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AFL Round 20 Preview: North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Collingwood Magpies (5 August)

What will be a game for pride sees two teams with a point to prove collide on a Saturday Night at Etihad Stadium


An interesting contest between two sides who managed unexpected results last week. The Kangaroos continued their bullying streak of the Demons and went on to win by four points at Blundstone arena. The highly favoured finals fancying Demons were unable to break their massive losing streak which now sits at longer than 4000 days. North fans would have been happy to see their team win and pull themselves out of the bottom two with a great win, and would like to see their team go back to back in a winnable match on Saturday night.

Collingwood’s last match was drawn but it was just as good as a loss. The Magpies first half against the ladder-leading Adelaide Crows was sublime. Leading my fifty points two minutes into the third term after leading by 38 at the main break, the Magpies collapsed spectacularly, falling in a heap as the Crows stormed home to tie the match after the siren. Kicking 13 goals to six in the second half saw a rampant Crows side shock the ‘Pies and the football world, and left coach Nathan Buckley speechless as to how his side had surrendered such a huge lead. Under pressure again, Collingwood cannot afford anymore slip-ups of that proportion if they want coach Nathan Buckley to still be in charge in 2018.

Recent Results

RD 18, 2016: North Melbourne 18.16 (124) def Collingwood 12.12 (84) at Etihad Stadium

RD 9, 2015: Collingwood 17.10 (112) def North Melbourne 14.11 (95) at the MCG

RD 5, 2014: Collingwood 13.15 (93) def North Melbourne 8.10 (58) at the MCG

RD 23, 2013: North Melbourne 19.11 (125) def Collingwood 17.12 (114) at the MCG

RD 1, 2013: Collingwood 15.13 (103) def North Melbourne 13.9 (87) at Etihad Stadium

Key Factors

The Magpies confidence will have taken a hit thanks to last week’s awkward draw with the Crows. After being 50 points up it’s incredible to thin they managed to blow their lead. However, this week’s opponents are notorious for such a fault. North Melbourne will need to go with the ‘Pies early, but if things are close, expect them to struggle, the Kangaroos win the least close games of any side and surrender big leads much easier than they should.

Last time the two sides met North were comfortable victors, getting up by 40 points. Granted, this was last season, where North Melbourne finished inside the top eight, this season North are struggling to stay out of the bottom two.

Collingwood has handled the ball more than any other side so far this year. The pies average 406 disposals per match which is the most of any team.

North Melbourne have an incredibly long injury list. The Kangaroos have no doubt been incredibly unlucky when it comes to serious injury. Eight Kangaroos players have suffered season ending injuries in 2017, and there are numerous other players who are still multiple weeks away. Key Kangaroos Jarrad Waite, Ben Jacobs, Jamie Macmillan, Marley Williams, Mason Wood, Sam Wright and Majak Daw all find themselves on the injury list in round 20, some of them will not return to aid their struggling ‘Roos side in 2017.

On paper, Collingwood appears to have one of the best lists going around. With the likes of Pendlebury, Adams, Treloar, Grundy and Sidebottom running their midfield, it’s a great surprise the Magpies haven’t won more matches. However, the Daniel Wells factor comes into play this week, as the Magpies aim to continue their incredibly good record with him in the side. Wells will be out to prove the doubters wrong once again, especially against his old side.

Injury List

North Melbourne

Paul Ahren, Knee (Season)

Majak Daw, Foot (TBC)

Mitch Hibberd, Shoulder (Season)

Ben Jacobs, Lower Leg (Season)

Oscar Junker, Broken Tibia (1-2 Weeks)

Jamie Macmillan, Finger (Season)

Kayne Turner, Knee (1 Week)

Ed Vickers-Willis, PCL (Season)

Corey Wagner, Ankle (1-2 Weeks)

Jarrad Waite, Calf (2 Weeks)

Declan Watson, Knee (Season)

Marley Williams, Back (Season)

Mason Wood, Calf (1-2 Weeks)

Sam Wright, Foot/Ankle (Season)


Mitch McCarthy, Foot (2-3 Weeks)

Sam McLarty, Hip/Groin (1 Week)

Adam Oxley, Ankle (Season)

Scott Pendlebury, Broken Finger (2-3 Weeks)

Brayden Sier, Foot (1 week)

Ben Sinclar, Hamstring (TBC)

Travis Varcoe, Elbow (2-3 Weeks)

Rupert Wills, Quad (1-2 Weeks)


North Melbourne 

IN: Todd Goldstein, Nick Larkey

OUT: Majak Daw (Foot), Jarrad Waite (Calf)

B: Sam Durdin, Robbie Tarrant, Daniel Nielson

HB: Aaron Mullett, Scott D. Thompson, Luke McDonald

C: Shaun Atley, Andrew Swallow, Ryan Clarke

HF: Nathan Hrovat, Ben Brown, Jy Simpkin

F: Shaun Higgins, Braydon Preuss, Taylor Garner

FOL: Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell, Ben Cunnington

INT: Trent Dumont, Nick Larkey, Declan Mountford, Sam Gibson


IN: No Change

OUT: No Change

B: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Tom Langdon

HB: Jack Crisp, Tyson Goldsack, Brayden Maynard

C: Steele Sidebottom, Taylor Adams, Will Hoskin-Elliot

HF: Josh Thomas, Ben Reid, Jordan De Goey

F: Jamie Elliot, Darcy Moore, Alex Fasolo

FOL: Brodie Grundy, Daniel Wells, Adam Treloar

INT: Jarryd Blair, Matthew Scharenberg, Levi Greenwood, Tom Phillips

Final Prediction

With such a long injury list and an opposition hungry to prove their credentials, it is hard to see North Melbourne winning here. The Kangaroos should put up a good fight, but Collingwood look to strong on paper and on form. Ben Brown will need to be massive and the ‘Roos midfielders will need some silver service from Todd Goldstein if they are to provide an upset.

Collingwood by 19 points

  1. Who wins on this Saturday night clash - Roos or Pies?

    1. North Melbourne
    2. Collingwood
    9 votes
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Joel Bowes

Joel is a passionate Adelaide Crows supporter and has always loved his footy. Being a member of Real Sport's Aussie Rules writing team, Joel enjoys bringing quality content to other footy lovers via both opinion and in depth research.

AFL Round 20 Preview: North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Collingwood Magpies (5 August)

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