Dane Swan returns from a heel injury against the Demons on Monday. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Melbourne v Collingwood
Monday June 9 – 3:20 PM (AEST)
Melbourne and Collingwood face off on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday at the MCG to wrap up Round 12.
The Demons have been the AFL’s biggest improvers this year and they gave competition leaders Port a run for their money in Alice Springs last week. Melbourne led halfway through the final quarter before the Power ran away with it, but Paul Roos’ side is starting to show glimpses of class. Chris Dawes missed that match through suspension, but the key forward will come straight into the squad for the Pies clash. Although their gutsy efforts have been applauded, the Demons must start producing results. They’re only one loss from the bottom of the table, and with some of the teams below them starting to find their feet, it might not be too long before they find themselves favourites to take out the wooden spoon.
Collingwood have been hit hard in recent weeks with injuries and suspensions, but they continue to cruise along even with some big names missing. Last week they were without inspirational midfielder Dane Swan and still managed to thrash St Kilda by 86 points. That win was Collingwood’s sixth from their past seven matches and they look certain to make it seven out of eight on Monday. Dane Swan returns from a heel injury which ruled him out last week, but the Pies lose Nick Maxwell due to a calf injury. Steele Sidebottom will commence a three-week suspension after he was found guilty of rough conduct after a bump on St Kilda’s Maverick Weller.
Melbourne’s recent head-to-head record with the Pies doesn't read well. Since their draw in 2010, Melbourne have conceded defeat in all matches by an average of 71 points. They may be improving, but it will take a minor miracle for them to outgun the Pies in this one.