Round 4 Preview – Essendon v Port Adelaide: Do the Bombers have the Power to switch on?

Although I am not a betting man, I could not help but notice the odds for this week’s round of football while checking past results and ladder positions on the AFL website.


In particular, the odds for the Essendon v Port Adelaide game interested me. 


Port Adelaide is undefeated with three wins and their current form,  compared to Essendon’s one win and two disappointing loses, suggests  Port  Adelaide should be red-hot favourites to win this game, but the odds do not reflect this.


Playing one good quarter of football enabled Essendon to run over a depleted Crows side in Round 1, but since then, eight disappointing quarters saw them lose by 16 and 21 points respectively. 


Considering the Bombers played poorly in those loses it was fortunate they were not blown away by the opposition on the scoreboard. At times, they were in a position to possibly even win those games.


Maybe, this aspect is at the back of punters’ minds as they consider their bets for this match. Playing poorly and still having a winning chance in those losing games, has suggested to the betting man a win for the Bombers is a possibility if they happen to play well. 


And indeed, we mustn’t forget Essendon’s fabulous win against the Power at Etihad last season.


So what do the Bombers need to do to win?


Firstly, the big forwards need to perform. The team can get the ball forward quickly enough but then it has been rebounding out of defence all far too easily. 


Daniher and Hooker have had little influence in the games played to date, and except for Stewart’s efforts, our forwards have constantly let the team down. Tippa also has been disappointing. He seems to lack confidence at the moment. With a game under his belt, Fantasia will improve after returning from injury. The Bombers need to make the most of their opportunities each time the ball is in their forward fifty.


Secondly, the number of turn-overs have to be reduced. To see experienced players make absolute clangers, through poor decision making or poor ball handling skills, under little or no pressure can be soul destroying for both team and supporter. Improvement must be made here.


The back-line has been under enormous pressure in all games. Both Hurley and Goddard are making uncharacteristic errors, and the subtlety of Ambrose’s importance down back has been recognised, and sorely missed by his absence through injury. 


Mitch Brown has to stand tall this week. The tall Power forwards cannot be given any leeway and when the ball is brought to ground our runners from the backline must be decisive with their defensive skills whilst instigating attack at the same time.


Jake Stringer is not far away from a breakout game with the Bombers, and I believe he’s relieved to finally get that Bulldog game out of his system and can now concentrate his mind fully on playing positive footy for the Bombers.


Bellchambers has been consistent in the ruck, and if the mids can gain an increased advantage from his efforts and move the ball forward more precisely shall provide more scoring opportunities for the team.


Expectations are high for Essendon to achieve greater success this year and some good footy from them is just around the corner. 


With a mindset in the right place and a positive winning attitude then that corner can be turned and success achieved.


It all needs to be switched on against the Power on Sunday




About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.

Leave a Comment