It’s a quirky match indeed: a home game for Collingwood at the enemy fort, and on a Monday night.
St Kilda will go into this game as raging favourite, and deservedly so. In an unblemished start to 2009 the Saints have been playing the kind of tough, discliplined and attacking footy that supporters have been waiting for.
Much has already been written in 2009 about the strength of the St Kilda defensive unit, as well as the peak form being reached by the club’s key forwards and onball brigade.
In terms of a consistent season to date, the two sides could not provide a better contrast.
Collingwood’s record in 2009 reads WLWLW, and its inability to string two wins together has had coach Mick Malthouse pulling his hair out.
The Magpies have had their share of injuries this year, particularly in the forward half of the ground.
John Anthony will be absent tonight due to suspension, Alan Didak won’t play because of a hamstring strain and Paul Medhurst is under an injury cloud because of his troublesome ankle.
Heath Shaw returns to the field after missing games with hamstring problems of his own, and Anthony Rocca looks set to resume.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for Collingwood tonight will be finding a reliable avenue to goal. Travis Cloke has been completely out of sorts so far this season, Leon Davis has been ok, but there is no one else to use as a ‘go to’ player.
It will take one or more of Cloke, Rocca, Davis, Medhurst or Dale Thomas to really stand up and have a big impact if the Pies are to be any chance.
Who is going to stand up and be counted?