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AFL: Bombers and Bulldogs battle for finals

Eighth takes on seventh at Marvel Stadium on Friday night with Essendon and the Western Bulldogs both battling to make finals.

Just four points separate Essendon in eighth spot and the Gold Coast Suns down in 13th, so the race to make the top eight could not be much tighter.

It puts even more importance on the Friday night game, and whoever wins will take a significant step towards playing finals.

The loser will be looking anxiously over their shoulder at the chasing pack, which includes Carlton, who have just won four games on the bounce.

Friday night footy is always prime time and the Bombers and Bulldogs now have the chance to put on a show.

WhatEssendon v Western Bulldogs
WhereMarvel Stadium, Melbourne
When19:50 (AEST), Friday 21st July, 2023
How to watchChannel 7, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsEssendon 2.15, Western Bulldogs 1.72

Bombers must bounce back

Essendon are in need of a big response after being hammered 122-45 against Geelong on Sunday.

Indeed their form over the last five rounds has not be great, winning just two of them. They have still managed to hang on to eighth spot, but won’t do for much longer unless there is a big improvement.

Essendon are priced at 1.72 to make the top eight and make a return to finals, after missing out last season.

They did shine in their last game at Marvel Stadium when beating another finals rival, Adelaide Crows, by 18 points.

Kyle Langford booted three goals in that game and is priced at 12.00 to kick the first on Friday night.

The Bombers will be confident about coming out on top on Friday night but there will not be much in it and they can be backed at 6.00 to win by 1-12 points.

Bulldogs look to snap losing streak

The Bulldogs have a good record against the Bombers when winning two of the last three games between the two sides.

However, those games were on home soil and they are not in great form just now after losing the last two games on the bounce.

They were on the wrong end of a thriller last weekend when going down by just two points against Sydney Swans, while Collingwood beat them by 12 points in the game before.

The Bulldogs look to have a favourable run-in for the rest of the regular season and they have a great chance to kick on and cement their place in the eight.

Essendon will be a tough test however and they will need to be at the top of their game.

Captain Marcus Bontempelli continues to lead by example this season. The midfielder is averaging 27.2 disposals a game and could do with the same again.

Aaron Naughton also remains a big threat with 35 goals, averaging just over two a game, and he is priced at 7.50 to kick the first on Friday night.

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