Geelong presents a huge challenge for Essendon this week, with the Cats entering the clash in form and hungry to push further up the ladder. The Bombers, meanwhile, came back to Earth with a thud last week with a 61-point loss to Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval. Essendon's performance followed their breakthrough win over Melbourne at the MCG a week earlier, so there is a big gap between their best and worst in the early stages of this season. Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood led the Cats brilliantly last week in their comfortable win over the Brisbane Lions, and Chris Scott's men will be aiming to continue their strong recent record over the Bombers on Saturday.

New Bombers James Kelly and Mathew Stokes will face former Geelong teammates: Picture: AFL Media

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Saturday, April 16, 1.45pm AEST

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide

R10, 2015, Geelong Cats 19.8 (122) d Essendon 7.11 (53) at Etihad Stadium
R15, 2014, Geelong Cats 13.11 (89) d Essendon 11.14 (80) at Etihad Stadium
R7, 2013, Geelong Cats 17.11 (113) d Essendon 11.19 (85) at Etihad Stadium
R17, 2012, Geelong Cats 20.14 (134) d Essendon 10.7 (67) at Etihad Stadium
R15, 2011, Essendon 18.7 (115) d Geelong Cats 16.15 (111) at Etihad Stadium

1. Geelong has dominated Essendon over a long period, winning the past four contests between the teams and 10 of the past 11. Six of those wins have been 50 points or more.  

2. This could be a blowout. The Cats have averaged 105 points a game while conceding only 77 so far this season. In contrast, the Bombers have averaged just 63 points a game and have conceded, on average, 100 points each week.

3. The clash will be the first 'Country game' between the Bombers and Cats, a marquee contest designed and developed by coaching legend Kevin Sheedy in his role at Essendon.

4. The Cats have been impressive marking the ball inside 50, ranking fourth with nearly 15 a game in the first three weeks. The Bombers have struggled in this area, ranking 14th in the competition with 10.3 a game.

5. Essendon and Geelong haven't played at the MCG since the opening round of 2010, with this just the second MCG clash between the sides since 2005.

6. New Bomber Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is ranked the sixth best first-year player in the competition so far in 2016, according to the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

Mathew Stokes and James Kelly. The Geelong premiership players will face their old team for the first time in Essendon colours.

PREDICTION: Geelong by 52 points