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West Coast Eagles v Collingwood Qualifying Final Predictions and Match Preview - Eagles to hold the aces over the plucky Pies

Adam Cusworth 7 Sep 2018
  • The Eagles host the Magpies at Perth Stadium in what should be a cracking encounter on Saturday September 8. 

The first weekend of the 2018 AFL Finals Series concludes when the West Coast Eagles take on Collingwood in the Saturday night Qualifying Final. 

The Saturday September 8 clash sees the Eagles and the Magpies battle it out for a shot at the Preliminary Final and first bounce is at 8.10PM. Channel 7 and Fox Footy will broadcast the game. 

Match Preview


The two sides surprised many this year and few had them qualifying for finals, let alone finishing inside the top four. 

West Coast won 16 of their 22 games in season 2018, while Collingwood chalked up 15 victories. Both have defied injuries to key players and come off Round 23 wins. 

The Eagles sealed a top four berth by defeating the Brisbane Lions in Round 23 by 26 points, while on the same weekend, Collingwood ventured to Perth and defeated Fremantle by nine. 

The Eagles head in as slight favourites for the Qualifying Final on the back of the home ground advantage and will look to dominate the Magpies, particularly in the air. 

Adam Simpson's taller player were the difference the last time the two sides met and as a team they top the competition for marks and contested marks. Look for Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling to have an influence up forward, while Jeremy McGovern will play his usual sweeping role in the backline. 

However, Collingwood come into calculations on the back of their sublime midfield that boasts the likes of Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom and Taylor Adams. The Magpies lead the competition for average disposals, while West Coast are 16th. Nathan Buckley's outfit should find plenty of the ball in the middle and if they can covert up forward they are well and truly in this. 

A win for either side will set up a Preliminary Final berth in a fortnight, while the loser will face a sudden death Elimination Final against either Sydney or the GWS Giants. 

Team News


West Coast are expected to regain Josh Kennedy from injury, meaning that Oscar Allen is likely to make way for the star forward. 

Collingwood still have a stack of players on their injury list. Adam Treloar is rated as a minor chance of coming back from his hamstring injury. Jeremy Howe should finally be ok after battling a corkie for a number of weeks. 

Stats


The two sides met as recently as Round 17 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. 

Collingwood have won two of the past three against the Eagles but have not defeated them in Perth since 2009. The two sides 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 four finals between the two sides. The Magpies are yet to play West Coast at Perth Stadium but defeated Fremantle at their one appearance at the venue so far this season. 

Prediction and Tips


Despite Collingwood's very respectable record outside of Victoria, as well as their dominance in finals over West Coast, the Eagles are the ones to back here. With Kennedy in the side they have rarely missed a beat this year and his inclusion is a massive one. 


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West Coast Eagles v Collingwood Qualifying Final Predictions and Match Preview - Eagles to hold the aces over the plucky Pies

The Eagles host the Magpies at Perth Stadium in what should be a cracking encounter on Saturday September 8.

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