Can the Pies overcome the Swans?
Can Sydney win at home against Collingwood tonight? (Slattery Images)
Sydney head into tomorrow night’s preliminary final against Collingwood as favourites. Can they pull off the win in front of their home supporters?
This game has potential. It’s the sort of game that you feel will go right down to the last few minutes.
Sydney have had a week’s break and will be playing in front of their home crowd, but we all know how strong Collingwood will be in pushing for another crack at a premiership.
So will the home crowd advantage get Sydney over the line or will Collingwood push through to another grand final?
If we take a look at these two teams recent form both sides have been playing very well. Sydney had a comfortable win over Adelaide in their qualifying final while Collingwood played a solid game to get over West Coast.
In round 20, these two sides met at ANZ stadium in a hard-fought win to the Pies. They won by eight points after Sydney closed the gap to within two with 30 seconds on the clock. If that encounter is anything to go by, tomorrow night’s should be an absolute ripper.
This match will be a battle of the gun midfielders. We all know how well Swan, Pendlebury and Beams have been doing recently and for Sydney it’s a matter of keeping up with them.
When these two sides met in round 20, Josh Kennedy racked up 40 possessions. Alongside him are Kieren Jack, Ryan O’Keefe and the ever reliable Adam Goodes.
There is no doubt Sydney have the quality in the middle of the park to topple the Pies, it’s just a matter of how long they can sustain that effort for.
In round 20 Collingwood kept the Swans to just the one goal in the final quarter, it won them the game. The team that wins this game will be the team that can keep the same level of intensity from the first bounce to the final whistle.
Every time Adam Goodes steps on to the park you feel the inspiration that he brings with him. It spreads through to the other players. We saw it in their final with Adelaide as Goodes kicked three goals to go with his 22 possessions.
He’s a quality, classy player and if he lifts for this game you know the players around him will too.
Both sides have made minor changes heading into this game. For Sydney Ben McGlynn (hamstring) has been ruled out and will be replaced by Heath Grundy.
Collingwood have lost Alan Didak to a calf injury and Ben Sinclair comes into replace him. Chris Dawes has been named in the starting line-up.
Didak will be a huge loss for Collingwood this week after finding some form against West Coast. He lifted Collingwood from an early deficit and was really the game changer in many ways.
Sydney and Collingwood should put on a show for us tomorrow night. Expect a fast-paced, end-to-end game.
My prediction: This one will go right down to the end. Collingwood by three points.