WHERE AND WHEN: Optus Stadium, Saturday, September 8, 6.10pm AWST
Not many experts predicted these teams to be top-four bound, but West Coast and Collingwood have overcome significant adversity to be only one win away from hosting a preliminary final. The resilient Eagles are playing a brand of football that stacks up at home or on the road, expect to regain spearhead Josh Kennedy (shin) and should be close to full-strength, apart from Nic Naitanui (knee) and Andrew Gaff (suspension). The Pies defied a crippling injury list to clinch third spot, earning Nathan Buckley plenty of plaudits. Reinforcements could be on the way if Adam Treloar (hamstring) and Jeremy Howe (thigh) are fit but the Pies will rely heavily on unheralded types and an improved defensive system to pull off their first interstate finals win since 2008.
Round 17: Collingwood 9.13 (67) def. by West Coast 15.12 (102) at the MCG
It was a bittersweet victory for the Eagles, who stamped their credentials as a genuine flag contender with a commanding 35-point victory at the home of football. West Coast broke a 23-year drought against the Magpies at the ‘G but it came at a massive cost, with star ruckman Nic Naitanui going down with his second ruptured ACL.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R17, 2018, West Coast 15.12 (102) d Collingwood 9.13 (67) at the MCG
R18, 2017, Collingwood 13.15 (93) d West Coast 13.7 (85) at Etihad Stadium
R19, 2016, Collingwood 13.13 (91) d West Coast 11.6 (72) at the MCG
R6, 2016, West Coast 18.16 (124) d Collingwood 9.8 (62) at Subiaco Oval
R16, 2015, West Coast 11.21 (87) d Collingwood 7.14 (56) at Etihad Stadium
Thommo’s Tip: West Coast by 25 points.
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