Fri, Jul 1, 4:45pm by Kevin Pitstock
When and Where:
2.10pm at MCG
Collingwood – 94
Hawthorn – 56
Draws – 0
Last Time They Met:
Hawthorn 15.8 (98) defeated Collingwood 13.17 (95), Round 22, 2010 at the MCG
Collingwood – WWWBW
Hawthorn – WWLWW
Current Ladder Positions:
Collingwood – 2nd (11-1)
Hawthorn – 3rd (10-3)
In a season full of countless positives, one big negative for Collingwood this season has been the form of Alan Didak. The 28-year-old’s numbers are well down on last season. He averaged 18 disposals, four marks and two goals per game in 2010, but has only averaged 18 disposals, three marks and under a goal per game in 2011. Admittedly, he did have major surgery on a pectoral muscle during the pre-season, which did set him back. But for a player of his skill and calibre, those are still some low numbers. If Didak can make the most of his limited time in the midfield, particularly this Sunday, expect his numbers to rise once again.
Whoa – where the heck has Liam Shiels come from? The 20-year-old is having an amazing season and continues to go under the radar of opposition teams. Shiels is averaging 24 disposals, seven marks and six tackles per game this season, even in a midfield comprising of Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Shaun Burgoyne, Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis. We saw just how damaging he can be on the scoreboard too last round, when he pushed forward for three goals against an inept Essendon outfit. Collingwood must plan to make Shiels accountable on Sunday, otherwise he’ll get free and cause some damage.
Collingwood Team Changes:
IN – Luke Rounds, Darren Jolly, Simon Buckley and Alex Fasolo
OUT – Tyson Goldsack, John McCarthy, Alan Didak (Calf) and Cameron Wood
Hawthorn Team Changes:
IN – Lance Franklin, Clinton Young and Thomas Murphy
OUT – Jordan Lewis (Suspended), Cyril Rioli (Hamstring) and Brad Sewell (Knee)
COLLINGWOOD – Luke Rounds (Geelong Falcons)
With second to play third on a Sunday afternoon at the ‘G, this puppy has match of the round written all over it.
How’s this for a winning record: Collingwood has lost only two of its past 28 games. Not bad. However the Pies showed a little vulnerability last week when it crawled to a six-point victory over Sydney last weekend. While their kicking for goal was poor, two men stood out throughout the match. Travis Cloke produced perhaps his finest game for the club, booting 6.4 from 18 kicks and seven contested marks, while Dane Swan looked to have his acceleration and speed back with an impressive 33-disposal performance.
Wow – that was the only adjective you could use to describe Hawthorn’s second quarter against Essendon last weekend. The Hawks’ 65-point victory was set-up by a scintillating second term, which was full of precise kicking, intense forward pressure and class around the stoppages. But while their menacing form continues, they’ve added even more players to their growing injury list. Brad Sewell and Cyril Rioli suffered setbacks in the first half and warmed the interchange bench for the majority of the second half. However Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson continues to blood young players and they are rewarding him.
The Hawks will go into this game with supreme confidence. They’ve won five of the past six games between these two sides, including the last encounter in Round 22 last season. Star full-forward Lance Franklin will return from suspension, which will only help Hawthorn’s chances of winning. However the Hawks are still lacking a little height and strength down back, which will be costly against the likes of Cloke and Chris Dawes. It’ll be close, but the Pies should still be too good.
Best Head-To-Head Bet:
Collingwood by 1-24 ($3.40 – Sportsbet)
Also Sportingbet Australia are doing a first goal scorer special on the AFL, on top of the usual first goal scorer payout. If your first goal scorer bet scores the second goal, the guys at Sportingbet will pay you out as well! If he kicks the first two, they will pay you double! Get on!
Other Suggested Bets:
First Goal Scorer – Lance Franklin, Alan Didak or Travis Cloke on Sportingbet
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