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Match Preview - Round 20: Sydney vs. Collingwood

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I felt like I needed to exercise my writing muscles, so I thought I'd put pen to paper and have a go at writing a preview for this week's game against the Pies. It's a re-post of the preview I put up on BF. (Hope the IMG tags work here...)

Where and When:
Saturday 10 August, 7:40pm, ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Game Day Weather Forecast: Clear but cold night in Sydney – note minimum temperature of 6 degrees in the west!

Recent History:
The last meeting between these two teams at this venue was a memorable one. The Swans, fresh from a week off after their qualifying final win over the Crows in Adelaide, celebrated Jude Bolton’s 300th game in style by recording a comfortable victory over the Magpies in the 2012 preliminary final, on their way to winning the premiership. A bumper crowd of more than 57,000 was on hand to witness the ‘Sydney slingshot’ at its best, highlighted by a 90+ metre run and goal by Lewis Jetta which set the tone for the rest of the night.

I have no memory of meetings between the two teams prior to this date, I’ve drawn a complete blank… must be my old age, I guess. Moving right along, then.

Last Time They Met: Round 9, 2013, Sydney 15.12 (102) def Collingwood 8.7 (55) at the MCG
In a dominant display, the Swans led from start to finish against an undermanned Magpies side under the Friday night lights of the MCG, with Adam Goodes 3 goals in a BOG performance.

Injuries:
SYDNEY
Sam Naismith (knee) test
Harry Marsh (hamstring) 1 wk
Adam Goodes (knee) 2-3 wks
Lewis Jetta (shin) 2-3 wks
Sam Reid (quad) 2-4 wks
Lewis Roberts-Thomson (knee) indefinite
Mitch Morton (knee) TBA
Alex Johnson (knee) season
Tommy Walsh (hamstring) season

COLLINGWOOD
Marty Clarke (ankle) test
Jordan Russell (foot) test
Dale Thomas (ankle) 1-2 wks
Clinton Young (hamstring) 2-3 wks
Alex Fasolo (foot) indefinite
Michael Hartley (shoulder) season
Alan Toovey (knee) season

Ins and Outs:
SYDNEY

IN: Ben McGlynn
OUT: Jed Lamb (omitted)

COLLINGWOOD

No Change

Milestones:
SYDNEY Ted Richards (200 games)

http://www.sydneyswans.com.au/news/2...makes-his-mark

By his own admission, Ted’s form in 2013 hasn’t been as consistent as his 2012, which saw him earn All Australian honours on his way to a premiership, but the journeyman from Xavier College is still an indispensable part of the Sydney backline and the Richards-Heath Grundy combination remains one of the hardest to beat in the AFL when both players are on song. For Ted to reach the 200 game milestone this week is a credit to his resilience and perseverance, and is proof that the rewards will come to those who are willing to work for them.

COLLINGWOOD Tyson Goldsack (100 games)

Teams and Possible Matchups:



Will leave the match-ups to others to mull over as I'm not that great at doing them, but the midfield battles should be fascinating with Swan, Beams, Pendlebury and Sidebottom coming up against Hannebery, K.Jack, Kennedy and O’Keefe.

One interesting duel could be Nick Smith v Jamie Elliott. I really like watching Elliott play, have been a fan ever since he announced himself earlier in the year with 5 goals against Carlton on the big stage. A talented goal sneak who is a very good mark for his size, he’s almost tailor made for someone like Smith, whose experience should give him the edge here over a second year player.

Players to Watch
SYDNEY
Ben McGlynn returns from injury/suspension and will be desperate for a good game after a brain fade which saw him miss the last three matches for striking Tom Scully.

COLLINGWOOD
Young ruckman Brodie Grundy is set for a big test in just his 3rd AFL game, coming up against the seasoned duo in Mumford and Pyke. Pies fans will be keen to see how he goes, as Darren Jolly nears the end of his career.

Stats
The Swans are back to the No. 1 tackling team in the competition, also #1 in clearances and contested possessions. Collingwood are a bit down in that area this year, suggesting they will find it tough to stop Sydney’s famous ‘two way running’. They are also down in scoring efficiency compared to the Swans, so have been forced to send Ben Reid forward to provide support to Cloke.

Prediction
On paper, the Pies have a stronger team than the last time they faced the Swans, but aside from last week’s thrashing of the Bombers they haven’t quite looked like the force that they have been for the last three years, despite the obvious talent that is still in the side and the ever present threat of Cloke. The Swans are the form team in the competition with a season high 6 wins in a row, and look to have the greater depth in the midfield. Sydney by about 4 goals.

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Categories
Sydney Swans , Seniors

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