AFL Live Essendon Bombers vs Melbourne Demons Stream AFL Football 2016 Online, AFL Round 02 Match will be kick off at Melbourne Cricket Ground Stadium, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday 02 April 2016 online, 02.10 pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Seven, Foxtell.
Essendon are coming off a bruise-free 10 goal loss to Gold Coast, while Melbourne are breathing rare air for them – heavily favoured to start the season 2-0, which they haven’t done since 2005.
John Worsfold has reacted to the Dons poor performance first-up, dropping three players that most expected to be staples of the Essendon side this year – Shaun McKernan, Craig Bird and Jonathon Simpkin. Michael Hartley makes his debut and Nick Kommer will be seen for the first time since 2013. Melbourne has lost two talls in Oscar McDonald (ankle) and Sam Frost (omitted), but replaced them with two running players in Heritier Lumumba and Angus Brayshaw. Brayshaw showed some special qualities in his debut season, while Lumumba was disappointing in 2015 and needs to lift.
Essendon were underwhelming in Round 1, even given their lack of talent and reliance on top-up players. They played in tame spirits, and a lack of desire and intensity was evident from the outset. It’s going to be a long season if they can’t find it within themselves to lift. Melbourne have shown admirable resilience within games under Paul Roos, and it was on display in their Round 1 defeat of GWS, fighting back from a 21 point three quarter-time deficit. Including NAB Challenge, they are unbeaten from four matches in 2016.
Melbourne has won four of their last six against Essendon, having only played each other once a year in that time. It makes for depressing reading for Bombers fans, given how bad the Demons have been over that period. Brendon Goddard has averaged 30 disposals a game against Melbourne since arriving at Essendon, his most against any team for the Bombers. Three of the last four matches between the sides have seen match totals of less than 155, but all of these matches have been dewy affairs in the middle of winter, not early in the year in fine weather as is expected on Saturday.
Big Max Gawn will dominate this game and is paying $4 to be the leading scorer in AFL Fantasy. He had 146 on the Bombers last year and that was when they were good. Expect 50+ hit outs and a score around 130+. Jack Viney had 32 touches last week and is great value at $5 to lead group A. The Bombers’ midfield is currently a train wreck and Viney will continue his hot form that saw him end 2015 in style, where he found the ball 59 times in his last two games.
Wearing the responsibility of hot favourites has undone many a young side on the rise. There is a different mindset when you are the hunted instead of the hunter. In fact, the Dee’s went down to the Dons last year under similar circumstances.
But this Melbourne side looks to be made of sterner stuff, and it’s difficult to see them throwing away this gilt-edged opportunity to start the season undefeated. Essendon should be sparked by a few senior players being axed from the side, in a clear sign that John Worsfold is not prepared to watch anyone just go through the motions.
B Matt Dea, Mitch Brown, Mark Baguley
HB James Gwilt, Michael Hartley, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
C Brendon Goddard, David Zaharakis, Jackson Merrett
HF Zach Merrett, Patrick Ambrose, Kyle Langford
F Mathew Stokes, Joe Daniher, Nick Kommer
FOL Matthew Leuenberger, Darcy Parish, Ryan Crowley
I/C Martin Gleeson, Orazio Fantasia, Adam Cooney, James Kelly
EMG Craig Bird, Shaun McKernan, Jonathan Simpkin
In: M.Hartley, O.Fantasia, N.Kommer
Out: C.Bird, J.Simpkin, S.McKernan
New: Michael Hartley (Coburg)
B Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Heritier Lumumba
HB Matt Jones, Colin Garland, Christian Salem
C Bernie Vince, Jack Viney, Aaron Vandenberg
HF Jack Watts, Cameron Pedersen, James Harmes
F Dean Kent, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett
FOL Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson
I/C Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver, Tomas Bugg, Ben Kennedy
EMG Lynden Dunn, Billy Stretch, Sam Frost
In: A.Brayshaw, H.Lumumba
Out: O.McDonald (ankle), S.Frost