This game shapes as a mini final between two clubs on the rise.
This is a crucial game with both sides set to potentially fight for spots in the finals at the end of the season.
The Bombers are backing up after an emotion-charged win over traditional rivals Collingwood on ANZAC Day which gives them a 3-2 record for the season and plenty of reason for optimism about the club since their suspended stars returned.
Melbourne on the other hand find themselves in a sticky 2-3 for the season after blowing a four goal lead at three quarter time against Richmond to lose by 13 points.
The Demons are severely undermanned in the talls department, after losing ruckman Max Gawn and Jake Spencer to injury along with star forward Jess Hogan this week for personal reasons.
The Demons have disappointed so far this year and need to stop the rot with a win. It is well documented that they have a horrible record at Etihad Stadium having won just two of their past 27 games at the venue since Round 10 in 2008.
Melbourne did beat the Saints in Round 1 at Etihad and should take some confidence from that perforamce and they do welcome back Jordan Lewis after his three-game suspension.
Essendon caused one of the upsets of the 2016 season when they defeated Melbourne by 13 points in Round 2 at the MCG, despite the fact the Bombers had a fraction of their team playing.
In that game Bombers midfielder David Zaharakis led the possessions with 34 disposals while Zach Merrett was again magnificent with 32 touches and two goals.
Look for those two players to again find plenty of footy again here and take their over disposal markets with Crownbet.
It is now or never for Melbourne, and we are going to give them one more chance.
If you predict they can regroup and make the finals they are $3.50 with bet365 and $67 to win the premiership.
Jordan Lewis has played once for Melbourne at Etihad Stadium and on that occasion he had 32 possessions, stick with him in the Most Disposals market.
JORDAN LEWIS – PLAYER TO HAVE 30 DISPOSALS OR MORE