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AFL Preview: Saints v Magpies

Dinny Navaratnam, AFL Media  May 15, 2018 2:54 PM

Debutant Ed Phillips was a shining light for the Saints in Perth last week.

SUMMARY

It's been a brutal season for St Kilda, which has not won since round one against Brisbane. The Saints are bereft of confidence but their third term in last week's loss to Fremantle, when they kicked six goals, should give them some hope. Fixing their kicking, both in play and when trying to score, is critical. Meanwhile, Collingwood has shown signs they can be a good team but injuries to key players have hurt. While the Pies were 11th going into round nine, they were 4-4 with a percentage of 102. It's a decent position to be in but with Darcy Moore and Jamie Elliott succumbing to hamstring injuries and Ben Reid unavailable as he deals with an Achilles issue, they're missing talent up forward. Nathan Buckley will need to find a way to manufacture goals, although St Kilda is the lowest-scoring side in the competition this year, so that might not be a significant problem.

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, May 19, 7.25PM AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the AFL's broadcast guide

Due to the Royal Wedding, the game will be broadcast live on 7 Mate (Ch 73) along with Fox Footy.

LAST FIVE TIMES

R4, 2017, St Kilda 9.15 (69) d Collingwood 7.13 (55) at Etihad Stadium
R3, 2016, St Kilda 18.11 (119) d Collingwood 14.6 (90) at the MCG
R3, 2015, Collingwood 21.14 (140) d St Kilda 10.6 (66) at the MCG
R11, 2014, Collingwood 21.14 (140) d St Kilda 8.6 (54) at Etihad Stadium
R6, 2013, Collingwood 15.13 (103) d St Kilda 11.11 (77) at Etihad Stadium


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THE SIX POINTS

1. When these sides met in 2017, St Kilda had 27 more disposals, 43 more marks, laid 31 more tackles and had 16 more inside-50s. Jack Billings notched up 28 disposals, 10 marks and one goal.

2. The Saints are ranked last for points per game with 64. Collingwood is mid-table, averaging 86 points.

3. St Kilda has won the past two clashes between the two sides, ending Collingwood’s dominance after it won seven straight matches in 2010-15.

4. Nothing separates these teams at Etihad Stadium – they have each won six times. St Kilda has one win from five games at Etihad this season while Collingwood has won three of its past four matches at the venue.

5. This could be a high handballing game: no team handballs more than Collingwood, averaging 192 per game. St Kilda is second with an average of 178.

6. In-form Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy is ranked No.11 in the Schick AFL Player Ratings – a career-high.

Get your Halo On for 2018

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …

Collingwood's medical and fitness staff. With talented forwards Darcy Moore and Jamie Elliott suffering hamstring injuries again last week, in the AFL and VFL respectively, the club will review its practices and can ill-afford to lose more guns to injuries.