This shapes as a clash between two of the competition's in-form teams. Both Fremantle and Essendon are undefeated and have been extremely impressive in their two wins to date, Freo most notably in defeating their highly fancied cross-town neighbours, West Coast, and the Bombers upsetting Adelaide on its home ground, AAMI Stadium. Essendon has a poor record in Perth, but beat Freo there last season. However, Fremantle looks a tougher proposition this season, with Ross Lyon's trademark defensive pressure now seemingly ingrained in his players. Freo looks to have the edge at home, but the Bombers' newfound midfield depth means they cannot be discounted.
WHERE AND WHEN: Patersons Stadium, Friday April 12, 6.40pm
LAST FIVE TIMES
R13, 2012, Essendon 17.11 (113) d Fremantle 14.5 (89) at Patersons Stadium
R12, 2011, Fremantle 15.8 (98) d Essendon 9.10 (64) at Patersons Stadium
R2, 2010, Fremantle 17.11 (113) d Essendon 9.15 (69) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2009, Fremantle 21.15 (141) d Essendon 13.9 (87) at Patersons Stadium
R2, 2009, Essendon 16.13 (109) d Fremantle 10.11 (71) at Etihad Stadium
THE SIX POINTS
1. Essendon defeated Fremantle the last time the teams met, winning by 24 points in round 13 last season at Patersons Stadium, with Michael Hurley kicking a career-high six goals.
2. In that 2012 clash, the Bombers won the possession count 382-360, took more marks and won the hit-outs, but laid fewer tackles.
3. Fremantle has won three of its past four clashes with Essendon, but since 2008 the ledger sits at three wins apiece.
4. The teams have met at Patersons Stadium 12 times previously, with Fremantle holding a 7-5 edge. Essendon has won seven of its 28 games at the venue, including just one of its past seven.
5. Friday night's game will be the 27th contest between the teams, with Essendon having won 17 of those contests to Freo's nine.
6. The first time Fremantle and Essendon met on a Friday night was in round two, 1995, at the WACA, which was Freo's first home game.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs