ANTHONY McDonald-Tipungwuti will toss the coin for Essendon on Saturday night against Adelaide in a show of support for Crows superstar Eddie Betts.
Essendon coach John Worsfold expects Betts will be “ready to go” after a difficult week, at the centre of the latest AFL racism row.
Port Adelaide earlier this week banned a member for alleged racist abuse towards Betts on social media after the Showdown.
“No, I don’t think (controversy will affect Betts’ form), I think Eddie will have dealt with it throughout the week but he’ll be ready to go,” Worsfold said.
“It’s sad because he’s such a wonderful person and a great family … but I think (Betts family) will see more love and support out of it than the one piece of anger.”
Captain Dyson Heppell trained away from the main group at Tullamarine, but is expected to take his place in the 22.
Bomber Mark Baguley will get first crack at stopping Betts, but Worsfold would not rule Andrew McGrath or Irishman Connor McKenna playing on the dazzling goalkicker.
After a career-high 75 goals last year, Betts is on track to repeat the dose, booting 10 goals in three games.
“If we can slow down the entry in there and maybe get a bit more help around Baggers when the ball gets there — that will certainly help but in terms of one on one stuff we’ll just expect Baggers to play his game.”
While tagging Adelaide star Rory Sloane remains an option, Worsfold said he would like to see the Bombers’ engine room tested against the Crows.
Zach Merrett has starred in the opening month, while Jobe Watson and Dyson Heppell picked up where they left off in 2015, averaging 29 disposals a game.
“We’re keen to see how our midfield operate as a total unit and take them (Adelaide) on in that regard,” Worsfold said.
The Bombers have “addressed” issues around a lack of “effort” last week which brought them undone against Carlton.
“We’ve learnt a lot (in three games) but we’ve got some big games coming up against some good opposition which will tell us a lot more.
“Our challenge is to get that consistency level better so I’m confident that last week we were just off the boil and we’ll be back up this week.”
Originally published as Tippa, Bombers stand up for Betts
SOURCE: newsnow sport