Aussie Rules

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Crows wary of Bomber attacker in AFL

Adelaide's defenders have earmarked stopping Essendon livewire Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti as a key to victory in Friday night's AFL fixture.

Crows stalwart Daniel Talia says curtailing McDonald-Tipungwuti is looming large in planning for the Adelaide Oval encounter.

"McDonald-Tipungwuti is the one, he kicked four (goals) last week and the game-winner," Talia told reporters on Thursday.

"His ability to use the ball inside the forward 50 is really impressive as well so we're going to have to keep an eye on him."

But Talia said McDonald-Tipungwuti's attacking sidekick James Fantasia also needed attention in the finals-shaping clash.

"Fantasia seems to get four or five shots at goal every game," he said.

"We're going to have to be really good defensively to stop those two."

The Crows hold seventh spot on the ladder by percentage from the eighth-placed Bombers.

Adelaide and Essendon are both just one win behind fifth-placed Richmond, but also just a win ahead of Port Adelaide (ninth) and Western Bulldogs (10th).

"There is probably 12 clubs that feel they can make finals and feel like they're a shot of winning it," Talia said.

"But you have got to get there (finals) first.

"We're under no illusion, we have got to play some better footy and beat some good teams so tomorrow night is the start of that."

The Bombers have won four of their past five games while Adelaide thrashed Gold Coast last weekend on the rebound from consecutive losses to Port Adelaide and Geelong.

"We were really poor in the Showdown and it was unacceptable," Talia said of the 57-point loss to Port.

"We're going to have to bring a lot better effort tomorrow night to get the win against a good team.

"We played well last week and we have got to keep that form against a top-eight team in Essendon."

Adelaide expect linkman Tom Lynch to return for the first time since suffering a calf injury in the round 11 pre-game warm-up.

Backmen Brodie Smith (virus), Alex Keath (ankle) and Luke Brown (back) were also tipped to recover from their ailments and play against the Bombers.

--End of article--

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