Buddy Franklin is getting another shot against his all-time bunnies Essendon as unbeaten Sydney hosts a fascinating Thursday night clash to kick off Round 4.
The Swans (3-0, 142.9%) have been the bolters of the 2021 season, surging into top four calculations after knocking off Brisbane and Richmond. Tonight Franklin plays his first game against Essendon since 2018; he has kicked 70 goals in 16 matches against them (average 4.4).
The Bombers (1-2, 107.2%) got their season back on track last week by demolishing St Kilda, with Cale Hooker and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti both ranking in the top 10 of the Coleman Medal heading into the weekend.
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There were no late changes for either side, with James Bell (Sydney) and David Zaharakis (Essendon) the subs.
Essendon coach Ben Rutten said pre-game on Fox footy young backman Brandon Zerk-Thatcher would spend plenty of time on Franklin, given Buddy’s usual man Cale Hooker is playing up forward, but Aaron Francis got the job from the opening bounce.
Jake Stringer, a week after kicking four goals in his return, gave the Bombers the opening major before Buddy kicked his first of the night.
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New for the 2021 season, each team will name a 23rd man as the medical sub one hour before the bounce. This player can be brought into the game to replace an injured teammate.
This match got underway at 7:20 pm AEST from the SCG.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 504) or streaming on Kayo.
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