Sunday 15th, April / 1:10pm / Etihad Stadium
Last week, Port Adelaide performed a great escape against Brisbane. Most football fans had them easily winning that one, including covering the 50 point handicap. Fortunately for Brisbane fans though, they put up a great fight and only lost by 5 points.
Essendon probably played their worst game of the season against the Bulldogs last week. Their ball efficiency and decision-making were poor, while they were punished off turnovers.
During the week, the Bombers were annihilated in the press. Their lacklustre performances, not just against the Bulldogs, but against teams that they’re expected to win were a focal point by most journos and football-focused shows.
Joe Daniher has been a shadow of the player that finished top 5 in the Coleman Medal last year. He’s only kicked 3 goals so far this season. Whether that’s his confidence, defenders paying him extra attention, or a combination of both, he needs to lift today.
Zach Merrett as well hasn’t been at his best to start the season. A concussion in round 1 hasn’t helped, but back him to bounce back as well against Port Adelaide.
The Stats That Matter
When Essendon beat Port Adelaide last year at Etihad, they went at 76% disposal efficiently and had close to 300 uncontested possessions.
The Bombers will need to beat Port in the center in order to be within a shot this afternoon. Port Adelaide rank #1 for center clearances this season.
Essendon keep the ball inside 50 longer than any other team so far, and if their on-ball brigade can perform, they’re every chance here.
Jarred Polec is averaging a solid 123 and at only $479k and a BE of 29 he’s worth being considered in your plans.
Zach Merrett has been one of the most trades out players these last two weeks and with returns of 53, 95 and 17 it’s not hard to see why. Those who kept him though should rejoice that he will find his form as all great players do.
Tip and Best Bets
I’m tipping an upset at Etihad today. Essendon have no choice but to bounce back strongly after a string of poor performances. How long can Port Adelaide keep their strong form? It won’t be a win like last seasons 10-goal win but I think the Bombers win this one.
Essendon ML / 2.30 / Sportsbet [2 units]
Zach Merrett most SC points group B / 3.50 / TAB [1 unit]
Joe Daniher 3+ goals / 1.72 / Sportsbet [1 unit]