Jordan de Goey kicked three goals against GWS last week.
Jordan de Goey kicked three goals against GWS last week.

How many goals do Collingwood need?

HOW can Collingwood beat Richmond?

The simple answer to that would be to say 'well, the Pies need to kick more goals than the Tigers'.

But how many goals should Collingwood be looking to get? What is the likely minimum they will need to kick to give themselves a sniff at a grand final berth.

For me the number coach Nathan Buckley should be targeting is 15.

Has Collingwood's forward line got the ability to do that? That's the question.

History has shown the Pies need to kick around that 15 goal mark to beat Richmond.

In their past four losses, Collingwood has returned bags of 16, 16, 14 and 14 goals. It hasn't kicked more than 12 goals.

However when it did beat the Tigers in Round 2, 2016, it kicked 13 goals to their 12.

What happens at either end of the ground is going to be really important. Why?

Because both midfields are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with each other.

I'm really looking forward to watching the midfield battle on the MCG.

Collingwood's midfield with Adam Treloar back and playing well runs really deep.

They have Steele Sidebottom in career best form, Scott Pendlebury is a superstar, Taylor Adams, plus a number of others that can rotate through there when they need.

They can certainly match it with Richmond when they are playing at their best.

Collingwood is going to need someone to catch fire up forward.


Collingwood's Mason Cox battles with Richmond's Toby Nankervis at the MCG earlier this year. Picture: Michael Klein
Collingwood's Mason Cox battles with Richmond's Toby Nankervis at the MCG earlier this year. Picture: Michael Klein

Jordan de Goey was fantastic last week, and I'm expecting Dylan Grimes to go to him.

I would love to see Brody Mihocek play a defensive role on Alex Rance. I want to see Mihocek make Rance accountable, make defend every entry, not allow him to take intercept marks or allow him to stand where he wants to stand.

The biggest thing about finals football, and I remember talking to Steve Johnson about it, that you can never expect the easy ball as a forward.

In the home and away season it is easier to get the easy ball, but in finals you've just got to embrace the fact that every possession you get will be contested as a key forward.

That's why Mason Cox is also going to be very important. I thought he was a hell of a lot better against GWS Giants than he was a fortnight ago against West Coast.

He doesn't need to always mark them, but he just needs to make sure he isn't getting pushed under the ball and that he is able to get the ball to ground.

He has to make sure he is predictable with how he plays and that will really bring Collingwood's small forwards into the game.

That's crucial for the Magpies to hit that magical number 15.

OVER in Perth it is crucial Melbourne makes a strong start.

The Dees are going into hostile territory and the best way to quieten down the crowd is to get on top early.

They've certainly got the players to do that. Clayton Oliver and Jack Viney are inside beasts, then you've got guys like Angus Brayshaw, Christian Petracca, Nathan Jones and James Harmes all doing an amazing job.

Their midfield really is as good as any midfield in the competition and if they can get on top early then Melbourne's forward line can really fire.

Tom McDonald was outstanding against Geelong, taking a number of big marks early to set the tone for his team.

He did the same against Hawthorn too.

As a midfielder you grow so much in confidence when you know you can go fast through the middle of the ground and your key forward is on top early.

We're set for a fascinating preliminary final weekend. I'm sure both games will be rippers.