It looms as another big week at the selection table as Essendon looks to rectify a heavy defeat to Brisbane against Greater Western Sydney at Metricon Stadium on Friday night.

While the Bombers reported a clean bill of health against the Lions, the disappointing performance and a block of three games in one week could see the selection committee make several changes.


They’ll have Kyle Langford back at their disposal, with the big-bodied 23-year-old having served a one-match suspension.

Should they want another big body in midfield, a fresh Mitch Hibberd could be the answer after he was held over as an emergency last week. 

The Bombers might also turn to Dylan Clarke or Matt Guelfi – both named as emergencies last week - to beef up their engine room against the Giants’ star-studded midfield. 

Clarke, who can play a shutdown role, hasn’t featured at senior level this season, while Guelfi’s last game came in round two against the Swans. 

Development coach Leigh Tudor has sung the pair’s praises in recent player reviews from the scratch matches, while Josh Begley has also impressed with his work ethic as he adjusts to a new role in midfield.


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The Bombers last week played two ruckmen for the first time this season, with debutant Sam Draper partnering veteran Tom Bellchambers. 

They might opt for the same look against the Giants or revert to one bona-fide ruckman and recall Shaun McKernan, who can pinch-hit in the ruck and will be fresh after a week off. 

Andrew Phillips is also in the mix to return against his old side.

Going up against Gold Coast ruckman Zac Smith in the scratch match – the Suns had several players fill spots for both sides – Phillips won plenty of centre clearances and covered the ground strongly.

The Bombers have been wary of Conor McKenna’s interrupted preparation as the condensed fixture between rounds 10 and 12 approaches.

Having sat out last week’s clash with the Lions, McKenna played three 20-minute quarters as a forward in the scratch match, kicking two goals and bringing a heap of pressure.

Essendon and GWS will go head-to-head from 7:50pm AEST on Friday, with teams released at 6:20pm AEST on Thursday.