Western Bulldogs v Collingwood

Picture: The Daily Telegraph/adelaidenow.com.au
Matthew Boyd is one of the Bulldogs key players. Picture: The Daily Telegraph/adelaidenow.com.au
Fresh of the back of a nail-biting one point win over Essendon in the traditional Anzac Day match at the MCG, Collingwood  will be looking to continue their resurgence when they face the Western Bulldogs  at Etihad Stadium on Friday night. Touted as early premiership favourites, the Magpies have been decimated by injuries at the start of the season and lost to Hawthorn and Carlton in the opening three weeks to find themselves near the bottom of the table. Wins over Port Adelaide and the Bombers have eased the pressure on first year coach Nathan Buckley and he may have Alan Didak, Ben Reid, Dale Thomas and Heath Shaw available for selection.

After opening 2012 with three defeats, the Bulldogs have won their past two, albeit against the winless Melbourne Demons and Greater Western Sydney Giants.

Where It Will be Won – Reigning Brownlow medallist Dane Swan  was back to his best in Collingwood’s win over Essendon on Anzac Day. He and Scott Pendlebury  are two of the competitions elite midfielders and Matthew Boyd , Ryan Griffen  and co will have to be at their best to win enough clearances to limit their impact on the game.

Prediction – After a slow start to the season, Collingwood may just be getting back to their best. The last meeting between these sides resulted in a 48 point win for the Magpies, in round six last season. Against a poor Bulldogs outfit and with several key players likely to return, they may just be able to record a similarly easy success. Collingwood 40+

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