WHERE AND WHEN: Metricon Stadium, Saturday, July 14, 7.25pm AEST
Essendon’s flickering finals chances go on the line against Gold Coast on Saturday night. The Bombers have won five of their past seven matches to be one of the AFL’s form teams, but last Sunday’s narrow defeat at the hands of Collingwood has seriously jeopardised their finals push. Two games and significant percentage adrift of eighth-placed Hawthorn, John Worsfold’s men are walking a tightrope and have no wriggle room – they simply must win, and recent form suggests they should have no worries. Former Sun Adam Saad is in blistering touch ahead of his homecoming, while fellow off-season recruit Devon Smith has been at the forefront of Essendon’s mid-season revival, along with the now sidelined Jake Stringer. Gold Coast is in a mighty slump, having lost 10 straight games despite being competitive for good chunks of its past two losses against the Magpies and Kangaroos. With no Tom Lynch in the forward line, the Suns are struggling to kick goals and Essendon should have too much pace and too much class in this one.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R22, 2017, Essendon 12.18 (90) d Gold Coast 9.3 (57) at Metricon
R21, 2016, Essendon 11.9 (75) d Gold Coast 9.15 (69) at Etihad
R1, 2016, Gold Coast 17.19 (121) d Essendon 9.6 (60) at Metricon
R21, 2015, Gold Coast 14.13 (97) d Essendon 14.11 (95) at Metricon
R22, 2014, Essendon 16.12 (108) d Gold Coast 13.11 (89) at Etihad
Hutta’s Tip: Essendon by 24 points
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