Can West Coast lose the un-losable?
Can Collingwood win the un-winnable?
Last time they met
In round 8, Collingwood made a fast start, but went on to get trounced by 66 points. Josh Kennedy kicked a bag of seven, whilst Nic Naitanui dominated Brodie Grundy, with the help of Oscar Allen. Tim Kelly was one of West Coast’s best with 30 disposals. It’s fair to note the Pies were missing Jordan De Goey and Scott Pendlebury – two key players that’ll feature this time around.
Jamie Cripps, Jeremy McGovern, Jack Redden, and Luke Shuey are the Eagles’ four big inclusions. Luke Foley, Will Schoefield, and Bailey J. Williams have been omitted, whilst Josh Rotham will miss through injury.
The visitors will welcome back Darcy Cameron and Chris Mayne at the expense Tyler Brown and Travis Varcoe.
Why West Coast can win
The real question is, why can’t West Coast win? They’re playing at their fortress, sleeping in their own beds, welcoming back big names, finished 10 points ahead of Collingwood, and thumped them last time they met
Why Collingwood can win
They come in as rank outsiders, and will need to be on-song from the first bounce to the final siren, but stranger things have happened. Scoring has been their weakness, but it just takes one forward to stand up. Mihocek, Cox, De Goey and even Stephenson all have the potential. Would need a strong performance from their mids, as well as Darcy Moore and Jordan Roughead limiting the impact of Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling.
They have their backs against the wall, and nothing to lose. A dangerous combination.
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Players to watch
A master vs the apprentice match-up, winger style. If experienced campaigner Andrew Gaff comes up against Pies young-gun Josh Daicos, don’t look away. Gaff will have Daicos covered in a number of areas, but they young Pie could bring some magic.
After an off-year for Brodie Grundy, he’ll be pitted against against the man that stole his All Australian blazer. Nic Naitanui’s tap work is damaging and match-winning. Grundy’s got a golden opportunity to make a statement, to do so he not only has to hold his own in the ruck contests, but play his extra midfielder role superbly and dominate Naitanui around the ground.
Coxzilla. One performance etched Mason Cox’s name into footy folklore, but he’s gone quiet since the 2018 prelim and was even dropped in round 12 of this season. The last month however, he’s been building. Looks as good as he has in a long time, and his confidence appears sky-high. If he will ever repeat the heroics of 2018, now is the time.
What’s at stake?
They’re not expected to win, but an upset would be oh so sweet revenge for 2018. The Pies face an uphill battle. If they did win, it would do wonders for their confidence throughout this finals campaign.
The tag ‘chokers’ is harsh off one performance, but it’d be a travesty if West Coast lost. Everything is pointing to a West Coast victory, and they’ve been a formidable outfit on their home turf. They cannot afford to lose.
It’s bold, very bold, and would be the upset of the finals series. If De Goey is at his devastating best, and Cox clunks everything that comes his way, a Pies upset may be on the cards. Their engine room must be firing on all cylinders too, and back six working overtime.