Hawthorn vs Essendon, MCG, Friday 24th June,
Last time: HAW (102) def ESS (86)
In: Chance Bateman, Brent Guerra. Out: Lance Franklin (suspension), Rick Ladson (Groin)
In: David Hille, Andrew Welsh, Alwyn Davey. Out: Cale Hooker (Hamstring), Kyle Hardingham (Suspension), Stewart Crameri (Soreness)
Big Game for both clubs in the context of the season, Hawthorn looking to cement it’s spot in the top 4 after a bad run with injuries and Essendon trying to hang onto the 8 with a drop in form after a blistering start. The Bombers are going in tall to try and stretch the Hawks lack of high. Franklin out suspended is a massive blow for the Hawks after loosing Roughhead a few weeks back to injury, if they are going to win they’ll need to rely on goals from their small running forwards, the likes of Cyril Rioli who looked dangerous up forward a few weeks back against freo when Franklin also missed. Last week Hawthorn had an easy win over the Gold Coast while Essendon went down in a tougher game against an inform Kangaroos team. Odds have come in for Essendon as you’d expected with the Franklin Suspension, if you got on them at the start of the week you’d be laughing. Have heard a lot of confident Essendon supports calling a win for this one from a few weeks out, which may be because they need a form turn around or may be to do with the rivalry the clubs have had recently in some tough fought battles. If the Bombers are going to get up they’ll need to win the share of the contested ball and make sure the hawks don’t control use of the footy. The game could go either way, most likely to who ever wants it more, but I think Hawthorn are still going to be a bit too good with their run, foot skills and clean ball use this week.
Joe’s Bet: Hawthorn 1-39 @ 2.32 (Centrebet)