Saturday AFL

Picture: Michael Klein/Herald Sun
Lenny Hayes has been in great form for St Kilda. Picture: Michael Klein/Herald Sun
Collingwood  will be out to cement their place in the top four when they face St Kilda  at the MCG on Saturday night, and there cause will be boosted by the return of several big name players. Dale Thomas, Sharrod Wellingham and Steele Sidebottom all missed last week’s 120 point win over GWS but will return this weekend, as will number one ruckman Darren Jolly.

With three wins from their past four matches, St Kilda is closing in on a place in the top eight and will remain in finals contention with a win here. Last week’s 76 point drubbing of the Western Bulldogs will have been a big confidence booster ahead of the run in, but Collingwood at the MCG is a completely different proposition to the struggling Bulldogs.

Where It Will be Won – After missing all of the 2011 season with a serious knee injury, Lenny Hayes  has returned as good as ever this season and the Saints midfield looks much classier with him in it. Alongside Nick Dal Santo , Hayes will have the tough task of controlling the stoppages against the Magpies elite. Dane Swan  and Scott Pendlebury  are once again having stellar seasons and will punish St Kilda if they allow them too much of the ball.

Prediction – St Kilda hasn’t beaten Collingwood in the past five matches between the sides, with Collingwood winning on four occasions, while one game ended in a draw. With a host of big names players returning to the AFL this week, the Magpies will be tough to hold out from here on in and should have too much class for the Saints. Collingwood 1-39

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