Originally published on afl.com.au
Port Adelaide will be keen to remain in touch with the top four with a win over Essendon, having not strung together consecutive wins since its round six victory over the Brisbane Lions. The Power opened round 11 with a barnstorming win over Hawthorn to record a 51-point thrashing that left them with six wins after 10 games. With a game in hand given their earlier bye due to the China voyage, Port sits in a strong position as other sides head into their bye rounds. This is Essendon's last game before its break next week. The Bombers were competitive against Greater Western Sydney last week but have now lost more games than they have won, meaning they will start the round a win out of the top eight and needing a victory to keep in reach of a finals berth. Essendon has played some brilliant football this season but has also had big dips. Which Bombers outfit will we see on Saturday night?
WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, June 10, 7.25pm AEDT
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
LAST FIVE TIMES
R3, 2016, Port Adelaide 17.10 (112) d Essendon 7.9 (51) at Adelaide Oval
R17, 2015, Port Adelaide 20.9 (129) d Essendon 17.14 (116) at Etihad Stadium
R16, 2014, Essendon 8.14 (62) d Port Adelaide 7.18 (60) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2013, Essendon 18.10 (118) d Port Adelaide 12.16 (88) at Etihad Stadium
R16, 2012, Essendon 19.13 (127) d Port Adelaide 11.11 (77) at AAMI Stadium
THE SIX POINTS
1. Port Adelaide had the game wrapped up at half-time when the teams played in 2016. The Power kicked 11 goals to four in the first half, including seven in the opening term. Robbie Gray had 30 disposals and two goals.
2. Essendon's inside-50 struggles continue, ranking 16th in the competition. The Bombers have won the inside-50 count only once so far, but the forward line is efficient – they are ranked eighth for inside-50 marks and are averaging 92 points a game.
3. The Power continue to be a strong defensive team, conceding on average just 72 points a game. They have won 29 quarters this season (the equal best in the AFL) and are scoring 108 points on average.
4.Nothing separates the sides at Etihad Stadium. They have evenly split their 12 contests at the venue, but Essendon has won three of the past four. This will be Port's only home and away game at Docklands this year.
5. It's hard to see Port getting blown out of the water despite Essendon's ability to score. Three of the Power's four losses have been by less than three goals.
6. Charlie Dixon's good form has seen his stocks rise in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. The former Gold Coast forward started the season ranked 187th but has leapt to 106th overall.
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …. Paddy Ryder.
The Power ruckman is in some of the best form of his career, averaging 33 hit-outs a game so far this season. He comes up against his former side in brilliant touch so will need to be stopped if Essendon is to shut down the Power.
PREDICTION: Port Adelaide by 22 points
Port travels to Essendon on Friday 9 June following its final captain's run at Alberton Oval at around 8.30am. The club then plays the Dons at Etihad Stadium on Saturday 10 June at 7.25pm AEST.