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Carlton v Essendon Bombers Match Preview and Predictions

Adam Cusworth 11 May 2018
  • Preview and predictions for the Round 8 clash between the Blues and the Bombers

After battling through the early stages of 2018, Carlton and Essendon meet at the MCG on Saturday May 12 in what shapes as a great opportunity for both sides to break through. 

The Bombers head in as favourites against the winless Blues and the action gets underway at 2.10PM. Fox Footy will broadcast the game. 

Match Preview

Things just keep going from bad to worse for Carlton, who have endured their worst start to a season in the 121 year history of the club. Brendan Bolton's side have battled a combination of injury and poor form and are yet to register a win. They come off a 55 point loss at the hands of Adelaide and their losses have come at an average margin of 37 points. 

Essendon have performed slightly better, winning two of their seven games but their output is well down on pre-season predictions and they have dropped their past three. 

Skill errors and over-use of the football continue to be a feature of John Worsfold's side, while a number of key players are out of form, including Joe Daniher, who has booted just eight goals this season, well down on his output from 2017. Daniher will miss this week's game. 

However, the Bombers should have enough depth around the ground to account for the Blues. Michael Hurley is one player that has stood up and will be influential in defensive 50, while Dyson Heppell, Zac Merrett and Andy McGrath can contribute through the midfield. 

Carlton will need to find an answer to their goal kicking woes. They are averaging just 66 points per game this season and their focal points, including Charlie Curnow and Levi Casboult are likely to miss this due to injury. 

Blues fans can head in with some optimism given their side has a respectable recent record against Essendon, while the likes of Patrick Cripps and Kade Simpson are in good form. However, the task at hand does seem to be a big one. 

Team News

Carlton have a stack of injuries at the moment and Levi Casboult and Lachie Plowman are the latest casualties. Both are in doubt. Jacob Weitering is a likely inclusion after starring in the VFL last weekend, while Jack Silvagni is also in line for a recall. 

Essendon may look to make a number of changes. Joe Daniher is a definite out, while Anthony McDonald Tipungwuti has struggled of late and faces the axe. Orazio Fantasia is a chance to return from injury. 


The two sides have split their past five encounters, winning two each and drawing the other. Last year, Carlton defeated Essendon by 15 points in Round 3, before the Bombers turned the tables, winning by eight in Round 20. All of those games have been held at the MCG. 

Dyson Heppell, David Zaharakis and Zach Merrett have been amongst the Dons best in the games between the two sides in recent times, while Matthew Kreuzer, Marc Murphy and Dale Thomas have performed well for the Blues. 

Prediction and Tips

Essendon will be too good and can break through for their third win of the year, extending Carlton's miserable run in the process. 


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Carlton v Essendon Bombers Match Preview and Predictions

Preview and predictions for the Round 8 clash between the Blues and the Bombers

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