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Collingwood v Western Bulldogs

Collingwood, on an eight-game unbeaten streak, faces the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium. Despite significant injuries, both teams aim to prove their depth and resilience in this crucial Round 12 clash.

Collingwood heads into Round 12 with a remarkable eight-game unbeaten streak, which includes two draws, the latest of which came against Fremantle. The Magpies were in control for most of the game but had to settle for a 75-75 draw due to a contentious umpiring decision in the dying moments. Despite their impressive form, the reigning premiers have been plagued by injuries, with 15 players currently sidelined. Key players such as Jordan De Goey (3-4 weeks), Brody Mihocek (2-4 weeks), Jamie Elliott (TBC), and Scott Pendlebury (unable to pass his fitness test on Wednesday) are among the significant absentees.

In contrast, the injury crisis has allowed Collingwood to assess their younger talent, with a few emerging as promising contributors. The coaching staff has made five changes for their Round 12 match, notably including Jeremy Howe, who headlines the ins.

On the other side, the Western Bulldogs have been unpredictable this season, showing flashes of brilliance interspersed with disappointing performances. They, too, are dealing with injuries to key players. Tom Liberatore (1-2 weeks) is out with a concussion, Jason Johannisen (4-5 weeks) is sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Ed Richards (TBC) will miss the game after suffering his second concussion of the season last week. The Bulldogs have made three forced changes from the team that lost to Sydney, with Rory Lobb stepping in, eager to impress after requesting a trade midweek.

Collingwood, with the top four in their sights, will face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Friday night. Despite their injury woes, the Magpies have managed to stay competitive, securing a draw against Fremantle after leading by 25 points in the final quarter. The Bulldogs, however, are coming off a bruising loss to Sydney, which saw Aaron Naughton injure his knee and Ed Richards suffer a concussion. These injuries add to an already lengthy absentee list that includes Cody Weightman, Tom Liberatore, and Jason Johannisen.

Last season, Collingwood triumphed over the Bulldogs with an 89-77 victory at Marvel Stadium during Round 17, thanks to a stellar performance by Nick Daicos, who recorded 29 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 11 clearances, and two goals. The Magpies have won four of their last five encounters against the Bulldogs at Docklands, giving them a psychological edge heading into the game.

Currently, Collingwood stands at 6-3-2 and is managing to stay within the top eight despite their injury challenges. However, their forward line is increasingly undermanned, which could become a critical issue. The Western Bulldogs, sitting at 5-6, nearly overcame ladder-leader Sydney despite missing several key players. They will be looking to capitalize on Collingwood’s depleted lineup, especially with tough matches against Brisbane and Fremantle looming on the horizon.

As both teams grapple with their injury lists, the upcoming clash promises to be a test of depth and resilience. For Collingwood, maintaining their unbeaten streak and solidifying their top-four ambitions are at stake. For the Bulldogs, it’s an opportunity to prove their mettle and gain momentum as the season progresses. Marvel Stadium will witness a contest where every player stepping onto the field has a point to prove, making for a gripping Round 12 encounter.

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