The Easter weekend of footy kicks off Thursday night (local time) as the Brisbane Lions look to overcome a five-day break when they host the Collingwood Magpies, a team they have an 1-8 record against in their last nine contests.
Despite suffering their first loss of the season last week, Lions fans will be thrilled at the club’s start to 2019 (3-1) with whispers that playing finals, something the club has not achieved since 2008, are a real possibility.
With this match being the first time in almost nine years the Lions have played in front of a sell-out home crowd, the stage is set for the Lions’ youngsters to dent Collingwood’s strong recent record as an away favourite, having won six of their past seven matches.
Collingwood enter the round sitting mid-table with a 2-2 record, and with a relatively easy next month of footy ahead, there remains every chance the club could be 7-4 or even 8-3 come the halfway mark of the season.
While Dayne Beams is expected back to face his old club for the first time, Chris Mayne is likely to be given a week of rest, after copping a hard knock to the ribs last week. As for the Lions, despite their first loss of the season last week, an unchanged outfit is expected.
Players to watch: Cameron Rayner (Brisbane) was a revelation in his first season of footy last year, but his start to 2019 has been up and down. Can he rebound from his first goalless effort last week with a bag of goals this week?
Brodie Grundy (Collingwood) had arguably his most dominant match ever last week: not only did his team win the hitout count 60-6, but he had 17 taps to advantage, with zero going against him.
Stat attack: The Lions have been excellent in front of goal this year, kicking a league-leading 56 goals and 45 behinds.
Three of the last four H2H encounters have produced over 200 total points.
Jordan de Goey has polled Brownlow votes in his last two matches against Brisbane.
Brisbane have not defeated Collingwood at the Gabba since 2010.
B Luke Hodge, Harris Andrews, Daniel Rich
HB Alex Witherden, Darcy Gardiner, Mitch Robinson
C Jarrod Berry, Lachie Neale, Hugh McCluggage
HF Cam Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Lincoln McCarthy
F Charles Cameron, Daniel McStay, Oscar McInerney
FOL Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko, Jarryd Lyons
I/C Allen Christensen, Josh Walker, Nick Robertson, Rhys Mathieson
EMG Ben Keays, Connor Ballenden, Noah Answerth, Archie Smith
B Brayden Maynard, Jordan Roughead, Jeremy Howe
HB Jack Crisp, Darcy Moore, James Aish
C Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips
HF Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Jamie Elliott
F Travis Varcoe, Brody Mihocek, Jordan De Goey
FOL Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Dayne Beams
I/C Callum L. Brown, Adam Treloar, Tom Langdon, Jaidyn Stephenson
EMG Flynn Appleby, Ben Crocker, Levi Greenwood, Rupert Wills
IN Dayne Beams
OUT Chris Mayne (injured)
My prediction for the game
I am continue to bet on Collingwood Magpies because I think that this team is one of the main favorites of this season and odds 1.64 (16/25) look very good for a bet.
My prediction: Collingwood Magpies will win the game with odds 1.64 in Marathonbet.