Collingwood will make the dreaded trip to the west to face West Coast in a game that could have significant ramifications on the final ladder positions.
If the Pies can get over the line they will secure their place in the top 4. However if the Eagles can knock off the Pies then the door is still open for them to sneak into the top 4.
West Coast are coming off an easy win against Port Adelaide. They barely had to break into a sweat kicking 8 goals to 1 in the first half. Their focus would have turned to this week very quickly.
Collingwood, on the other hand were shown up by North Melbourne. The Pies put in one of their worst performances of the year against a very impressive opposition.
West Coast came away from last week relatively unscathed, but Adam Selwood may be in doubt after being subbed off for concussion. The Eagles will be hoping to welcome back Matt Rosa and maybe even Josh Kennedy after his return in the WAFL last week.
The Magpies may also be set for a raft of changes, Dane Swan will be an automatic inclusion after his internal suspension. Also Ben Johnson may return after a solid run in the VFL.
There could be some big outs as well, Nick Maxwell was subbed out last week and may not pull up. There are also questions about the health of Darren Jolly and Scott Pendlebury copped a knock to the knee at training so doubt will surround his selection up until the last minute.
What West Coast Will Want To See
The Eagles will want to dominate the clearances, this was one of the reasons why North won last week and the Eagles have the ability to pull it off.
With Cox and Natinui in the ruck and the likes of Kerr, Shuey and Selwood on the ground they are cable of matching the Collingwood midfield.
Quick ball movement into a tall forward line is a must. This was yet another area where the Kangaroos exposed the Pies and if Kennedy is included the Eagles will have an even bigger forward line.
What Collingwood Want To See
What the Pies will not want to see is any reminiscence of last week’s performance. It is not a finals standard of football and will get them nowhere this week.
They will also need to get a good start. There has been plenty said about the Patersons stadium crown but one thing is for certain, if the Eagles gain any ascendency the crowd will drive them home.
Last and maybe most importantly they need Cloke and Dawes to fire. West Coast have no shortage of firepower and these two are Collingwood’s only answer. Surely they have to come good some time?
Collingwood have and excellent record on the road winning 9 of their last 10. However this time the are coming off a belting and may come in without key players.
West Coast are primed for this game and are desperate for that second chance. They should be too good and set up an intriguing final round.
West Coast by 14