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Finals come early in AFL betting with Essendon v Hawthorn

Posted on 21/08 by Pom de Turf

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Essendon face a crunch game with Hawthorn on Saturday after they failed to clinch eighth in a loss to Freemantle over the weekend.

The bombers now face a tie which is a final in all but name as AFL betting starts to revolve around the battle for the top eight.

Hawthorn managed a victory over Richmond to set up the round 22 MCG thriller, but Essendon coach Matthew Knights has faith in his side.

Quoted by, he said: "We've given ourselves an opportunity, and we've still got one more roll of the dice next week to make it happen.

"A lot of other sides aren't even involved in a big-time match next week to play finals footy, and we are. That's the way we've got to look at it."

Essendon are still in eighth on 38 points while Hawthorn are in ninth on 36 meaning the next tie is essentially an early finals clash for both.

Hawthorn are at 1.72 for the win with Betfair, while Essendon are at 2.24.

Essendon will go into the game with significant injury headaches - Matthew Lloyd has a heel injury and is a doubt, while ruckman Paddy Ryder has the odds against him and Alwyn Davey is being watched closely thanks to a shoulder problem.

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