Both Essendon and Port will look to make it two from two while trying to boost their credentials as top-8 contenders.
Port will be up and about after claiming a surprise round one win over St Kilda, similarly Essendon will be on a high after their thrilling win that came down to the last kick.
Port will attempt to begin their first win streak in over a year, however their task will be a little bit more difficult as they head to Etihad stadium, where the Bombers have the advantage.
The Bombers could consider themselves lucky to come away with a win last week after letting slip a commanding lead in the third quarter, something they cannot afford to happen again.
David Hille and Paddy Ryder were outstanding last week with 44 hit-outs and 38 possessions between them and they will look to build on that as they face the young ruck combination of Jarrad Redden and Daniel Stewart.
Essendon will also be thankful for the work of veteran Dustin Fletcher whose efforts in the final quarter were game saving, his defensive prowess will be needed this week against Port’s multi-pronged attack.
Jarrad Redden/Daniel Stewart vs David Hille/Patrick Ryder
The ruck duel will be central to the outcome of the match, whichever midfield can get first hands on the footy will be able to get clean delivery into the forward-line.
Hille and Ryder were exceptional last week outdoing a quality duo in Hamish McIntosh and Dean Goldstein, they should be able to take care of the less experienced Port duo.
Hamish Hartlett vs Mark McVeigh
Hartlett was instrumental in Port’s win last week with 26 disposals, providing great drive from the midfield and lead Port’s next crop of stars.
McVeigh may go to Hartlett in a shutdown role, and will have to contain him throughout a variety of positions.
Alipate Carlile vs Michael Hurley
Hurley has the potential to become one of the best forwards in the competition, but he wasn’t at his best last week. He was the number one target inside forward 50 for the Bombers but could only manage two goals.
If Hurley can take control of the game, the rest of the forward-line will benefit as Port’s attention will be focused on him. Carlile will need to keep Hurley’s influence to a minimum.
Port celebrated last week’s win like a grand final but it is only round one, if they want show they have turned a corner, they have to at least be competitive again.
Essendon would have penciled in this game as a win pre-season and they can’t make the same mistake that St Kilda did.
Port will probably come down from the high this week and struggle away from home, Essendon just need to play consistent football and their experience should come out on top.
Essendon 23 points
B: Courtenay Dempsey, Tayte Pears, Michael Hibberd
HB: Kyle Hardingham, Dustin Fletcher, Jake Carlisle
C: David Myers, Jobe Watson, Jake Melksham
HF: Stewart Crameri, David Hille, Leroy Jetta
F: Angus Monfries, Michael Hurley, David Zaharakis
Foll: Patrick Ryder, Ben Howlett, Brent Stanton
I/C: Sam Lonergan, Nathan Lovett-Murray, Mark McVeigh, Dyson Heppell
Emg: Ricky Dyson, Kyle Reimers, Tom Bellchambers
In: Sam Lonergan, Jake Carlisle
Out: Heath Hocking (Concussion), Cale Hooker (Ankle)
B: Jackson Trengove, Alipate Carlile, Jacob Surjan
HB: Danyle Pearce, Troy Chaplin, Ben Jacobs
C: Kane Cornes, Domenic Cassisi, John McCarthy
HF: Travis Boak, Jay Schulz, Hamish Hartlett
F: Chad Wingard, Daniel Stewart, Justin Westhoff
Foll: Jarrad Redden, Bradley Ebert, Matt Thomas
I/C: David Rodan, Paul Stewart, Matthew Broadbent, Cameron O’Shea
Emg: Mitchell Banner, Simon Phillips, Darren Pfeiffer
In: Jackson Trengove
Out: John Butcher (Hamstring)
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