Pendlebury says Pies have AFL self-belief

Roger Vaughan
Scott Pendlebury says Collingwood are full of self-belief for the Demons Queen's Birthday AFL clash

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury is praising their self-belief, regardless of how they perform in one of the AFL's most-anticipated games this season.

The Monday blockbuster against Melbourne will be the first time their annual Queen's Birthday clash has featured the two teams in such strong form.

Melbourne are third on the ladder and boasting a six-game winning streak, while Collingwood are seventh.

Last Sunday's thrashing of Fremantle was the first time in two seasons the Magpies had kicked 20-plus goals in a match.

The question mark on Collingwood is that Adelaide are their only major scalp this season - all the other wins have been over sides now below them on the ladder.

But Pendlebury has dismissed that as irrelevant.

"We have self-belief, so it's not going to validate anything for us if we are to get over the top of them," he said.

"We're just looking forward to the game.

"Both sides have beaten the same sides, except they've knocked off Gold Coast and we've lost to GWS."

But Pendlebury readily agreed with Demons co-captain Nathan Jones, that there was a different feeling about this holiday Monday clash.

"Usually, the last few years, it felt like this game was your season was on the line.

"It's definitely exciting that both sides are in the eight and are in winning form."

The Magpies kicked 21 goals last Sunday against Fremantle despite last season's top-three goalkickers, Jamie Elliott, Alex Fasolo and Darcy Moore, all not playing.

Will Hoskin-Elliott led the way with six goals and Brody Mihocek contributed four in his stellar AFL debut.

"We're getting certainly some good looks from our smalls and credit to Coxy (Mason Cox), Reidy (Ben Reid) when he's been there - Brodes Mihocek on the weekend.

"It makes you a lot harder to defend, not knowing where your goal source is going to come from.

"Hawthorn have shown that and Geelong showed that before them."

Pendlebury is also looking forward to the ruck duel between teammate Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn.

"It's probably the No.1 versus No.2 ruckman in the comp - I won't say who I think is No.1," he said.

"It will be a legitimate fight for that crown, so to speak."

Pendlebury was later asked to confirm who he thought was the AFL's top ruckman.

"We all know I have Brodie at one," he replied.