Essendon are facing a do or die game against St. Kilda this Sunday. Both sides sit 13th and 14th respectively and while Coach James Hird is still confident the Bombers can make an appearance this September; that confidence would surely be diminishing with every loss the Bombers have sustained. Despite this, and losing the game last week against Hawthorn, Essendon can take a lot of positives. Their ball movement improved drastically and they were able to go toe to toe with the powerful premiers for most of the game. But despite sitting 14th on the ladder, St. Kilda is certainly no push-over. They have been one of the greatest improved sides in the competition since Round 1.
Here is the selected sides:
Both sides have made 2 changes from their last game. Coming out from Essendon is Carlisle with an ankle injury and Shaun Edwards (omitted). In comes Zaharakis for his first game since Round 6’s ill-fated trip to Perth to take on Fremantle. Also for his first AFL game this year, after some incredible performances in the reserves is Ariel Steinberg. St. Kilda has omitted both Darren Minchington and Luke Delaney bringing in Sam Fisher and Jack Sinclair.
Last time these sides met Essendon took home the points, but only just. This time Essendon are without live-wire Colyer, ruckman Bellchambers, Carlisle and the ageless Dustin Fletcher. Since the last encounter, St. Kilda has welcomed back their captain and spearhead Nick Reiwoldt.
Also worth noting that this is defender James Gwilts first game against his old side since joining ex-teammate Brendon Goddard at the Bombers this year. Hird has also hinted that Gwilt could spend some time up forwards to try and relieve the side’s goal-kicking woes this year.
Regardless, these are both very physical sides and sides that are evenly matched in most key statistics and the obvious ladder position. If Essendon wants to prove to its fans, the public and most importantly; itself it will need to win this game and win well.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.