Hawthorn v Collingwood

Source: Michael Klein/foxsports.com.au
Sam Mitchell will be a key man in the Hawk's midfield. Source: Michael Klein/foxsports.com.au
Hawthorn’s  2011 season was brought to end by Collingwood  with their three point preliminary final defeat at the MCG last season and they begin their 2012 campaign against the same opponent, on the same ground on Friday night. Max Bailey is their only injury concern but the Magpies will be without a host of key men, including Nick Maxwell, Alan Didak and Sharrod Wellingham.

Where It Will be Won – Lance Franklin has a great record against Collingwood, having kicked four hauls of five or more goals against them. Tipped to play closer to the middle of the park this year, he could cause real headaches for the Magpies in the middle of the park. Hawks skipper Sam Mitchell  was brilliant last year and his battle with Dane Swan  and Scott Pendlebury  – two of the best players in the competition- could go a long way to determining the outcome of the match.

Prediction – Prior to last year, Hawthorn had a good record against Collingwood, with wins in five of the past six matches between the sides. The Magpies triumphed in both meetings last year, but may struggle in this match with a number of key personnel missing. Hawthorn 1-39

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