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AFL: Pies and Lions face a must-win showdown

Brisbane and Collingwood clash in a grand final re-match on Thursday night, with both sides still looking for their first win of the new AFL season.

It was Collingwood who won the big dance in 2023, but they have suffered a major hangover, losing their three opening games in 2024.

They are now priced at 12.00 to defend their premiership, but will have to turn their season around quickly if they are to do so and some have written them off already.

Brisbane have also started poorly, losing their opening two games and are 10.00 to go on and win the grand final.

Despite it still being very early in the season, it is a game that neither side can afford to lose, which will add to the tension.

The stakes are high at the Gabba which should make for an exciting clash.

What: Brisbane v Collingwood
Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
When: 19:30, Thursday 28th March 2024
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 7
Odds: Brisbane 1.40, Collingwood 3.00

Neale return boosts Lions

The Gabba is usually a fortress for the Lions, they won every game at the venue in 2023.

However, they suffered a one-point defeat on home soil against Carlton in the opening game of the season and backed it up with a 23-point loss to Fremantle in Perth.

They were not in action at the weekend, so have had time to go away, lick their wounds and come back stronger.

Coach Chris Fagan does have some selection issues after losing a couple of key players through injury.

Keidean Coleman is out with an ACL injury, while Conor McKenna is also on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

It means that former captain Dayne Zorko could slot into the backline to help fill the void.

There is some good news for Brisbane however as Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale has recovered from a hamstring niggle and is ready to return.

The gun midfielder can be backed at 3.00 to produce 30+ disposals.

Meanwhile, Zorko has also revealed that despite sitting 0-2 for the season, confidence is still high in the Lions camp and he is backing them to turn things around.

When the two sides met at the Gabba in 2023, the Lions won by 33 points and they can be backed at 5.50 to win by 25-36 points on this occasion as well.

Pies remain cold

Collingwood have now suffered three defeats on the spin this season, the latest being a 15-point loss at St Kilda.

Now it is being suggested that Collingwood will struggle to make the top four this season and their chances of going back-to-back have certainly diminished.

Geelong also started 2023 0-3 and did not even make the top eight after winning the premiership the year before.

Collingwood will be out to prove the doubters wrong, starting with a win against the Lions on Thursday.

They can be backed at 6.50 to win a close game by 1-12 points.

Reef McInnes did shine against St Kilda when booting three goals and he can be backed at 13.00 to score the first against Brisbane or 1.22 to score at anytime.

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