A bottom of the table clash will take place on Saturday night at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium when Essendon welcome wooden spoon favourites the West Coast Eagles.
Sitting 13th on the ladder, the Bombers are favourites to take this one out at $1.45 with Ladbrokes.com.au, but after a dismal run of five consecutive losses they are currently one of the out-of-form sides in the AFL.
Both have no chance of making the finals this year, so this is down to a matter of pride, and for the Bombers a loss against bottom of the table Eagles would just add an element of pressure not needed at the club.
Matthew Knights is under some scrutiny by fans and the players need to head into this match with their eyes on the prize with issues off the oval among coaching and club staff causing speculation.
Skipper Jobe Watson has been consistent for the Bombers in their dry spell so will need to lead his teammates through this dark period, and will have to grab hold of the midfield to take control of the game alongside Ben Howlett, who was convincing against the Dees last weekend.
The Eagles, right on target to end the season with the dreaded wooden spoon, are at $2.78 for a win and have not had the taste of victory since way back in round eight over Melbourne.
West Coast looked slightly improved against Adelaide last round, though they still ended on the wrong side of the score board and have not had a good run in Melbourne as of late, securing their slump in form with a 49-point loss to previous wooden spoon favourites Richmond.
Beau Waters and Shannon Hurn are two key players which could miss the crunch match for the Eagles, who must win this to be in with a chance of not finishing bottom of the ladder this year.
Mark LeCras has been one of the few players in strong form over the past few weeks for the struggling Eagles, and booting four goals in just a quarter over the Crows last weekend needs to do the same in round 16 to give his side a fighting chance.
We are tipping an Essendon win by 20-39 points at Ladbrokes.com.au for this one.
AFLRules Tip Of The Match:
This is a fixture between two sides in trouble at this crucial stage in the season, and while many teams are fighting for a spot in the finals, these are battling it out to not finish last. Despite the Eagles playing the better footy last round, their form in Melbourne this season has been less than poor, and so we are tipping an Essendon win by 20-39 points at Ladbrokes.com.au for this one.