2022 AFL Round 18: Essendon vs Gold Coast Preview & Betting Tips

Essendon and Gold Coast are two sides full of confidence after taking epic victories last weekend, so it only seems fitting that they clash at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.

This meeting in Round 18 will determine whether Gold Coast can compete for a top eight spot, while Essendon is all about creating hopes for a better 2023.

Remember that Before You Bet will preview every game of the 2022 AFL season, so be sure to check out our AFL Tips page for regular updates.

Essendon vs Gold Coast Betting Tips

Marvel Stadium, Sunday 17e July, 4:40 PM (AEST)

Essendon

Injuries: Kaine Baldwin, Nik Cox, Tom Cutler, Aaron Francis, Darcy Parish, Archie Perkins, Devon Smith, Tex Wanganeen

Darcy Parish has ongoing problems with a calf injury that will leave him missing at least a few more weeks. As a result, Essendon’s midfield depth will be further tested.

Wins against St Kilda, Sydney and Brisbane were examples of the Essendon we saw in 2021 that was missing most of this campaign. The young Bombers have seemingly regained their spark, although it will be a case of too little too late for the fans. Essendon should really be playing for a top eight spot at this point in the season, but it shouldn’t be. However, with the right adjustments, I could see a reversal of fortune next season. Peter Wright has been a fantastic target all season, while Dylan Shiel and Jye Caldwell have given Essendon’s midfield a depth that has been lacking until now. In the back there is a lot of talent and run, a valuable asset in the modern game.

Gold Coast

Injuries: Malcolm Rosas (out), Connor Budarick, Alex Davies, Joel Jeffrey, Ben King, Wil Powell, Bodhi Uwland, Lachie Weller

The Suns are still missing many key players, most of whom give their best in the back half of the field. Little striker Rosas will miss this game with a hamstring injury.

Finally, after consecutive weeks of heartbreak, Gold Coast scored a deserved victory in a thriller against the Tigers at Metricon Stadium. A set shot from star midfielder Noah Anderson has kept their season alive for another week, but the Suns just need to keep winning to stay in the equation. It’s always an uphill task for a young team to travel interstate and win, but the Bombers are a softer target than most, so Gold Coast should definitely be confident. It helps that Jack Lukosius is sidelined again, and that mercurial forward Izak Rankine returns for this match.

Match Prediction

This is a fascinating match, which I find difficult to predict.

Essendon has not lost to Gold Coast in their last six encounters; Gold Coast, however, has had a better season.

Marvel Stadium means home field advantage for the Bombers, which could be a deciding factor, but the indoor arena hasn’t had too much of a fear of the Suns lately.

This one can really go in all directions, so I’ll give a good tip under the roof.

Any team with less than 24.5 points

$1.78 (3 units)

Prop Bets

Merrett has recently risen in the absence of Darcy Parish and amassed 31 touches in last week’s win against Brisbane. His main competitor in Group A is Touk Miller, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Essendon could send a tagger to the Gold Coast star, similar to how they took out Lachie Neale last weekend.

Zach Merrett top-selling Group A ($2.65 at Ladbrokes)

Guelfi, an often unnoticed role player, has quietly worked his way to ten goals this season, six of them in his last four games. Essendon should get a lot of looks at goal on Sunday, so these chances are too good to pass up.

Matt Guelfi Anytime Goalscorer ($1.80 at Ladbrokes)