The 600: Round 12B AFL preview

Collingwood want to win for Mick Malthouse in his 600th match as coach, writes Nick Tedeschi of Betfair.

Collingwood Magpies Training SessionMick Malthouse celebrates his 600th match as an AFL head coach this Saturday against the Sydney Swans and his Collingwood team will be hell-bent on providing him with a victory.

AFL teams have a tendency to lift markedly for the milestone matches of club legends and Collingwood have had few bigger legends in recent times than Mick Malthouse. He has been the dominant force at the club for over a decade now and with his career on the line his players are sure to turn in a brilliant performance against the Swans.

There is no doubt Collingwood have been working themselves into form over the last month with three straight victories. Those three wins were admittedly against weaker opponents but they have been dominant in them all including a brilliant 66 point win over the usually plucky Demons in a rain sodden affair at the MCG.

Collingwood’s recent record of dominance over Sydney also points to a Pies victory. Collingwood have won six straight against the Swans including three straight wins in Sydney at ANZ Stadium. The average margin of victory for Collingwood in the last six matches has been 28.17 points with the closest match being a 13-point affair back in 2006.

Collingwood should get over the top of the aging Swans. They are certainly the bet. Anything above 1.75 is a trade.

The Friday night match is an interesting affair with Essendon taking on Melbourne at the Docklands. The Bombers sit well above the last placed Demons on the premiership ladder but Essendon have not had a good run against Melbourne in recent times. Essendon have won only three of their last seven against Melbourne with two of those victories being by less than a goal and the biggest margin being 16. Melbourne have been competitive in seven of their last eight matches and are capable of upsetting the Dons, who have lost four of their last six. Melbourne with any plus in excess of 18 ½ points is the bet of the week while traders can speculate on the Demons at 3.20 in the Match Odds market.

On Sunday, the undefeated Geelong have won five on the trot against Fremantle, who have lost three straight matches to teams sitting outside the top eight. The Cats will have too much class for the Dockers and the 1.06 on offer is better than interest, as they say. The start, however, may be a little big and those keen to play the line should side with Fremantle with anything bigger than seven goals start. The Dockers have been competitive in all bar one match at Subiaco and Geelong may have bigger things on their mind.

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