West Coast vs. Essendon
After a couple of weeks of more routine timeslots the AFL had to go a bit loony and delivered us this Thursday night fixture in Perth, which is tough on West Coast, who only get a short break to recover their sore bodies from a gruelling clash against Hawthorn last Friday night. Essendon, meanwhile, will be refreshed after their bye weekend, although that freshness is probably more physical than mental because Bombers skipper Jobe Watson put his team under the media spotlight this week when he admitted during an interview on Monday night that he took a banned drug during his Brownlow Medal winning season last year.
The Eagles have made four changes to the team that lost last week against the Hawks, with key duo Shannon Hurn and Scott Selwood forced to the sidelines with serious injuries, while veteran Andrew Embley was suspended during the week and youngster Blayne Wilson has been omitted.
Essendon has acted to counter West Coast’s rucking prowess by including mature big-man Tom Bellchambers at the expense of first-year player Joe Daniher. Daniher is more of a forward line prospect and would have been horribly exposed as a back-up ruckman against Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui.
Given the gruelling nature of West Coast’s match last week, and the unavailability of some of their key players, I think Essendon is great value for the win. Also, Matthew Priddis is one of the most consistent players in the league and will give you a good showing for your money if you back him to beat David Zaharakis in their head to head Dream Team market.
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Essendon to win by 39 points or less @ 2.60 (Sportsbet)
Andy’s Bet: 1 unit on Matthew Priddis to score more dream team points than David Zaharakis @ 1.75 (Sportsbet)