The Essendon Bombers and Collingwood renew hostilities when they lineup in the traditional ANZAC Day clash at the MCG on Tuesday April 25.
There is plenty at stake for the two archrivals, who are both seeking a vital win to stay in touch.
First bounce is at 3.20PM and the big game will be broadcast on Channel 7 and Fox Footy. AFL Live Vision is also available to ALL CrownBet members. Every Match, wherever you are.
Essendon sit with a win-loss record of 2-2, just shading Collingwood, who are 1-3 after four rounds.
However, it is the Magpies that head in as slight favourites for the annual blockbuster at $1.72 in the head-to-head betting with CrownBet.
Nathan Buckley's men won plenty of the football in their 14-point loss to St Kilda last weekend but failed to convert up forward, registering just seven goals in the loss.
They will need to improve in this area against the Bombers, while Buckley will also be urging his troops to lift their intensity as they only registered 58 tackles against the Saints.
Essendon bounced out of the blocks early on in season 2017, defeating Hawthorn at this venue and Brisbane at the GABBA before dropping their Round 3 clash at the MCG to Carlton. They have since come off second best against a rampant Adelaide, losing to the top placed side by 68 points.
The Bombers should appreciate what will be a slower tempo against Collingwood. They will look for big contributions from Zach Merrett, David Zaharakis, Dyson Heppell and Jobe Watson.
Heppell and Watson were slightly down last weekend and need to lift. If the Bombers on-ball division can match motors with Collingwood in the middle, they may have more firepower up forward than their rivals.
Look for Joe Daniher, Orazio Fantasia and Cale Hooker to have an influence. That trio was solid in the early season win against Hawthorn. At the other end, Collingwood will need big games from Darcy Moore, Alex Fasolo and Jesse White, while a better system when moving the ball forward would also help.
Essendon may tinker with their lineup after a couple of poor performances. Josh Green, Patrick Ambrose and Mark Baguely are among those in the firing line, while Heath Hocking and Aaron Francis may sneak into the 22.
Collingwood have a number of players struggling for form. Patience is running out with Jarryd Blair and Jesse White, while Daniel Wells and Josh Daicos will be strongly considered.
Little has separated the two sides in recent seasons with the past four games being split at two wins apiece.
Collingwood defeated the Bombers by 69 points in last year's ANZAC Day clash with Steele Sidebottom, Adam Treloar, Scott Pendlebury and Taylor Adams all enjoying massive games for the black and white.
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Prediction and Tips
Despite their inconsistent form, Collingwood should have too many answers for the Bombers here, provided they raise their intensity from last weekend. With the significance of the occasion, expect both sides to come out firing and the Magpies should prevail in a close one.