Friday, June 24, 2016, 7.50pm AEST, Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Collingwood Magpies: 14th
Fremantle Dockers: 15th
Collingwood Magpies: 4-8
Fremantle Dockers: 3-10
Last five match results:
Collingwood Magpies: WWLLL
Fremantle Dockers: LLWWW
Collingwood Magpies: $1.87 with CrownBet.com.au
Fremantle Dockers: $1.95 with CrownBet.com.au
COLLINGWOOD has not beaten Fremantle since round 14 2012 – almost four years to the day.
And while both teams are languishing at the lower end of the table, the reality is, this game is a toss of a coin.
If you go by the form, the Dockers are almost favourites here.
The purple haze inexplicably started the season with 10 straight losses – a huge fall from grace after winning the minor premiership last season.
But they appear to have turned things around, winning three on the bounce to lift themselves off the bottom of the ladder.
Conversely, the injury ravaged Magpies have lost their past three games and things are looking bleak – not just on the field.
It has been a tumultuous week off the field for the Magpies, with president Eddie McGuire hauled over the coals over comments he made on radio about drowning reporter Caroline Wilson.
McGuire joked he’d like to see Wilson go down the slide at the MND Big Freeze fundraiser at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next year and said he would offer more money if she was to stay under water when she got to the bottom.
The comments – made last Monday but only highlighted on Sunday – caused a storm, with many decrying McGuire and AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan speaking out against them.
McGuire has since apologised for the comments.
“No person should ever feel uneasy or threatened in football’s family,” McGuire said in a statement on the club’s website.
“For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologise unreservedly to Caroline for putting her in that position.
“I am really disappointed that I made remarks that are at odds with my views on the place of women in modern Australia.
“At a time when I am so looking forward to being president of three women’s sporting clubs — Collingwood women’s football, Collingwood netball and the Melbourne Stars women’s cricket club, it is important to show leadership on this issue.
“That includes being able to admit you are wrong and willing to learn.”
The club now has the added woe of dealing with a major sponsor – Holden – that is reviewing its agreement.
Any way, back to the footy and the Magpies’ drama doesn’t get any better. They have 12 men with injuries that could keep them out this round, 10 of those – including captain Scott Pendlebury – would be in the club’s best side.
Pendles tends to get up each week from his niggling injuries, a legacy of being at the competition’s pointy end, and he should take the field to lead the Pies on Friday night.
The gun midfielder has not fallen under 25 disposals this season, but he may have some trouble in this one.
Rejuvenated Dockers star Michael Barlow has gone from prolific midfielder to prolific tagger, destroying guns David Zaharakis, Daniel Rich and Robbie Gray in the past three weeks, keeping each under 20 disposals, while snaring a mountain himself – a ridiculous 43 in the win over Port Adelaide last week.
The only soother for Pendlebury is that he has had the week off to recouperate, after the Pies had the bye, but he will get no respite from Barlow.
Pendlebury is $1.01 with sportsbet.com.au to have 20 or more, but that’s simply not a given with Barlow chasing him around.
Barlow, though, is a juicy $2.20 to have 30 or more possessions. His primary role will probably be to stop Pendlebury, but, given that he had 43 last week, there is no reason why he can’t continue his stunning form.
If Barlow had the ball on a string last week, his young team mate Lachie Neale has owned the thing all season.
Neale has had 30 or more disposals in 10 of 13 games, including 42 and 40 earlier in the season and another mammoth 38 touches on the weekend.
He is primed for a Collingwood midfield that has been conceding big disposal counts all season.
He is $2.15 for 35 or more and a juicy $5.60 for 40 or more.
Normally you would steer clear of that kind of bet, but, given that Neale had more disposals than any other AFL player this season, it is certainly not without merit.
Our player props tips
Michael Barlow over 30 disposals: $2.20 with Sportsbet.com.au
Lachie Neale over 40 disposals: $5.60 with Sportsbet.com.au
Match result: Either team under 15.5 ($2.30 with Sportsbet.com.au)
The Magpies would have viewed this game as a lock for a win a few weeks ago, but how times change. This one feels like a toss of the coin. Neither side has distinguished itself this season, but the Dockers carry the form, while the Pies carry home ton advantage. We’re going to have a little each way and go with the tri bet to have either team to win by under 15.5 points at $2.30. Surely Travis Cloke comes back in for the Pies, but the big question is, will Matthew Pavlich travel for the Dockers? The veteran forward has missed two trips so far this season and coach Ross Lyon has said he is no certainty to make the trip to Melbourne. If he doesn’t fly, it makes things a lot harder for a side looking to win three on the trot. If we had to tip anyone, we’d go with the Magpies – just – but that is with little confidence and only relying on home ground advantage.
Lights out for Power as punters jump sinking Port Adelaide ship
AFL multi tips, exotics & best bets for Round 9, 2015
2016 AFL Grand Final bonuses, free bets & money back specials
Geelong vs. Sydney Preliminary Final line & disposal betting tips
Sydney leads 2016 AFL premiership market as focus turns to finals
Josh Kennedy goal scorer & Coleman tips: Round 22 Eagles vs Hawks
Dalhouse and Treloar disposal betting, AFL Magpies vs. Bulldogs
Richmond vs. Collingwood betting & Dustin Martin disposal tips