Essendon will have spent this week ruing its one-point loss to Sydney last round, after giving up a 19-point lead with less than five minutes to go. That win would have seen the Bombers push ahead to seven wins ahead of their round 15 clash with the Brisbane Lions. Alas, the Bombers will now go into the game aiming to get their ledger back even against the bottom-placed Lions. Chris Fagan's men have been in better form of late, but were still easily beaten last week by Greater Western Sydney, who ran out comfortable 10-goal winners. They pushed Essendon in round two, but will be without skipper Dayne Beams this time around, with an AC joint injury ruling him out for around a month. Beams kicked two goals from 33 disposals in the clubs' clash earlier in the year and will leave a sizeable hole in the Lions' midfield.

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, July 2, 1.10pm AEST

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

R2, 2017, Essendon 17.9 (111) d Brisbane Lions 12.12 (84) at the Gabba
R18, 2016, Brisbane Lions 20.8 (128) d Essendon 12.19 (91) at Etihad Stadium
R8, 2015, Essendon 21.10 (136) d Brisbane Lions 12.6 (78) at Etihad Stadium
R8, 2014, Essendon 9.11 (65) d Brisbane Lions 8.9 (57) at the Gabba
R8, 2013, Brisbane Lions 14.12 (96) d Essendon 12.14 (86) at Etihad Stadium

1. Essendon led by 29 points at half-time in round two before the Lions reduced the deficit to five at three-quarter time and hit the front before the Bombers kicked five final-term goals. Orazio Fantasia kicked a career-best five goals.

2. The Brisbane Lions are the lowest disposal team in 2017 averaging 359.5 a game, which puts them a long way behind the Bombers, who are ranked seventh with 396 a game. The Lions have won the disposal count only three times.

3. The clubs clash for the 44th time and the Bombers hold the advantage with 25 wins to 17 and there's been one draw. Since 2012 it's four wins to two in the Bombers' favour.

4. Essendon's record in home games this year is strong. John Worsfold's side has won five of its home games and lost one, compared to one win in away games and six losses. In home games the Bombers have averaged 109 points compared to 81 points in away contests.

5. The Lions have lost their past three games at Etihad Stadium and eight of their past 10 matches at the venue. But one of the wins was against Essendon in round 18 last season, in a game that ultimately decided the wooden spoon.

6. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is the third highest placed Essendon player in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. The tough and talented small forward is ranked at No.109 overall, having started the season at No.288.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Dayne Zorko
Zorko was held to just five disposals in last week's loss to the Giants, in what was his lowest possession tally in a game since round nine, 2014. Look for him to rebound well.

PREDICTION: Essendon by 32 points