Where and when: Giants Stadium, Saturday July 20, 4.35pm
TV, radio and online: Click here for broadcast guide
What it means for GWS: The loss of Stephen Coniglio last week was another massive blow for the Giants, who have dropped four of their past five games. They must beat the Pies to arrest their form slump or the season might be over.
What it means for Collingwood: After last week's stunning upset on the road against West Coast, the Magpies are back in the important second spot. They must repeat the feat on the Giants' home deck if they want to stay there.
The stat: Collingwood dominated and kicked 3.6 to 0.2 in last year's semi-final to overwhelm the Giants at the MCG. The visitors fought back and only lost by 10 points, but they were helped by the Pies' poor accuracy in front of goal.
The match-up: Adam Treloar v Daniel Lloyd
The star Magpie, ranked 22nd in the Official AFL Player Ratings, has averaged 33.6 possessions per game this season and while he's not always a reliable kick, his running power hurts opposition teams. Lloyd (374th) did a solid job on Dustin Martin for most of the game last week and has the tank to go with the former Giant.
It’s a big week for: Toby Greene
Set for an extended stint as a midfielder with Callan Ward (knee), Josh Kelly (calf) and Coniglio (knee) missing, the gifted forward becomes even more important to the Giants. Greene found plenty of the footy and kicked two goals against Richmond last week and will need to produce big numbers against the Pies.
Big call: Harry Perryman will be given the task of limiting star Magpie Steele Sidebottom, and the tough youngster will keep the wingman under 20 possessions for just the second time this season.
Prediction: GWS by 11 points
From Land of the Giants
How quickly things can change.
In the space of eighteen days, we’ve gone from being premiership contenders, and top four certainties, to the very real possibility of not even making the finals.
Today was almost the same as last week. We lost the first quarter convincingly and then broke even for the rest of the game. It wasn’t good enough against the Lions and was never going to be good enough against the Tigers at the MCG. The effort was there, but the question is, why the slow starts?
The injury curse appears to have reared its ugly head again. Ward, De Boer, Kelly and now Coniglio out (and almost Whitfield, again). To lose Coniglio to an ACL would be a tragedy, but Leon did sound optimistic that his injury is not as serious as Ward's. Cross your fingers and hope.
But despite the injuries and three losses on the trot, it's not all bad news. We do have something to get excited about. Bobby Hill was brilliant on debut, three goals from fifteen disposals. He was full of spark on getting the nod, talking about “the magic” he’s capable of, and he certainly didn’t disappoint, providing the kind of “X” factor usually ascribed to Toby (who also had one of his best games in a long time). Do we have any other players like him waiting in the wings?
We’ll need more tricks from Hill on Saturday evening against Collingwood, who are coming off some magic of their own, knocking off the Eagles in Perth. Those kinds of come-from-behind wins are gold and the Magpies will be brimming with confidence.
As for team changes, Mumford and Finlayson are possibilities to return. Simpson convincingly won the hit outs today, but I'm not sure if he can cope with Brodie Grundy. I realise Mumford is more experienced, which won't count for anything if he's injured. Hately, Shipley and Bonar all played well in the NEAFL, but I’m unsure who any of them would replace.
This is going to be huge and easily our biggest game of the year. And despite the run of poor form and injury concerns, I feel quietly confident going into it. The effort was there today and we looked pretty sharp at times. We just cannot let Collingwood get away to a fast start.
The Magpies will have no shortage of supporters, so we need all our own members in attendance, and please bring your loudest voice with you.
We will rise to the occasion.
Last edited by a moderator: