Essendon have suffered a blow on the eve of their crunch game agaisnt Sydney with Archie Perkins being forced to withdraw, with the second year player ruled out due to a calf injury.

Rookie Ben Hobbs comes into the side to replace him after being listed as an emergency. Hobbs was to be managed this week, however the youngster will now continue to build on his impressive first season.

The change comes alongside the inclusions of Darcy Parish and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher. The other emergencies for the Bombers will be Brayden Ham, Zach Reid and Andrew Phillips.

Perkins has been solid if not spectacular for the Bombers this year, having played 14 games. The former No.9 draft pick averages 13 disposals this season and has kicked 13 goals playing mainly as a high half-forward.

SEE ALSO: Roos forced into late change

Ben Hobbs, Essendon, during the Round 14 AFL match against St Kidla at Marvel Stadium. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

The game shapes as a big test of character coming against a side that completely dominated them in contested possessions just six weeks ago. The Bombers were smashed on the scoreboard as well, losing by 58 points.

The Bombers laid just 30 tackles for the game and were highly criticised, most notably by Luke Parker, who seemed to insinuate they had a lack of desire for the contest at one point. Following the scrutiny, the Dons will be keen to respond.

The game is Parker's 250th in a highly decorated career at the Swans.

Essendon will host Sydney at the MCG on Saturday, with the match to commence at 1:45pm (AEST).