Preview: West Coast v Collingwood

Luke Darcy August 24, 2012, 10:57 am

By Channel 7 commentator Luke Darcy

This game is just so evenly placed and has so much riding on it.

West Coast have to win their last two games to assure them of a top four spot while Collingwood can tie up the second chance in the finals with a win in Perth on Saturday night.

The home ground advantage is worth four or five goals to West Coast, they just play so well there.

Collingwood, on the other hand, will be smarting after their loss to North Melbourne last week.

At this time of year a lot of it comes down to just how settled your team is, but also just how well placed the guys are that you are trying to rush back.

This is really true for West Coast with Josh Kennedy this weekend. Has he got enough run in him to get through the game?

It is a risk but for me, clearly you want Kennedy in your team. I reckon it is at the stage where you have to play him.

He needs senior games before the finals and he is just so important for their line-up.

He will take the best defender, regardless of how fit he is, and that will free up Jack Darling and Quinten Lynch a bit more. So he is vital for the balance of their team.

Up front for Collingwood, they are having some problems.

Travis Cloke and Chris Dawes got smashed last week by North and there will be doubt in their minds.

Dawes was good two weeks ago but other than that he has had a year to forget and Cloke has not been at his best either.

And it won’t get any easier this week against Darren Glass and Eric Mackenzie.

We say this every week but what this will really come down to is the midfield.

West Coast have the advantage in the ruck with Cox and Naitanui and if Darren Jolly pulls out for Collingwood then the Eagles should win, he is that important for the Pies.

So it will really be up to the West Coast mids to make the most of this advantage.

But in their way is a midfield, that when they are up and running, are the best-balanced midfield in the competition.

Dane Swan will be back with a point to prove after two weeks off suspended and you can almost mark him down now for 35 possessions.

Dayne Beams will probably win their best and fairest this year, he has been that good, Steele Sidebottom is one of the best gut runners in the AFL and Scott Pendlebury has as good if not better pedigree than the lot of them.

West Coast has some class with Daniel Kerr, and Matthew Priddis will always find the footy but the rest of the group is fairly young and inexperienced.

It is a huge challenge for them to stand up to this Collingwood midfield. I believe if they do stand up to them then West Coast can win.

Can they step up, what kind of impact will Kennedy have on the game, what will happen at team selections?

This game is a toss of the coin almost. The rule of tipping is to go with the home team and that is where I am going to have to lean.

This will be tight, but West Coast by a kick.

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  1. Joe12:51pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    west coast will beat collinggwood by 40 at home

  2. D Mack01:04pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Collingwood has won the past 5 encounters with West Coast, and so far this year, most teams with such a winning streak over a certain team are continuing them. (Geelong beat Pies, Piest beat Sydney, Sydney beat West Coast, etc). Normally I'd tip the Eagles at home, but for this reason Im saying Collingwood by 1 goal or less. Of course the game will be so close that some bad umpiring could decide the game.

  3. Dave's 4301:47pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    excuses already D Mack ???.. Eagles at home for me ,, specialy now Jolly and Maxwell are out,,, if it was wet over here the Pies might get closer,,,Eagles to tall and will win by 28

  4. master01:50pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Whilst itwill be a close game, the Eagles are recovering from a form dip and the Pies seem to be getting into a form dip. So the Eagles should have a nice win.

  5. D Mack03:18pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I dont see any excuses in there Dave?? Just stating the facts. I dont support either team. The Eagles might win, indeed, but if they do it will be the first breaking of a losing streak this season.

  6. The Skud04:56pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    We definitely do NOT need any more games ruined by poor umpiring this season! If there is any fair way to award close games to clubs after the match was finished ... by the umpire review panel later admitting obviously wrong umpiring decisions ... it should be found, and soon. They study the video for player wrongdoing, why not umpiring as well?

  7. paul g05:40pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Pies by 7 for me... it's getting to the pointy end of the season now, the big boys play harder at this time of the year...