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AFL: Collingwood and Melbourne set for MCG showdown

Collingwood and Melbourne will battle it out in the first qualifying final and the clash at the MCG is too close to call.

Collingwood have been the stand-out team throughout the 2023 AFL season, but on current form, Melbourne will fancy their chances of getting the job done.

After finishing in the top four, whoever loses will get another crack in the semi-finals, but both will be fighting hard to get the job done at the first attempt.

The MCG will packed to the rafters, the atmosphere will be hot, and it is likely to come down to which side can handle the occasion better.

WhatCollingwood v Melbourne
WhereMCG, Melbourne
When19:20 (AEST) Thursday 7th September, 2023
How to watchChannel 7, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsCollingwood 1.85, Melbourne 1.97

Pies return to winning ways

Collingwood will be feeling better about themselves after bouncing back to winning ways with a convincing 70-point win over Essendon on Friday.

The victory secured the minor premiership, but it is grand final glory they really crave, and now the hard work really does begin.

They lost just five games throughout the regular season, but three of them came in the last five games of the regular season.

One of the defeats was against second-placed Brisbane, while in-form Carlton also beat them. Both games were on home soil and they will be keen to repay their members with a win.

Collingwood do have a decent record against Melbourne when winning two of the last three meetings, but each game has been close.

The Pies have quality all over the park with Nick Daicos in midfield and skipper Darcy Moore in defence, but it has been Brody Mihocek leading the way up top.

The key forward has booted 44 goals so far this season and can be backed at 11.00 to kick the first of the game.

Melbourne have the experience

The Demons know how to win the flag having done so as recently as 2021 and they will feel they can go all the way again.

Simon Goodwin’s side finished fourth on the ladder, eight points behind the Pies, but their form in recent weeks has been better.

They have lost just once in the last four games and that came against a Carlton side that have been flying. And there was only four points in it.

Melbourne will of course feel very at home at the MCG and they beat Collingwood there in round 13 this season. Again it was a close one with the Demons winning by four points.

It is likely to be close again and Melbourne can be backed at 5.50 to win by 1-12 points.

Christian Petracca will be key for Melbourne as he is averaging 27.9 disposals a game in 2023.

The midfielder is priced at 1.50 to produce 25+ against Collingwood.

Melbourne have suffered one big setback however with the news that Jake Melksham will play no part in finals after rupturing his ACL against Sydney at the weekend.

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