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Match preview: Adelaide v Essendon

Pick a Winner: Adel v Ess Duck and Browny preview the Crows v Bombers

Where and when: Adelaide Oval, Friday, July 19, 7.20pm ACST

TV and radio: Click here for broadcast guide

What it means for Adelaide: Last weekend's 95-point thumping of Gold Coast was a nice confidence boost, but it will count for little if the seventh-placed Crows can't back it up against better competition.

What it means for Essendon: Having won five of their past six games, the in-form Bombers can take another step towards booking a finals berth by knocking off the Crows, who are directly above them on the ladder.

 

The stat: The Crows kicked the highest score in the club's history against the Bombers in round 10, 2006 at Football Park. Trent Hentschel booted eight goals as the Crows smashed the Bombers by 138 points – 30.8 (188) to 6.14 (50).

The match-up: Eddie Betts v Adam Saad

Little separates this pair – Betts is 99th overall while Saad is 101st in the Official AFL Player Ratings. The Bombers defender kept Betts goalless last year, but the Crows veteran is high on confidence after booting six goals against the Suns.

It's a big week for: Rory Sloane

The Crows co-captain will receive close attention from Bombers youngster Dylan Clarke, who added North Melbourne star Ben Cunnington to his list of successful tagging assignments last week. Sloane will have to be creative and have his teammates block for him at stoppages.

Big call: Reilly O'Brien to dominate in the ruck with at least 45 hitouts and 10 clearances.

Prediction: Crows by 15 points

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs