Where and when: Metricon Stadium, Sunday July 28, 4.40pm AEST

TV, radio and online: Click here for broadcast guide 

What it means for Gold Coast: The SUNS took a small step in the right direction with a consistent effort against Carlton. They need to be better again against Essendon in front of a home crowd at Metricon Stadium.

What it means for Essendon: One of the hottest teams in the competition, the Bombers need to keep their foot down. Teams jostling for the top eight can't lose momentum at this time of the year.

The stat: Gold Coast's recent losses have been the result of poor defensive showings for four full quarters. The SUNS have conceded an average of 104 points a game during that stretch and will need to find a way to limit Essendon’s scoring to win.

The match-up: Jarrod Witts v Shaun McKernan/Zac Clarke
With Essendon still missing the injured Tom Bellchambers, the battle between Witts and McKernan and Clarke in the rucks looms large. Gold Coast must take advantage of its co-captain's dominance around the stoppages to help halt the Bombers' run.

It’s a big week for: Sean Lemmens
Going into his third game back since injury, the reliable Lemmens could be given the role of shutting down former SUN Adam Saad from running free off half-back.

Big call: Gold Coast to lead at quarter-time