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Match Preview: Gold Coast v Essendon

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 16:Nick Holman of the Suns celebrates kicking a goal  during the 2018 AFL round 13 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the St Kilda Saints at Metricon Stadium on June 16, 2018 in the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason O'Brien/AFL Media)


Essendon's flickering finals chances go on the line against Gold Coast on Saturday night. The Bombers have won five of their past seven matches to be one of the AFL's form teams, but last Sunday's narrow defeat at the hands of Collingwood has seriously jeopardised their finals push. Two games and significant percentage adrift of eighth-placed Hawthorn, John Worsfold's men are walking a tightrope and have no wriggle room – they simply must win, and recent form suggests they should have no worries. Former SUN Adam Saad is in blistering touch ahead of his homecoming, while fellow off-season recruit Devon Smith has been at the forefront of Essendon's mid-season revival, along with the now sidelined Jake Stringer. Gold Coast has lost 10 straight games despite being competitive for good chunks of its past two losses against the Magpies and Kangaroos. With no Tom Lynch in the forward line, the SUNS are struggling to convert.

WHERE AND WHEN: Metricon Stadium, Saturday, July 14, 7.25pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide


R22, 2017, Essendon 12.18 (90) d Gold Coast 9.3 (57) at Metricon Stadium
R21, 2016, Essendon 11.9 (75) d Gold Coast 9.15 (69) at Etihad Stadium
R1, 2016, Gold Coast 17.19 (121) d Essendon 9.6 (60) at Metricon Stadium
R21, 2015, Gold Coast 14.13 (97) d Essendon 14.11 (95) at Metricon Stadium
R22, 2014, Essendon 16.12 (108) d Gold Coast 13.11 (89) at Etihad Stadium


  1. Gold Coast and Essendon clash for the ninth time and the Bombers hold a 6-2 advantage. However, the ledger is square at two apiece at Metricon Stadium.
  2. The Bombers haven't been a favourite of the umpires this season, ranked last for free kicks with 18.3 a game. In the past three weeks they're a combined minus-35 against the opposition (45-80).
  3. Essendon has played an uncontested style of football this season, ranked fifth for uncontested possessions with an average of 236.4. In contrast the SUNS average 190.5.
  4. One of the good stories over the past two years for Gold Coast is ruckman Jarrod Witts, who has climbed to a career-high 78th overall – 10th among ruckmen – on the AFL Player Ratings.


After playing 48 games in three seasons for the SUNS, Adam Saad returns to Metricon Stadium with his new team for the first time. Saad was a fan favourite in his time on the Gold Coast and has made a big impression at the Bombers in his first season.