West Coast v Collingwood

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Dane Swan returns for Collingwood this weekend. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
West Coast  host Collingwood  at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night, needing a win to keep their hopes of a top four finish alive. Currently in fifth, they can go ahead of the fourth placed Magpies on percentage with a win in this crucial clash. If Collingwood win, they will guarantee themselves an all-important second chance in September.

The return of Josh Kennedy to the Eagles forward line for the first time since suffering a serious ankle in round five is a huge boost for the home side, which also gets Matt Rosa back. Brownlow medallist Dane Swan returns following a club imposed two week ban and Ben Johnson is back after a shoulder reconstruction, but skipper Nick Maxwell and ruckman Darren Jolly have been ruled out.

Where It Will be Won – Collingwood boasts one of, if not the best midfield in the competition, with Scott Pendlebury , Dane Swan and Dayne Beams  in their ranks. West Coast has some elite players of their own however, and Matt Priddis  and Daniel Kerr  are able to match it with the best on their day. Whether or not they can capitalise on the work of the competitions premier ruck duo – Dean Cox and Nic Natanui – could go a long way to deciding the outcome of this match. Despite having a clear advantage in the hit outs when they sides met earlier in the season, West Coast were unable to win the clearances against their opponents.

Prediction – While the trip to Western Australia affects many teams, Collingwood hasn’t had any trouble winning at Patersons Stadium in recent times, with four wins from their past five matches at the ground. They have also won their past seven against West Coast, including a hard fought 85-82 success earlier in the year, and will be sure to put up a good fight against them again. Collingwood 1-39

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