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Pros and cons: 2019 fixture

Essflix fixture reveal 2019 Browse through Essflix for the Bomber's 2019 fixture. reporter Ben Collins has looked at the best parts and biggest challenges of our 2019 fixture.

PROS: The Bombers gain a third marquee game as North Melbourne's opponent on Good Friday, and by virtue of their expected rise up the ladder they have been returned to prime-time with a slew of Thursday and Friday night games. They have six road trips, which are generally well spread.

CONS: Dons coach John Worsfold will need to have his team hardened for a challenging opening with six-day breaks leading into rounds two (St Kilda), three (Melbourne) and five (North Melbourne), along with the round six Anzac Day blockbuster against Collingwood, with the Pies to have an extra day's break. They then have a five-day break before their round eight clash with Sydney at the SCG.

PLAY TWICE: Collingwood, Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney, North Melbourne, Sydney

BYE: Round 12

FIRST FOUR WEEKS: Greater Western Sydney (a), St Kilda (h), Melbourne (a), Brisbane (h)

MAKE OR BREAK: If the Dons are to be a force next year it seems they will need to capitalise on a chance to build momentum from round 19 to 22 with games against Gold Coast (away), Port Adelaide (home), Western Bulldogs (home) and Fremantle (away).

NO SHIELDING SHIEL: Essendon's boom recruit Dylan Shiel will face his Giants mates in round one.

WE SAY: All roads point to a big season for the Bombers and this is reflected in the AFL's decision to schedule them in three Thursday night games and five on Fridays. The Dons have happily received another big game in the form of the Good Friday game in round five to go with Anzac Day against Collingwood in round six, the Country Game against Geelong in round seven and the Dreamtime at the 'G against Richmond in round 10. Their bottom line will be boosted by home games at the MCG against Collingwood and Carlton and another at Marvel Stadium against Hawthorn after their mid-season bye.


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