We’ll endeavour to run through the form, incorporate appropriate stats and also supply a betting prediction which won’t always just be who will win.
ESSENDON v HAWTHORN
Friday 14 June @ Marvel Stadium
After a recent Grand Final replay began this round, a match up from times of yore is the Friday night spectacle.
They contested three straight big ones in the 1980s and I think it’s fair to say they don’t particularly like each other.
You only have to recall the infamous ‘Line in the Sand’ match of 2004. Essendon were beating up on the Hawks. The Third Quarter brawl went for seemingly minutes and resulted in some bad acts.
In many ways this game will again be disputed by two very desperate teams. Whoever loses won’t be that far out of the Eight but in some ways a light year.
Their percentages are so similar. But teams with that figure hovering round 100% always give you an indication they really are a 50-50 chance.
That is a good guidance that they certainly aren’t of 10 & 2 standard and a moral for Top 4.
Essendon gave a pitiful Blues the blues two weeks back and it was the final nail in Bolton’s coffin. It was a wet afternoon at the G so happy to forgive any issue of form.
Remember they were missing Stringer and Shiel adding to other recent outs of Daniher and Smith. What will be their final availability?
You can bet Hawthorn will be waiting for them with a Clarkson special. The Hawks can’t get any continuity of play. It’s been going win, loss, win, loss all year. That means they are due again.
They too have been hampered by their biggest loss of Mitchell all year and have been desperate for the recruits they gambled on Wingard and Scully to produce. As yet it hasn’t been exemplary.
There is much admiration that Shaun Burgoyne still appears amongst their best players most weeks. He is a marvel.
Will this be another game of keeping’s off? Hawthorn did that to a running team in GWS. Essendon seem another likely candidate for that planning.
One imagines, given these two bulls in the paddock don’t like each other, that confrontation will not be far away.
And given James Sicily will be around the mark, a camera on his evening would be a great watch. He’s a top player but the Bombers may play on any combustibility.
Really is a toss of the coin. It’s probably a game where anything could happen. A big win or a big loss or even the close options.
Clarkson will try a lock down on one of the Essendon prime movers. That would likely be Dyson Heppell or Zach Merrett.
Even given those Sicilian concerns, he’ll sweep from the back and rack up possessions.
Taking Hawthorn with no confidence.
Match Selection: Hawthorn by 8 points
Suggested Bet: James Sicily 30+ possessions @ $4.50