Fri, May 2, 4:57pm by Brad McGrath
During the Magpies’ reign at the top in 2010-11 they had the nickname ‘The Pop-up Pies’ in reference to their even spread of goalkickers.
This is happening again in 2014 with far less reliance on Travis Cloke and a far more even share of players kicking the goals.
Last week it was Dane Swan with four, a few weeks earlier Jamie Elliott booted a bag in the loss to Geelong while the Magpies midfield has been hitting the scoreboard hard as well.
The Blues struggled to score in their four losses to start the season – this resulted in Jarrad Waite being dropped and a shuffling of the Blues forward-line.
Waite has returned in the last fortnight and has greatly increased his output, alongside Lachie Henderson who is fast becoming one of the Blues most important players.
AustralianGambling takes a close look at the players who could lead the goal-scorers between these two fierce rivals.
The big Magpie has struggled this year and peering out the window at the grey skies and with rain predicted it is hard seeing him burst into life tonight. Cloke is likely to be manned by Michael Jamieson – a serviceable fullback who has done well on him in the past. Cloke’s life will get easier in the coming weeks when Ben Reid returns from injury to give the Magpies a genuine second target up forward. But for now I would send your hard earned around on someone else.
Swan was the game changer for the Magpies in their win over Essendon on ANZAC Day. The Brownlow Medallist has played large chunks forward this year and done it well – his four goals against the Bombers a testament to his skill. The wet weather will suit the prolific Swan and he’s likely to get plenty of opportunities at ground level with Cloke and Jesse White making a contest. Back Swan for most goals at $14 with Sportsbet. (This is better than the $12 on offer with Centrebet and Sportingbet)
Sidebottom is in arguably career best form at the moment. His awareness around goal is outstanding and he often slips under the opposition’s guard with his higher profile teammates taking their attention. Sidebottom has kicked multiple goals several times this year and is at great odds to repeat his heroics tonight. Back Sidebottom for most goals at $26 with Sportsbet. (Better than Centrebet and Sportingbet at $21)
The enigmatic injury-prone forward has shown a new focus on tackling and forward pressure since being dropped earlier this season. This has resulted in a spike in his form and two wins for the Blues. It has definitely helped that they are playing more direct, but Waite is definitely in form. The weather is unlikely to suit the tall forwards tonight, so backing Waite for most goals is probably not a smart idea – especially against the frugal Magpies backline.
Thomas, the former Magpies star, has slowly been finding form as he continues his recovery from a serious ankle injury. The spring-heeled Thomas has a liking for performing on the big stage (remember the 2010 grand finals) and there is no bigger stage than Collingwood v Carlton on a Friday night at the MCG. This will be the first time Thomas has played against the Pies, so expect him to be fired up. You can back Thomas at $21 with Sportsbet.
The Blues skipper played his best game in recent memory against the Eagles last weekend and they will need him to do the same against the Magpies. Murphy has not been a big goal-kicker in his career but the Blues will need a big contribution from their midfield if they are to topple the Pies. Murphy is likely to be manned by the human glove Brent Maccaffer which means he may try and push forward and use his smarts to kick goals. Back Murphy for most goals at $41 with Centrebet. (Better than the $34 on offer at Sportsbet)
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