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Aussie Rules: American Pie ruled out

Collingwood have put an early marker down for the 2023 AFL campaign with two big wins and will be out for another when they face Richmond on Friday night.

It is very early days but the Pies are showing signs that their 2022 campaign was no fluke. They are now the hot fancies at 5.50 to go on and win the Grand Final and another positive result over the Tigers will strengthen their claims.

Meanwhile Richmond also have ambitions to return to the top in 2023. After winning three premierships in a four-year spell, they have slipped over the last couple of seasons.

A win over Collingwood under the lights at the MCG may get one or two believing they could challenge for the flag once again. It is only week three, but you sense this is a big game that could say a lot about what is to come down the line. 

The Western Bulldogs beat the Brisbane Lions in a surprise outcome on Thursday night and there is plenty more exciting footy to come. Starting with the Pies v Tigers. Let’s take a closer look at the match-up.

What:Collingwood v Richmond Tigers
Where:MCG, Melbourne
When:19:50 (AEST) Friday 31st March, 2023
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo
Odds:Collingwood 1.40, Tigers 3.00

Cox blow for Pies

Collingwood have continued where they left off last season by stringing together some impressive results. They made a big statement in the very first game when beating reigning premiers Geelong and backed that up by thrashing Port Adelaide in round two.

Now if they can knock over Richmond, Brisbane and St Kilda in the next three rounds then people will really start to talk. But no doubt they will be taking it one game at a time and next up will be the Tigers.

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They will have to do it without Mason Cox however following the news a rib injury will keep him out of Friday night’s blockbuster. The Pies ruckman suffered the injury in the win over Port Adelaide but it was thought he had just suffered bruising and would make a sharp return. 

However scans have since revealed complications and some internal bleeding. Further investigation will be needed but he is looking at a number of weeks on the sidelines. 

Ash Johnson has been confirmed as the player who will come in and replace Cox. Elsewhere for Collingwood there is some good news as Brody Mihocek has been given the all-clear to make his return from a finger injury.

Martin blow for Tigers

Richmond have made a strong start to the season and are also unbeaten. However one of those was a draw in the very first game of the new season against Carlton. 

They followed that up with a comfortable win over Adelaide, but there are bigger tests to come, starting with Collingwood. Games against Sydney Swans, Melbourne and Geelong loom large and only after those games will we be able to tell if Richmond are the real deal this season. 

A win over the Pies would be a great place to start but they will be missing key players for the game, including superstar Dustin Martin. Thankfully the hamstring injury he sustained is not a serious one, but the Tigers will not take a gamble on him and he will sit this one out. 

Richmond will also be missing Jayden Short who is struggling with a calf injury and will not be risked, while new recruit Jacob Hopper is also out. 

The midfielder suffered a knee injury late in the game against Adelaide and will carry on undergoing treatment in the hope he will make a speedy return. 

Gun forward Tom Lynch has recovered from a cork and is fit to play, but Nathan Broad misses out through suspension.

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