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AFL: Top four on the line for Pies and Bombers

Collingwood and Essendon both head into Friday night’s blockbuster at the MCG on the back of defeats, and will be keen to bounce back.

Essendon sit in fourth spot on the ladder, just two points and two places above Collingwood, so the stakes are high.

A place in the top four is crucial if you want to win the premiership, and just two points separate Fremantle in third and Port Adelaide in seventh.

Collingwood can be backed at 7.00 to go on and win back-to-back premierships, while Essendon are available at 34.00 to do the same.

The scores were level at 85-85 when the two sides met back in round 7 and another tight game could be on the cards on Friday night.

. What: Collingwood v Essendon
. Where: MCG, Melbourne
. When: 19:40 (AEST), Friday 5th July 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 7
. Odds: Collingwood 1.50, Essendon 2.60

Injuries stack up for Pies

Collingwood’s premiership defence has not been helped by a crippling injury list that has robbed them of key players.

Credit has to be given to the Pies for fighting their way to sixth spot on the ladder without some of their influential stars.

Unfortunately for them, the bad luck is showing no signs of going away.

John Noble is a definite non-starter against the Bombers after suffering concussion, while Beau McCreery is also expected to miss out with a calf injury.

Jamie Elliott, Mason Cox and Tom Mitchell are all at least two weeks away from making a return, leaving head coach Craig McRae with selection issues.

The return of Jordan De Goey, Scott Pendlebury, Brody Mihocek and Oleg Markov has helped but they could not prevent a loss to the Gold Coast Suns last weekend.

Mihocek and De Goey both booted two goals against the Suns and are 10.00 and 15.00 respectively to boot the first of the game on Friday night.

Nick Daicos again caught the eye with 32 disposals and is 1.50 to collect 30+ against the Bombers.

Bombers need to bounce back

Essendon are managing to hold on to a spot in the top four despite winning just one game in the last four.

That win was against lowly West Coast, but they could not build on it and suffered a 45-point loss against Geelong on Saturday.

The Bombers have also failed to beat Collingwood in the last three games, and will be keen to put that right.

If they are to snap the sequence and pick up a win, it is likely to be tight, and they can be backed at 6.00 to win by 1-12 points.

Jake Stringer remains in good form this season and he kicked another two goals in the loss to Geelong.

The midfielder is priced at 13.00 to kick the first of the game, or 1.20 to kick a goal at anytime.

Jye Caldwell can be backed at 2.50 to collect 30+ disposals, just like he did against Geelong with 32.

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