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The benefit of the 'unknown'

Simon Conway  August 11, 2017 11:47 AM

BTV: RD 21 | Team Selection John Worsfold takes us through the team to face the Crows in Round 21.

A little bit of the ‘unknown’ could help the Bombers in their clash against the ladder leading Crows on Saturday night, according to Performance Coach Mark Harvey.

Essendon has made five changes while Adelaide is unchanged from the side that thrashed Port Adelaide in the Showdown last week.

Matt Dea, James Kelly, Matthew Leuenberger, Andrew McGrath and Jayden Laverde are back for the Dons.

While Zach Merrett (suspension), Orazio Fantasia (hamstring), Tom Bellchambers (foot), Mark Baguley (rested) and Michael Hartley will watch on from the sidelines.

“Five changes isn’t ideal but sometimes that can be a bit of a strength of the team – a little bit of the unknown factor,” Mark Harvey told SEN.

“Most of the guys we’ve brought in have got good experience and have been in and around the team from a selection point of view.

“From a defensive point of view, Matt Dea has been waiting for his chance and we’ll have a match-up for him down there.

“And we bring in McGrath and Kelly who have played all year in the defensive unit.

“From an experience point of view it won’t be an issue.”

Essendon went down by 65 points when the sides met in round four.

Adelaide kicked nine goals in the opening quarter and had 15 on the board by half time, but Harvey said the Bombers learned a lot form the match.

“They are obviously a very high scoring team,” Harvey said.

“We played them earlier this year and they put us away early in the game, therefore we were on the back foot in many ways.

“It will be a different story on Saturday night.

“Hopefully we have 50,000 people there for a start and they’re all there to see Jobe in one of the few games he’s got left.

“We’re a fast starting team ourselves, we’ve had a look closely … you’d like to think we can score against them and change their mindset.

“Make them think about coming from behind on the scoreboard early and see what happens from there.”

Harvey also welcomed James Hird's decision to accept an AFL invite to present this season's Norm Smith Medal.

“The more that Hirdy does of things like this, the better he’s going to be for it,” Harvey said.

“It’s good to see the AFL igniting that relationship.”