Sunday, June 19 from 4.40pm at Etihad Stadium
Essendon Bombers: 18th
Greater Western Sydney Giants: Sixth
Essendon Bombers: 1-11
Greater Western Sydney Giants: 8-4
Last five match results:
Essendon Bombers: LLLLL
Greater Western Sydney Giants: WWLLW
Essendon Bombers: $19 with CrownBet.com.au
Greater Western Sydney Giants: $1.01 with CrownBet.com.au
Essendon Bombers: +63.5 ($1.92 with CrownBet.com.au)
Greater Western Sydney Giants: -63.5 ($1.92 with CrownBet.com.au)
IF you listen to Mark Thompson, Essendon has mailed in the season.
And if he is right, Greater Western Sydney is probably not the team the Bombers want to be playing – especially after they were smashed by the Hawks by 108 points last weekend.
Thompson, the club’s coach during James Hird’s suspension over the supplements saga, reckons his former charges have accepted their fate that their season is stuffed and are “not playing to win the game”.
“It looks like to me they’ve probably said ‘alright, we’ll probably win a couple of games, end up on the bottom of the ladder, it doesn’t really matter how we play’,” Thompson said on Fox Footy.
“They’re not playing the game to win the game.
“They’re not playing a style that’s going to win the game.”
If that is the case, then they are in for an almighty beating against a side some say could win the flag this season.
The Giants had lost two in a row, before enhancing their burgeoning premiership credentials by knocking over one of the favourites in Sydney on the weekend.
They were simply irrepressible against the Swans, beating them at their own game, winning the hard ball and snuffing out every attempt at a revival in the 42 point win, 15.15 (105) to 9.9 (63).
Stevie J, as he has done so often this season, had a blinder, collecting 27 disposals with seven marks and you can’t help but think Geelong would be even better this season if he was still in Cats’ colours.
Youngster Josh Kelly was the elder statesman’s equal, also collecting 27 disposals. It appears he is finally starting to fulfil his potential after bursting onto the scene as a rookie, before taking some time to adjust to life at AFL level.
Captain Callan Ward and talisman Heath Shaw led from the front as they always do with 25 disposals apiece, Shaw using the ball with pristine precision.
Gun midfielder Dylan Shiel had 24 touches, but that was down on the 32 he had against the Cats the week before. In that game, the Giants were not disgraced, going down by 10 points against the premiership fancies on their home deck.
Shiel was unbelievable, racking up a team high possession count.
Apart from Ward and Shaw, Shiel is the key figure in this Giants line up and you can just about pin it down that he will have a big game against the Bombers.
He is only fourth on the line of betting in the CrownBet.com.au most disposals group A market at $6, behind Bombers David Zaharakis ($4.25), Brendon Goddard ($5.50) and Zach Merrett ($5.50).
Those men are all proven ball winners, but we feel that Shiel has far more chops than them, considering Zaharakis has been up and down and Goddard has been quite in the past two weeks after a three weeks purple patch over 30 touches.
We’re expecting another 100 point belting for the Bombers and that means the Giants engine room is going to get plenty of it.
Shiel is their best footy finder, so we are backing him in.
As far as the Bombers are concerned, Zaharakis has bitten back at Thompson’s comments on radio.
“I don’t know what Bomber was saying in terms of the game style, because we are trying to execute it,” Zaharakis said.
“We’re just not good enough to do it at the moment.
“There’s definitely not (any resignation) at all.
“We’re definitely not accepting it – we’re trying to win games of footy, but the last two weeks haven’t been great for us as a footy club.
“We’ve dropped away and copped two big losses, but hopefully that’s just two weeks of the year where we’ve had a dip in form.”
We’re not buying it and we reckon the sportsbet.com.au Super Margin of a 100 plus point win at $6.20 has real merit.
GWS does not get to play under the roof at Etihad all that often, but we reckon it will suit their fast paced, good ball users and they will run the pants off the Bombers.
Footy is a struggle for a Bombers’ side that is missing 12 of its best players due to supplements saga suspensions and they are absolutely ripe for the picking for a side which wants to be taken seriously for the first time in its short history.
Match result: Greater Western Sydney wins ($1.03 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Super Margin: Greater Western Sydney by 100 plus points ($6.20 with sportsbet.com.au)
Most disposals Group A: Dylan Shiel ($6 with CrownBet.com.au)
Most disposal markets
Most Disposals Group A:
David Zaharakis ($4.25)
Brendon Goddard ($5.50
Zachary Merrett ($5.50)
Dylan Shiel ($6)
Stephen Coniglio ($6.25)
Callan Ward ($8)
James Kelly ($8)
Heath Shaw ($10)
Most Disposals Group B:
Adam Cooney ($3.75)
Ryan Griffen ($4.25)
Joshua Kelly ($4.25)
Darcy Parish ($5.50)
James Gwilt ($7)
Tom Scully ($10)
Toby Greene ($15)
Craig Bird ($21)
Odds provided by CrownBet.com.au