Collingwood can move into sixth on the AFL ladder with a win over 14th-placed Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium this afternoon. We’ll have live scores from 4.40pm AEST.
The Bulldogs have recently been able to show signs of turning around what has been a fairly bleak first half of the season.
Wins over St Kilda and Port Adelaide have tempered their preceding seven-match losing streak, and they’ve been boosted by the return of several senior players from injury.
That continues this afternoon with Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney coming back from a hamstring injury and captain Matthew Boyd also returning from calf issue.
Since being dominated by Sydney at the MCG three weeks ago, Collingwood have also been able to steady in the past fortnight with wins over Brisbane and Melbourne.
With a number of teams trying to force their way into the top eight, the wins have provided relief for an under-pressure Nathan Buckley and his side.
Yet questions about Collingwood’s capacity to be a genuine flag threat remain unanswered, and with a relatively soft draw over the next six weeks will continue to remain unanswered until later in the season.
Jamie Elliott and Sam Dwyer have been named to return from injury this afternoon, coming in for Adam Oxley and the experienced Alan Didak.
Collingwood still have a number of players sidelined with Tyson Goldsack, Ben Johnson, Dayne Beams, Alex Fasolo and Dale Thomas all still long-term outs.
The black and white have dominated the Bulldogs in recent years, winning the past five matches by an average margin of six goals with three of those victories coming at Etihad Stadium.
Western Bulldogs have improved in recent weeks and with key personnel returning they should give a good contest this afternoon, but Collingwood should record their sixth straight win over the men from Whitten Oval.
Can the Bulldogs cause an upset, or will Collingwood make it three in a row? Find out from 4.40pm AEST as we cover the action with live scores.
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B: Nathan Brown, Ben Reid, Heritier O'Brien
HB: Heath Shaw, Nick Maxwell, Marley Williams
C: Steele Sidebottom, Brent Macaffer, Luke Ball
HF: Jamie Elliott, Quinten Lynch, Dane Swan
F: Ben Kennedy, Travis Cloke, Josh Thomas
Foll: Darren Jolly, Scott Pendlebury, Jarryd Blair
Int (from): Kyle Martin, Tim Broomhead, Ben Sinclair, Alan Didak, Paul Seedsman, Sam Dwyer, Adam Oxley
B: Brett Goodes, Jordan Roughead, Michael Talia
HB: Jason Johannisen, Dale Morris, Dylan Addison
C: Adam Cooney, Matthew Boyd, Jack Macrae
HF: Robert Murphy, Liam Jones, Ryan Griffen
F: Daniel Giansiracusa, Jake Stringer, Luke Dahlhaus
Foll: Will Minson, Tom Liberatore, Nick Lower
Int (from): Lukas Markovic, Liam Picken, Mitch Wallis, Koby Stevens, Clay Smith, Nathan Hrovat, Tom Campbell
First Bounce: 4.40pm AEST Venue: Etihad Stadium Last Time: Collingwood 15.8 (98) bt Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77) History: Collingwood 105, Western Bulldogs 42, Drawn 1 Betting: $1.13 Collingwood, $6.25 Western Bulldogs TV: Fox Footy (LIVE)