Saturday night sees ANZ stadium transformed from Rugby League’s greatest stage -the State of Origin decider – into the home ground of the AFL’s Sydney Swans.
The Swans will host the inconsistent Collingwood Magpies, who are coming off back-to-back losses against current league leaders Western Bulldogs and the ever-improving Carlton Blues.
Sydney has been one of the in-form teams this season, having won their last six games on the trot.
Collingwood have had a real Jekyll and Hyde season of late – establishing themselves as premiership contenders by disposing of flag favourites Geelong by 86 points just over a month ago only to fall short against the in-form Bulldogs last week.
Sydney’s dual Brownlow Medalist and key mid-fielder Adam Goodes will have to watch from the sidelines after he was rubbed out for one match following a charge of rough conduct during their Roundd 13 clash with Melbourne.
Collingwood lose Anthony Rocca and youngster Ben Reid to foot injuries while they await results from this week’s fitness test of star on-baller Leon Davis and ruckman/vice captain Josh Fraser before naming their complete side.
History informs that Sydney has been unsuccessful in its last four attempts against Collingwood, the most significant being Collingwood’s 38 point victory to knock Sydney out of last years premiership race.
Also of note is the fact that Sydney has not beaten Collingwood at ANZ stadium since 2005 and that game was decided by a single point.
Sydney has a shocking record against Collingwood in either home or away games having won just over a third of their games in the two clubs long history.
Collingwood always perform above expectation when they play Sydney away and this game should be no exception. Collingwood really need to start thinking about cementing a place in the top eight with the likes of St. Kilda, Carlton and Richmond sitting just outside and hungry for their chance at finals football come the first week of September.
Sydney’s form of late is not to be overlooked and will prove very difficult to overcome as they attempt to shut down Collingwood’s run through the middle of the ground.
Don’t expect a cricket score or a blowout between these two tough teams who pride themselves on hard defense, accuracy and sheer determination.
We take Collingwood to win by inside two goals in a see-sawing thriller.
By Andy Morris of Betfair