West Coast Eagles v Collingwood Grand Final Tips, Predictions and Match Preview- Eagles to snare the coveted silverware

Adam Cusworth 25 Sep 2018
  • Can the Eagles secure the premiership cup or will it be the Magpies? They play off in Saturday's Grand Final at the MCG. 

The West Coast take Eagles take on Collingwood in what shapes as a classic AFL Grand Final on Saturday September 29.  

First bounce is at 2.30PM AEST and the MCG clash will be broadcast by Channel 7 and Fox Footy. 

Match Preview


Little separated the two sides over the course of the home and away season. West Coast qualified in 2nd position with 16 wins, while Collingwood registered 15 victories, finishing 3rd after the home and away season. 

The two sides met in the Qualifying Final at Perth Stadium three weeks ago and that match went the way of the Eagles by 16 points. The West Australian based side have since defeated Melbourne by 66 points in the Preliminary Final and they are in to their first Grand Final since 2015. 

Following their loss at the hands of the Eagles, Collingwood went on to defeat GWS in the Semi Finals by 10 points before notching an emphatic 39 point win over last year's premiers, Richmond, last Friday night to qualify for this years decider. 

Nathan Buckley's side head in as sight favourites on the back of that performance as well as the fact that they enjoy the advantage of the game being played at the MCG, which is Collingwood's normal home ground. 

The Magpies head in with a number of key players in fine form, including Brodie Grundy, Mason Cox and the Brownlow Medal runner-up, Steele Sidebottom. That trio starred in the win over the Tigers. 

Sidebottom is one of the reason why Collingwood rank much higher than West Coast in a number of statistical measures from the course of the season, including total disposals, uncontested and contested possessions, clearances and hitouts. 

With Brodie Grundy, Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams also in the midfield, Collingwood can get on top in these areas and if they supply the likes of Cox and Jordan de Goey with enough of the footy they will go close to notching up the Pies first flag since 2010

However, West Coast are a dominant force in the air and with Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling both fully fit and in the side at the same time the Eagles haven't missed a beat, winning 13 from 13. Jeremy McGovern is another influence with his intercept marking. Look for him to patrol the backline and it will be interesting to see if he lines up on the man of the moment, Mason Cox. . 

Match Odds


West Coast $2.20
Collingwood $1.68

Team News


West Coast have a couple of key players that pulled up sore from the win over Melbourne. The focus will be on Jeremy McGovern's fitness after the star defender sat out the last term of the Demons win after copping a knee to the hip. Shuey hurt his ankle earlier in the game and looked in trouble but returned to the field later on. 

Collingwood are likely to head in with an unchanged line up. Jeremy Howe has been cleared to play after hurting his ankle during the Preliminary Final win over Richmond. 

Stats


The Qualifying Final was a classic encounter three weeks ago and it was West Coast that broke away in the dying stages to win by 16. Elliot Yeo was the Eagles best, while Steele Sidebottom and Taylor Adams found a stack of the ball for Collingwood. That game was played at Perth Stadium

Prior to that, the two sides met as recently as Round 17 at the MCG this season and on that occasion it was West Coast by 35 points. Jeremy McGovern was West Coast's best, while Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling combined for six goals. Jordan de Goey, Josh Thomas and Brody Mihocek combined for all of Collingwood's nine majors. Mason Cox was missing from the side that day. 

The two sides have never met in a Grand Final but have played in some classic finals over the years. They drew in the 2007 Semi Final before Collingwood saluted in extra time and again back in 1990 when the Pies won the replay a week later. 

Collingwood have won three of the five finals between the two sides. The Magpies have won 10 of their 16 games at the MCG this season. West Coast have been to the home of footy on just two occasions this year for two wins, with one of those coming over Collingwood. 

Their last final at the venue was in the 2015 decider when they went down to Hawthorn by 47 points. Collingwood last featured in the Grand Final in 2011 when they lost to Geelong by 38. 

Interestingly, the past five Grand Finals have seen a Victorian side play an interstate side. All of those have gone the way of the Victorian side, auguring well for Collingwood. 

Another stat to consider is that in the current final eight system there have been five times that the Qualifying Final combatants have faced each other again in the Grand Final. The loser of the Qualifying Final has turned the tables in all of those. 

Prediction and Tips


Despite a couple of the stats pointing against West Coast, the Eagles can trouble Collingwood with their dominance in the air. Provided that they don't get stage fright like they did in 2015, the premiership cup may very well be headed west. Expect a close encounter, not too dissimilar to the recent Qualifying Final. 


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West Coast Eagles v Collingwood Grand Final Tips, Predictions and Match Preview- Eagles to snare the coveted silverware

Can the Eagles secure the premiership cup or will it be the Magpies? They play off in Saturday's Grand Final at the MCG.

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