AFL Betting: Bombers more than flying
Essendon have the personnel to limit the opportunities of Clark and Howe and the structures remain in place, no matter the challenges that are issued
It's either evidence of Essendon's meteoric rise or Melbourne's sharp decline, but going into their AFL match this weekend, David Murdoch reminds you that this time last year Melbourne were able to spank the Bombers by more than five goals.
The Bombers are now cruising in the rarefied atmosphere of the top of the ladder, while Melbourne are rooted to the bottom and continue to be forced to fend off claims of a falling-out between senior players and coach Mark Neeld after nine straight losses.
Whatever the genesis of Melbourne's malaise, it's nothing a couple of wins wouldn't wipe away.
This will not happen against the Bombers, so it's not a matter of 'if' the Demons will lose, but by how much.
* Melbourne have lost their last nine matches by an average of 57 points
* Melbourne have lost their last six matches at MCG by an average of 44 points
* Melbourne have lost seven of their last nine matches on the line
The line was at 51 for Melbourne's last game against Carlton and after showing plenty of fight up until half-time, where they trailed by just 13 points, they conceded seven goals in the final quarter to lose by 58 and sink further into the mire.
The Bombers are staring at five straight wins for the first time in eight years, but the question remains whether or not they possess the energy to take the Demons to the cleaners by more than 10 goals.
If Jeremy Howe and Mitch Clark can be kept quiet in the Melbourne forward line, the answer is yes.
Essendon have the personnel to limit the opportunities of Clark and Howe and the structures remain in place, no matter the challenges that are issued.
The Bombers do tend to save their best for the best, so I don't expect them to chalk-up massive numbers in bringing an end to their two-game losing streak against Melbourne.