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Match preview: Richmond v Essendon

Pick a Winner: Rich v Ess Duck and Browny preview the Tigers v Lions

SUMMARY
The Tiger train rolls on and into round 22 in enviable shape. On top of the ladder with breathing room to spare and boasting an almost non-existent injury list, it's sunny skies at Punt Road after they shelved their poor interstate run with a hefty away win over Gold Coast on Saturday. They were even afforded the luxury of "managing" ruckman Toby Nankervis last week with the big man carrying a minor corked quad that would have benefitted from a rest. For the Bombers, a finals appearance is possible when it comes to crunching the numbers but they need plenty of things to go their way. A loss to the Tigers will end the dream despite their recent form that has seen them win seven of their last nine games. Captain Dyson Heppell will line up for his 150th AFL game in a game the Bombers will hope keeps their season alive. 

WHERE AND WHEN: the MCG, Friday, August 17, 7.50pm AEST 
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R11, 2018, Richmond 17.12 (114) d Essendon 6.7 (43) at the MCG
R10, 2017, Richmond 11.15 (81) d Essendon 10.6 (66) at the MCG
R17, 2016, Richmond 16.6 (102) d Essendon 11.17 (83) at the MCG
R10, 2016, Richmond 16.9 (105) d Essendon 10.7 (67) at the MCG
R22, 2015, Richmond 10.14 (74) d Essendon 7.5 (47) at the MCG

THE SIX POINTS

1. The Tigers led by four goals at the first change back in round 11 but it was after half-time they really put the Bombers to the sword with eight goals to two after the main break to win Dreamtime at the 'G by 71 points.

2. Expect some forward half heroics this week. The Tigers are ranked second in the competition for marks inside 50 this season with an average of 13.3 per game, while the Bombers are third with 12.8.

3. But, things will be tough for the Bombers in attack. The miserly Tigers are the highest ranked defensive side with an average of only 70 conceded per game, while the Bombers have given up an average of 83.

4. It's been a while since Bomber fans have sung their song at the end of a clash with the Tigers. They last beat them in round 11, 2014, having lost their last seven head-to-heads.

5. A victory for the Tigers will be the first time since 1982 they have won 17 games during the home and away season.

6. It's been quite a season for Shane Edwards. He's ranked No.1 in the competition in the midfielder/forward category, second overall at the club, and 18th from all players in the League when it comes to Schick AFL Player Ratings. 

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR…
It'll be hard for Jack Riewoldt to replicate his goalkicking feats of last week where he bagged 10 goals, but he still might have reason to celebrate booting a snag – or five. Riewoldt will go into the game on 595 goals, meaning he needs a handful to become just the fourth Tiger to reach 600.

PREDICTION: Richmond by 33 points.