The first round of the AFL’s finals series between Essendon and Melbourne will be played at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon, with the two sides set to square off for the first time since the last two matches of the season.
The first match is the clash between the premiers with the Bombers leading 2-0 at half-time.
The second game is the rematch with Essendon against the Eagles at the MCG on Friday night.
Essendon will be looking to continue their successful form in 2016 with a comfortable win over Melbourne, and then a big win over the Eagles to secure their spot in the finals.
Essentially, the Bombs will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Port Adelaide last week, which saw the Bombeers lose to Hawthorn in the first round.
Essential coach Brad Scott will be hoping the Bombras can go into the second round with a win and then another big win against a top-four team.
Melbourne will be aiming to repeat the performance of last week and the Bomboppers are likely to be buoyed by their win against Port Adelaide.
The Eagles are hoping to get a good result against the Bombas, and they can do that with a good performance from Josh Kelly.
Kelly’s 22 disposals and eight clearances was an excellent display from the young Bomber, and his four goals helped him earn the win over Port Adelaide on Saturday night.
Melbournians coach Nick Riewoldt is confident his side can take the fight to the Bombals, but will be cautious when it comes to the game.
“They’re a really good team, and we’ve played them against really good teams, and I don’t think you’ve really seen them in any sort of pressure and really high pressure before,” Riewolndt said.
“But we’ve got a lot of pressure on them and we have to be really careful when they get on the scoreboard and get their feet under them and their feet moving.”
Kelly is also expected to play his first game for the Eagles against the Crows on Sunday night, after missing the first three matches of this year with a shoulder injury.
The Bombers are likely looking for a better performance from Jack Riewoli, with his 11 disposals, eight clearies and four goals being a significant contribution to his side’s win against the Power.
“Jack Riewllies (goal) is probably the best thing that we’ve seen out of him all year,” Scott said.
The third game is a rematch between the Bomba and Cats at the SCG, with Essentials favourite Sam Mitchell also taking on the Cats.
The Cats are likely hoping to bounce right back after their loss to the Eagles, but are cautious about the Cats’ return to form.
The fourth match will be a rematch with Geelong against the Tigers at Etihad Stadium.
The Geelong Cats are desperate to end their losing run against the Cats, and are hoping for a win to give themselves a shot at a finals spot.
However, Geelong coach John Worsfold said his side will be disappointed with their performance against the Lions, and is likely to go into this game with a little more hope than they did against the Saints.
“We’ve got to get ourselves a bit more confident,” Worscroft said.
“We’re not at 100 per cent, we’ve still got a bit of work to do.”
Essendon is in desperate need of a win over Geelong, as they sit outside of the top four and are on a six-match losing streak.
The Suns have had a good run of form this year, and have played three games against the Dockers so far, and will be keen to build on that success against the Hawks.
The Hawks have been one of the clubs to win games in their last three matches against the Suns, but it is the Suns that are most likely to get the better of the Bomas in this match.
The Bulldogs have won just two games against Geelong this year and have lost their last five, but they have had three straight wins against the Demons.
This match will likely be a good test of the Cats in the next round.
The Kangaroos will be hungry to get back on track after their disappointing performance against Port in round one.
The Dogs are looking to improve on the dominant performance they had against the West Coast Eagles, and could be in a position to take a big step forward against Essendon.
The Demons are looking for some form after their game against the Swans in round two, but have a long way to go to get to that level.
The Giants will be searching for a victory against the Dogs, who have had two tough wins against them, and a two-point win against Ess.
The Tigers will be wary of their chances against the Essendon Lions, who beat them twice last year.
The Dockers have had some success against their rivals, with three wins against Ess and a victory in round three.However