SportsBet odds: $2.07 vs. $1.76
1st vs. 2nd
The top of the ladder Collingwood take on second placed Geelong in a Friday night blockbuster at the MCG. The Pies have been in great form in 2010 and will be looking for a good showing against the Cats who have been dominant in the last two weeks. The game is being broadcasted live into Melbourne with a sell out crowd predicted for what could be a look into the finals race of 2010.
The Cats will welcome back James Podsiadly and James Kelly for the clash this week. Collingwood has to date had a fantastic spread of goal kickers, which has made it difficult for them to be shut down. Geelong is in a similar boat with Mooney, Podisadly and to a lesser extent Tom Hawkins being dangerous up forward.
This clash presents so many great match ups across the ground. The Midfield tussle is so enticing while the battles in the respective forward lines will be where the game is both won and lost. Both teams have shown they have the firepower to win games convincingly but which backline will be able to limit the damage? This is easily the most anticipated game of 2010 lets hope it can live up to the expectations.
Preliminary Final, 2009
Geelong – 17.18 (120)
Collingwood – 6.11 (47)
Geelong has advanced to their third consecutive Grand Final after an emphatic 73 point win of the Pies in front of 87,000 at the MCG. The Pies were in the game for the first half trailing by only 11 points at the main change. Geelong however was able to pile on 10 goals to the Pies 1 in the second half to stamp their dominance over the Magpies on the night.
The Cats had too many winners across the ground while the Pies will be left asking what went wrong after such a promising lead up to this match. Ablett and company set up the victory through the middle of the ground with the Cats dominating possession for the entire match.
Key Players for Collingwood:
Alan Didak – Is so dangerous when the ball is on the ground in the forward half for Collingwood. Can hurt the Cats defence with his pace and genuine match winning ability. If Didak can get on top it goes along way toward the Magpies getting over the line.
Darren Jolly– Has a massive opportunity to stamp his authority in the ruck this week against Blake and more than likely Hawkins. Needs to become a target around the ground and push forward to stretch the Cats. All Australian ruck man who has the chance to show why this week.
Key Players for Geelong:
Cameron Mooney– Will be playing his 200th AFL game this week and knowing Cameron Mooney he will want to have a big impact. Mooney has been good so far in season 2010 with the help of Podsiadly, can be a good lead up target and worry the Collinwood defence.
Corey Enright – Geelong are coming up against a dynamic forward line in Collingwood and will need Enright to play a small defender role this week. Will not only need to limit his opponents influence but look for him to provide run of the half back line.
Such a tough game to pick this week due to the impressive form of both teams and the amount of great match ups on the ground. In saying that Collingwood need to limit the impact of the three big Geelong forwards and insure they don’t allow too many contested situations in which the Cats big men can have an influence. The midfield battle will be great and the midfield the works hardest defensively will set up the win for their team.
The Cats will need to limit the much talked about spread of Collinwood goal kickers and do have the personal to do so. I literally could talk about this game all night but need to make some form of prediction. I have to go with the Cats in a tight encounter. Geelong by 2 goals in a throw back to the preliminary final of 2007, a tough encounter and close all night.
B: Heath Shaw, Ben Reid, Ben Johnson
HB: Harry O’Brien, Nick Maxwell, Sharrod Wellingham
C: Luke Ball, Dane Swan, Alan Toovey
HF: Shane O’Bree, Travis Cloke, Alan Didak
F: Dayne Beams, Brent Macaffer, Leon Davis
Foll: Darren Jolly, Scott Pendlebury, Dale Thomas
I/C: Nathan Brown, Chris Dawes, Steele Sidebottom, Cameron Wood
Emg: Tarkyn Lockyer, Josh Fraser, John Anthony
Out: John Anthony
B: Josh Hunt, Matthew Scarlett, Andrew Mackie
HB: Corey Enright, Harry Taylor, Darren Milburn
C: James Kelly, Cameron Ling, Jimmy Bartel
HF: Steve Johnson, Cameron Mooney, Travis Varcoe
F: Mathew Stokes, Tom Hawkins, Gary Ablett
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Selwood, Paul Chapman
I/C: Shannon Byrnes, James Podsiadly, David Wojcinski, Tom Lonergan
Emg: Simon Hogan, Mitch Duncan, Taylor Hunt
In: Kelly, Podsiadly
Out: Simon Hogan, Mitch Duncan