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AFL Round 5: Essendon v Collingwood Betting Preview – Monday 25 April, 2011

Sun, Apr 24, 9:01pm by Kevin Pitstock

When and Where:

2.40pm at MCG
Overall Head-To-Head:

Essendon – 98
Collingwood – 120
Draws – 4
Last Time They Met:

Collingwood 24.18 (162) defeated Essendon 10.4 (64), round 20, 2010, at the MCG
Recent Form:

Essendon – WLWD
Collingwood – WWWW
Current Ladder Positions:

Essendon – 6th (2-1-1)
Collingwood – 1st (4-0)
Key Players:

Everyone knows the name David Zaharakis for one reason – that goal, which sealed Essendon’s amazing ANZAC Day victory in 2009. It was only the 21-year-old’s fourth AFL game, but that moment was one he, and the rest of the footy public, will never forget for the rest of their lives. Zaharakis is a much stronger and mature player now and will be looking to make an impact across all four quarters this ANZAC Day.

Luke Ball typifies the ANZAC spirit. Tough, nuggetty and determined, the Collingwood midfielder puts his all on the line for the team and never has much consideration for his own safety. Ball has had a very consistent start to the 2011 season, averaging 21 touches over the first four matches. However this is the kind of game he thrives in – look for him to have a massive impact.
Essendon Team Changes:

IN – David Hille, Henry Slattery and Kyle Reimers
OUT – Courtenay Dempsey (knee), Jason Winderlich (knee) and Brent Prismall
Collingwood Team Changes:

IN – Brad Dick and Darren Jolly
OUT – Cameron Wood and Andrew Krakouer
Who Wins?

Ah – the big one. Besides any finals match, this is perhaps the best day of the year to go to the footy. Essendon verses Collingwood – the traditional monster ANZAC Day clash, and this year’s clash should be a beauty.

The Bombers were extremely brave and gutsy against the Blues last weekend. They freakishly lost Courtenay Dempsey and Jason Winderlich – two of their quickest players – to ACL injuries in the first quarter, but still managed to salvage a draw, even with two fit men on the bench. It just proves the Bombers are a much more determined outfit under new coach James Hird this season.

We’re running out of adjectives to describe Collingwood’s greatness and dominance. It has won all four matches by an average of 40 points so far this season, although Port Adelaide, North Melbourne and Richmond certainly didn’t put up much of a challenge. Dane Swan kicked four goals against the Tigers last weekend and if he continues to kick goals and gather 30 plus touches on a weekly basis, a Brownlow medal awaits him.

However this will probably be the Pies’ biggest test to date this season. Essendon is playing with a confidence and dare that we haven’t seen from a Bombers side for quite some time. If they had played this game after their big win over St Kilda, they would be a genuine chance. But after that physically gruelling draw against the Blues, it’s hard to see Essendon sticking with Collingwood for the entire four quarters. The Bombers will challenge, but Collingwood should run away with the match in the last quarter.
Best Head-To-Head Bet:

Collingwood by 1-39 points ($2.25 – Sportsbet)

Also Sportingbet Australia is 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 – Chris Dawes ($8.00) or Michael Hurley ($11.00) on Sportingbet

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