It’s been a controversial week from both teams, with Collingwood unfortunately having to deal with yet another video doing the rounds, this time of Jack Crisp, whereas Brisbane have their own form issues and a key-forward under pressure to deal with.
Who wins the clash of two potential top 4 teams? We preview it below.
Collingwood are absolutely flying at the moment and Craig McRae deserves the title of the best coach currently in the AFL. The Pies are simply Box Office and play one of the best brands of footy we’ve seen in the past 20 years.
Jordan De Goey’s move into the midfield has made him a Brownlow medal contender alongside the young phenom that is Nick Daicos. The big question going into tonight’s game will be the ruck position for the Magpies.
With Darcy Cameron suffering a PCL injury and Mason Cox also out with a hematoma, ruck duties will be shared amongst Billy Frampton, Dan McStay and young forward Ash Johnson. If the Pies can at least break even against a talented Lions midfield, they have more than a chance at finishing the game on top.
Brisbane were extremely disappointing last Thursday night against the Bulldogs, with their main forwards in Eric Hipwood, Charlie Cameron, and Joe Daniher only combining for 2 goals between them.
The Lions are a much better side up at the Gabba (when the lights are on) and will be out to prove that they are indeed a premiership threat.
Harris Andrews has returned to his best form since being named co-captain alongside Lachie Neale, with Andrews easily the Lions best player last Thursday night at Marvel Stadium. With Dan McStay likely to spend significant time in the ruck, expect another high intercept game for Andrews.
Oscar McInerney vs Dan McStay, Billy Frampton, Ash Johnson
With Darcy Fort being omitted, Brisbane will be expecting a dominant game from the ‘Big O’.
The 3 pronged ruck attack that Collingwood look to be putting up against McInerney will try and use their athleticism around the ground and try and run the big fella off his feet, but first use of the ball will without a doubt go the Lions way.
Joe Daniher vs Darcy Moore
As talked about this on the debut episode of ‘The Third Man Up’ podcast with Spida Everitt, the gap between Daniher’s best footy and his worst is one of the biggest in the competition.
Darcy Moore hasn’t had the disposals like his previous years, but his leadership and ability to beat his man in the contest has been simply superb.
Over his career at Essendon and Brisbane, Daniher averages more goals per game against Collingwood than any other side in the competition.
In – Jaxon Prior
Out – Darcy Fort (Omitted), Noah Answerth (Sub)
In – Reef McInnes
Out – Darcy Cameron (PCL 8-10 Weeks), Josh Carmichael (Sub)
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Josh Dunkley – Dunkley looks to be building into this season nicely for the Lions and will be only better off since playing against his old side last week. With McInerney likely to win majority of the hit-outs, expect Dunkley and Neale to both get 25+ possessions. ‘Dunks’ loves a Thursday and Friday night game, let’s hope he gets back to his best fantasy wise.
Nick Daicos – The kids a freak. It’s been clear early in the season that Collingwood want the ball in the young superstar’s hands as much as possible. I’d be a little worried about a potential of a tag however, and wouldn’t be surprised to see Jarrod Berry or even Dayne Zorko give the young lad some physical attention tonight. If they do, good luck boys, you’re going to need it.
Prediction: If it was at the MCG – Pies by 30+ pts, but because of the home ground advantage, I’m going with an upset to start the round.
Lions by 16pts