Fletcher to reach 350 in style

Essendon vs Gold Coast April 14, Metricon Stadium, 7:40pm

Essendon will look to make it three from three when they come up against a Gold Coast team that is facing some second year blues.

Essendon cruised to a 25-point win against Port Adelaide last week which was much more comfortable than their game against the Kangaroos which came down to the last kick of the match.

Essendon will be glad they are facing the Suns after suffering multiple injuries last week, losing Hille, Lovett-Murray, McVeigh and Myers. It should also give them a good opportunity to honour Dustin Fletcher who will be playing his 350th game.

Gold Coast, on the other hand, have had a terrible start to the season, suffering 69 and 92-point hidings and don’t look like they have improved much over the summer. However, they will be excited with the return of Nathan Bock who should provide much needed experience.

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What Essendon Will Be Looking For

The Bombers will want to have an easy win as the Suns are not in the best of form. If Essendon are to challenge for the eight this season they will need all the percentage they can get.

They will also be hoping that some of their in form players continue their good work, Leroy Jetta will want to build upon his breakout performance from last week and add a few more goals, while Paddy Ryder looks to continue his early season ruck dominance.

This game will also be a good opportunity for Michael Hurley, it is the young forwards 50th game this weekend and after signing a new five-year deal he has been solid but not at his best. This is a perfect chance for him to tear open a game and kick a bag.

The last thing that Essendon will want from this week is more injuries, with three soft tissue injuries last week, any more this week and the injury list will start to have a serious impact on their year.

 What Gold Coast Will Be Looking For

Guy McKenna is a man under a lot of pressure. The Suns had some leeway last year but the expectations have now risen and McKenna has been pulling what little hair he has left out, because at the moment his players haven’t shown any signs of progression.

What he will be hoping for is some improvement from his senior players, Gary Ablett has been brilliant as usual but the likes of Michael Rischitelli and Jared Brennan have been down. If their performance is up, then the rest of the team’s is usually up as well.

Finally they will be looking for more solid performances from the younger players that make up their team. If players like Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy and Brandon Matera keep on producing consistent performances, then the Suns as a whole will only get better.

Final Say:

Gold Coast have been disappointing so far this year and they need to avoid a large loss or else they will begin to come under serious scrutiny.

However, Essendon will have everything to play for, Fletcher’s 350th is very significant for the club and they will put everything on the line for a player who has done the same for them for so long.

Essendon will be close to top gear for this game and will make sure they win.

Essendon by 46

Teams:

Gold Coast Suns

B: Jared Brennan, Matthew Warnock, Seb Tape

HB: Maverick Weller, Nathan Bock, Jarrod Harbrow

C: Josh Caddy, Dion Prestia, Trent McKenzie

HF: Luke Russell, Tom Lynch, Harley Bennell

F: Brandon Matera, Sam Day, Aaron Hall

Foll: Zac Smith, David Swallow, Gary Ablett

I/C: Karmichael Hunt, Josh Fraser, Matt Shaw, Michael Rischitelli

In: Josh Fraser, Sam Day, Nathan Bock, Seb Tape

Out: Campbell Brown (Groin), Tom Hickey, Steven May (Rested), Jeremy Taylor

Essendon

B: Courtenay Dempsey, Dustin Fletcher, Jake Carlisle

HB: Kyle Hardingham, Tayte Pears, Dyson Heppell

C: Michael Hibberd, Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton

HF: Stewart Crameri, Michael Hurley, Alwyn Davey

F: David Zaharakis, Patrick Ryder, Leroy Jetta

Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Jake Melksham

I/C: Ricky Dyson, Angus Monfries, Kyle Reimers, Ben Howlett

In: Ricky Dyson, Heath Hocking, Alwyn Davey, Kyle Reimers, Tom Bellchambers

Out: David Hille (Calf), Sam Lonergan (Suspension), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Hamstring), Mark McVeigh (Soreness), David Myers (Hamstring)

BigFooty Team Board Previews:

Gold Coast

Essendon

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