Where and when: SCG, Friday May 24, 7.50pm AEST
Last time they met: SCG, round 20, 2018: Sydney 11.7 (73) defeated Colingwood 10.11 (71)
Alex Johnson made an emotional return to senior footy to inspire his side to a thrilling win. Lance Franklin’s six goals were the difference and he was awarded the three Brownlow medal votes, but young forward Tom McCartin was the hero. The Pies kicked three late goals to snatch the lead before McCartin booted a goal while lying on his back to give Sydney the victory.
What it means for Sydney: Two close wins over the past two weeks has given the young Swans confidence but they’ll face a much sterner test from the Pies. It will show them exactly where they stand.
What it means for Collingwood: With the four teams just one game behind them on the ladder all facing tough challenges this weekend, a Pies win could give them a handy eight-point buffer in second spot in an incredibly even season.
How Sydney wins: The Swans can’t match Collingwood’s star-studded side for talent or experience, but they’ve shown over the past fortnight if they scrap and pressure the opposition, they can be more than competitive.
How Collingwood wins: The Pies midfield is full of stars and with a dominant ruckman in Brodie Grundy, it looks to have far more dangerous players than the Swans can cover. If Grundy gets on top of Callum Sinclair, he’ll be a match-winner.
The stat: Collingwood faced a serious challenge from St Kilda last week but showed it was a class above the Saints in the final term. The Pies kicked 6.6 to one goal in the last quarter to show just how powerful they can be.
The match-up: Callum Sinclair v Brodie Grundy
The Swan hasn’t been able to match his 2018 form this year but has improved his output in the past month, and he’ll need to be at his very best to match Grundy around the ground and at stoppages. If the big Magpie imposes himself physically on the contest his fleet of gun onballers will destroy the home side.
It’s a big week for: George Hewett
The Swans midfielder won 20 contested possessions and nine clearances against North Melbourne last week and is more than just a stopper these days. Hewett will get another huge job on Friday night on Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams or Adam Treloar, or could even be thrown onto the wing to try to curb the influence of Steele Sidebottom.
Big call: Inspired by his brother Ben’s return to senior footy with Collingwood, Swan Sam Reid will emerge from his form slump to boot six goals for the home side, while Ben will boot one.
Mottsy’s Tip: Sydney by 5 points
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