Bombers out to quell Tigers' Martin, end sorry streak
Essendon players are expected to line up for a crack at taming Richmond's Dustin Martin as the Bombers attempt to beat the Tigers for the first time since 2014.
Martin was at his dynamic best in Richmond's win over Geelong, booting four goals, and shapes as one of the keys to Saturday night's Dreamtime at the G clash.
The Tigers have won their past 13 games against Essendon, who last prevailed in round 11 2014, with Martin regularly feasting on the Bombers.
"Hopefully there are a number of guys who are putting their hand up for the opportunity," coach Brad Scott told reporters on Wednesday.
"We're embracing playing really good opponents. We've had really good opponents the last five or six weeks at least.
"The reality is every game is a tough game for us but playing the top five or six on the ladder has been a great opportunity and we've embraced that as a team and whoever gets to play on Dustin will embrace that opportunity as well."
Defender Jake Kelly had loomed as one option on Martin when he swings forward but remains sidelined with concussion.
Scott was adamant Essendon's losing streak against Richmond wouldn't add any extra pressure.
"The easy answer for me is that was a long time ago, all those things, but the reality is Essendon fans want to beat Richmond and we're going to be doing everything we can to make sure that happens Saturday night," he said.
"No-one likes those sort of streaks against you and we'll be doing everything we can to arrest that."
Scott believed there wasn't anything beyond Richmond's quality that had contributed to the streak and noted Essendon had challenged them in some games.
"Richmond winning three flags through that period is a big part of it. They're just a good team," he said.
"If you go back, I've gone back through a few of those games, then you realise very quickly how irrelevant it is when you look at some of the personnel who are playing in those games - very different teams.
"I probably wasted a fair bit of time looking at it because I thought I'd find some sort of common themes, but there aren't too many that I can see other than Richmond keep winning."
Scott believed Richmond had returned to their ominous best as recruits like Tim Taranto settled.
"When there's changes in personnel, sometimes the system can look a little bit clunky, but they looked back to their best last week," he said.
"The positive about that is we're very clear about what that looks like.
"Countering it is another story altogether."