Port Adelaide's falling finals hopes may rest on this game, with the Power sitting 12th on the ladder after last week's three-point loss to Adelaide. Ken Hinkley's side has struggled for any consistency this season, after entering the year as one of the premiership favourites. At 6-9 after 16 rounds reaching September is a difficult task, but it is not beyond the talented team that made last year's preliminary finals. A youthful Essendon outfit couldn't last with a more experienced North Melbourne unit last week, but the priorities have changed for James Hird and his men, with a number of younger players blooded in recent weeks in a look to the future.

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, July 25, 7.20pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide


R16, 2014, Essendon 8.14 (62) d Port Adelaide 7.18 (60) at Adelaide Oval
R15, 2013, Essendon 18.10 (118) d Port Adelaide 12.16 (88) at Etihad Stadium
R16, 2012, Essendon 19.13 (127) d Port Adelaide 11.11 (77) at AAMI Stadium
R2, 2012, Essendon 16.11 (111) d Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) at Etihad Stadium
R23, 2011, Essendon 17.18 (120) d Port Adelaide 17.11 (113) at Etihad Stadium

1. David Zaharakis was best on ground the last time these sides met, 30 possessions, seven tackles and later the three Brownlow Medal votes. Robbie Gray starred for the Power with 30 touches and one goal.

2. Essendon and Port Adelaide meet for the 26th time and the Power holds the advantage winning 14 games to 11.

3. The Bombers are the worst centre clearance team in 2015, averaging only 10.2 a game. They’re also ranked last for hit-outs per game with only 34.6.

4. This will be the first time Paddy Ryder has played against Essendon since defecting from the club last year. Contracted to the Bombers at the time, the trade request created plenty of discussion before the deal was sealed.

5. Since round nine Essendon has lost six of seven games, the second worst record in the competition in that time; their average score per game in those seven matches has been only 60 points.

6. Port skipper Travis Boak rose to 10th overall in the Official AFL Player Ratings following his excellent game last week against Adelaide. Boak collected 32 disposals, seven tackles and two goals.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Ollie Wines. With many of the Bombers' first-choice and experienced midfielders out, it is a chance for Wines to run riot in the middle with his contested ballwinning.

PREDICTION: Port Adelaide by 16 points