Sydney Swans vs Collingwood: AFL live scores, blog
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Jude Bolton of Sydney is caught up in a tackle during the AFL Round 21 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Sydney Swans at the Telstra Dome. Slattery Images
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Top of the table Sydney Swans will be looking to go one step further in their quest for the minor premiership when they host Collingwood in Sydney. Join us for live scores and description from the first bounce at 7.40pm AEST.
The Swans currently sit four points clear at the top of the table from Adelaide, who hold second on percentage from the Pies in third place.
Collingwood’s chances of making the top four could rest on the result of this game. The Pies have the toughest run home of any team in the competition, slated to play Sydney (first), North Melbourne (seventh), West Coast (fifth) and Essendon (eighth) in the last month of the competition.
In order to qualify for the double chance the Pies need win at least two of their last four matches, but all four opponents pose a genuine threat to the 2010 premiers.
Sydney hasn’t beaten Collingwood since round 13, 2005 when they prevailed by a point and as former Swans coach Paul Roos has been reminding Fox viewers all week, we all remember how that season ended – with the Swans drought-breaking premiership.
Perhaps that is the best omen for Swans fans hoping for victory tonight and on the last Saturday of September.
John Longmire’s Swans have won their last nine matches, storming into premiership calculations and will be looking for further validation in the next month with dates against premiership favourites Hawthorn, defending premiers Geelong and the Pies tonight.
Last Sunday afternoon the Swans were too good for a determined Carlton team, winning by 22 points at Docklands.
They’re on the six-day break for this match but any ideas about a flat Sydney performance are tempered by the large impact a likely 65,000-plus home crowd will bring.
Collingwood, of course, are used to the big stage, having played in the last two grand finals and in front of over 50,000 almost every second week.
The Pies come into this match in indifferent form. They won by six points against a gallant St Kilda side last Saturday, but many would’ve predicted an easier victory for a well-fancied Collingwood team playing against the tenth-placed Saints that don’t usually bring their best footy to the wide, open spaces of the MCG.
Prior to last week, the Pies thumped GWS like every good team does, bouncing back from a 47-point hiding handed out by Hawthorn the week before.
Both teams have made changes for this match. Dane Swan was handed a club-imposed two-match suspension midweek for breaking a team alcohol rule and joins Tyson Goldsack (ankle) and Tom Young as omissions.
Nathan Buckley calls on Alan Didak, Marty Clarke and Chris Tarrant as replacements.
The Swans remain without young key tall Sam Reid. Jude Bolton injured a knee last week and will be missing tonight, with Andrejs Everitt replacing him.
The return of Clarke and Tarrant boost a Pies defence that has leaked points a couple of times in the last month. Without Reid playing out of the goalsquare, Sydney will need a forward to stand up.
Adam Goodes is nearing his best form and the dual-Brownlow medallist could be the man to deliver the Sydneysiders a match-winning bag of goals.
In my opinion, Sydney are clearly the best narrow-ground team in the comp having beaten West Coast twice in two years at Subiaco and Geelong at Simmonds in their last visit to Corio Bay. And their record at the narrow ANZ Stadium isn’t as bad as some people would have you believe (4-1 since the start of 2011).
With that in mind, I’m confident in tipping Sydney to win a classic by two goals. Join us from 7.40pm AEST for live updates and commentary as the match unfolds.
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