The Adelaide Crows take on the rising Essendon Bombers at in a battle of teams desperately clinging to Top 8 spot in the 2019 AFL season.
The Adelaide Crows are currently in 7th place in the latest AFL ladder with 36 points earned. The Crows have won nine games and lost seven after 17 rounds so far. They have scored a total of 1,334 points while allowing just a total of 1183 points which is the third-lowest behind #1 Geelong’s 1052 and #2Collingwood’s 1164.
Adelaide is coming off a 95-point victory over the struggling Gold Coast Suns last weekend. Adelaide’s final score of 23.13 (151 ) is by far the largest by any AFL team this season. Midfielder Roy Atkins finished with a season-best 35 possessions and a game-high 687 meters gained. Matt Crouch finished with a game-high 36 disposals and 14 contested possessions.
Odds were taken from Titanbet.com as of 7/16/19
The Essendon Bombers have barged into the Top 8 of the AFL ladder following their pulsating win over North Melbourne last weekend. With 36 points Essendon has put themselves in a tie with Greater Western Sydney and Adelaide. With the inferior PA/PF percentage, they are currently the 8th seed in the tournament.
The Bombers are now 9-7 SU on the season as they head to this Week 18 encounter. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti snapped the winning goal as Essendon took a five-point cushion that sealed the win for the Bombers. McDonald-Tipungwuti led Essendon with four goals.
This is a big game for both teams who are just inside the top 8. Adelaide currently sits at #7 while Essendon is at #8.
Adelaide is coming off a huge win over the Sun Coast Suns but it’s really hard to make anything from that victory especially unless they beat better opposition. The Crows have won just half of their last eight games played, including two losses in their last three games, and it’s hard to back up a team with such inconsistent form.
On the other hand, Essendon has clawed back to the Top 8 with four wins in their last five games including a current three-game winning streak, beating GWS, Sydney and North Melbourne during that stretch. However, winning away from home has been a problem for Essendon as the Bombers have won just two out of their last seven road games as betting underdogs.
But perhaps the big issue in this matchup is the health of Bombers’ captain Dyson Heppell. Heppell has unfused growth plates on his feet and a few years ago, he went under the knife to fix the issue on his right foot. But now, it’s the left foot that’s bothering him and caused him to miss some time. Heppell is working to get cleared and Tuesday is going to determine whether he will play on Friday or not.
But then even if Heppell plays, the Bombers will be without star defender Michael Hurley who had left shoulder surgery on Monday. Adelaide has a very strong forward line and although Essendon is going to have some relief with Tom Lynch expected to be out with a calf issue, Josh Jenkins and Taylor Walker loom to be a problem for the Bombers’ defense. The Crows have taken four out of their last five meetings with the Bombers, I think this one will be no different. Prediction: Adelaide Crows