Cameron Ling: Pies v Cats preview

Cameron Ling May 18, 2012, 5:39 am

I know this Geelong group really well and they will be filthy on themselves for how they played last week against Adelaide.

They will come out so hard against Collingwood tonight. You just know this is going to be a ripper of a game.

Both these teams really get themselves up for playing against each other, and night will be no different.

It has not been the best start for either team this season but Collingwood are starting to hit their straps. Geelong still are not at their best but if anything will lift them it will be playing against the Pies.

And they will want it so badly. Geelong had started to get a bit better in recent weeks but last week was a step backwards in their improvement.

Geelong have prided themselves for a long time on winning that contested football. It is something when I was there we always wanted to be good at.

And Adelaide beat them well in that area last week. But look, every team gets beaten once in a while at the footy. It rarely happens two weeks in a row with this team. So you can expect them to come out hard, guns blazing.

Collingwood on the other hand are getting back to the level of footy that has made them such a fantastic team in recent years.

Their key ball winners are starting to get their hands on it a lot in the contested situation and they have some really damaging, running players.

Then you have Travis Cloke up forward. He is taking some good grabs and making a contest of everything.

They have quality all over the field and they are very hard to beat when up and running.

Where’s it going to be won? Yes, it is a cliché but this game will be won in the middle of the field with the contested ball.

If the Cats can get the ball inside their 50 from winning that ball and can set up their defensive structure behind them they will be hard to move through.

But vice versa, If the Pies win the ball they use their squeeze and press so well, and they make it very hard to run the ball the length of the field.

So this is the kind of game made for the hard nuts like Joel Selwood and Joel Corey. They will be so important to Geelong in getting that contested ball. They love the hard stuff and will try to lead the team in that area.

I am also really interested in seeing who Scotty sends Taylor Hunt to. He has had a couple of run-with roles lately, Trent Cotchin and Simon Black, and he will probably get the same tonight.

I don’t know which way Scotty will lean, but it will probably be to Swan or Pendlebury. It will be really interesting to see how he handles the job against really quality players like that.

As for picking a winner, there is still a bit of bias kicking in here but I will tip Geelong. They will be dirty on themselves for last week, they are strong and proud and will be making up for it for sure.

But it is going to be very close. The Cats by less than ten.

Friday Night Football

Collingwood v Geelong

Melbourne 7.30pm LIVE on Channel 7

Adelaide 7pm LIVE on Channel 7

Perth 7pm on Channel 7

Sydney 7.30pm LIVE on 7mate

Brisbane 7.30pm LIVE on 7mate