A resurgent Collingwood will make the trip north to take on the struggling Brisbane Lions this Saturday night.
On the back of three successive wins, the Magpies will be confident of leaving Queensland with four premiership points.
Brisbane will also have a sense of confidence going in to Saturday night’s game, with an impressive record against Collingwood at the Gabba, including a win against the Pies in their premiership year of 2010.
Collingwood will be thrilled to have Alan Didak back in the team after an extended lay off due to injury.
Brisbane welcome back Josh Drummond, who missed last weeks match against Essendon, though fellow star Jed Adcock will miss the game with a groin issue.
Brisbane will be looking to feed off the energy that the highly touted debutante Dayne Zorko brings to the side if they want any chance of an upset. In previous weeks, the Lions have looked nothing short of uninterested in their games, which have been reflected in their results.
The Lions will be relying on club legends Jonathan Brown and Simon Black to help raise the standard after what has been a disappointing start to the season.
Collingwood will be looking to continue building up to their best football. Though last week might not have been a typical Collingwood effort, the Pies still did enough to secure the four points against the Bulldogs.
Collingwood would not want to start the game in the same complacent way they did last week, otherwise the Lions may just smell Magpie blood.
As Leigh Matthews said roughly 10 years a go, “if it bleeds, we can kill it”.
If the Lions can make Collingwood bleed early, they may just gain the scent of an upset.
Key Match ups
Jonathan Brown v Nathan Brown
The two unrelated Brown’s will likely go head to head Saturday night in what should be a great match up for neutrals. Jonathan Brown began to recapture some form against the Bombers and will be crucial if the Lions wish for any hope of an upset. Nathan Brown has been excellent since his return on ANZAC day and will likely be given the first crack at the star Lion full forward.
Travis Cloke v Daniel Merrett
The Collingwood CHF is still perhaps the most crucial player in the Collingwood line up. Daniel Merrett will likely be assigned to Cloke and will have to push himself to his physical limits to stay with him for the night. Simply put, if Cloke is dominant, Collingwood will win.
Prediction: Collingwood by 28 points
B: Pearce Hanley, Matt Maguire, Niall McKeever
HB: Mitchell Golby, Joel Patfull, Daniel Rich
C: James Hawksley, Tom Rockliff, Josh Drummond
HF: James Polkinghorne, Jonathan Brown, Todd Banfield
F: Ashley McGrath, Daniel Merrett, Patrick Karnezis
Foll: Billy Longer, Simon Black, Jack Redden
Int: Andrew Raines, Ryan Harwood, Jared Olec, Dayne Zorko
Emg: Bryce Retzlaff, Joshua Green, Jack Crisp
In: Drummond, Hawksley, Raines, McKeever, Dayne Zorko
Out: Jed Adcock (groin), Aaron Cornelius, Ryan Lester (soreness), Ben Hudson (soreness), Jack Crisp
New: Dayne Zorko (Broadbeach QLD)
B: Harry O’Brien, Ben Reid, Nathan Brown
HB: Simon Buckley, Nick Maxwell, Tyson Goldsack
C: Dane Swan, Sharrod Wellingham, Jarryd Blair
HF: Heath Shaw, Chris Dawes, Ben Sinclair
F: Dayne Beams, Travis Cloke, Alan Didak
Foll: Cameron Wood, Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom
Int: Martin Clarke, Lachlan Keeffe, Alan Toovey, Paul Seedsman
Emg: Jackson Paine, Kirk Ugle, Peter Yagmoor
In: Didak, Blair, Seedsman
Out: Johnson (shoulder), Fasolo (knee), Ugle (omitted)
BigFooty Team Board Previews