82) d St Kilda 11.14 (80) at Etihad Stadium
R5, 2014, St Kilda 11.15 (81) d Essendon 9.11 (65) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2013, Essendon 19.14 (128) d St Kilda 13.13 (91) at Etihad Stadium
Top SC scorers from last match:
- Essendon: Dea 126, Cooney 118, Kelly 113, Goddard 101
- St Kilda: Ross 152, Steven 148, Riewoldt 117, Bruce 107
- In: Sam Michael, Patrick Ambrose, Shaun McKernan, Kyle Langford, Jaydyn Laverde, Conor McKenna
- Out: David Zaharakis (Susp.), Jason Ashby (Om.), Matthew Leuenberger (Knee), Jackson Merrett (Om.), Matthew Stokes (Groin), Mark Jamar (Susp.)
- In: Sean Dempster, Nathan Wright, Daniel McKenzie
- Out: Tom Lee (Om.), Paddy McCartin (Concussion), Jack Lonie (Om.)
Game notes: These two teams only faced off 7 weeks ago when St Kilda won by 46 points, so a different result seems unlikely. Essendon have proven time and again that they can match it with other teams for a quarter or a half but not for a full match. The loss of Zaharakis to suspension is only going to make a win less likely today.
By defeating Geelong, St Kilda proved they can match it with the big boys and they will be smarting after the disappointing loss to Gold Coast so expect them to bounce back hard this week.
The 6 Points
1. Last time these two sides met in round nine, Essendon remained competitive until half-time when it trailed by only 10 points. But Josh Bruce proved to be the difference as he led the Saints to a seven-goal-to-three third quarter. Bruce finished with a bag of five goals and has 10 in total in the past two matches against the Bombers.
2. The Saints’ season of highs and lows continued last week, dropping to a loss to Gold Coast following their stirring win over Geelong the previous week. They have fallen to defeats of 40 or more points in five of their eight losses this season.
3. St Kilda has had the better of Essendon in recent times, accumulating wins in three of the past four clashes between the two sides as well as four of the last six since 2012. Essendon has been unable to kick more than 100 points in an outing against the Saints since round four, 2013.
4. The Bombers’ struggles to score is highlighted by the fact that they’re averaging just 59 points a game, which is the lowest of any side since 1961, with the exception of GWS’ first season in 2012. They remain anchored to the bottom of the ladder for points scored and for marks inside 50.
5. Essendon holds a 12-to-9 win advantage over St Kilda in their 21 encounters at Etihad Stadium. However, the Bombers have not enjoyed being under the roof in recent times, losing all four of their games at the venue this year and their last 10 in total.
6. St Kilda midfielder Jack Steven continues to charge up the AFL Player Ratings board. The star Saint started the season ranked at No.65 but is now placed at No.14 after a terrific run of form.
Thommo’s tip: St Kilda by 48 points.
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