What a time to be an AFL fan! Due to the Easter weekend and ANZAC Day falling next week, there will be AFL games on 10 out of 11 days starting on Thursday! The Thursday night Round 5 opener sees the Brisbane Lions hosting the Collingwood Magpies in what should be an exciting game at The Gabba.
We take a look at the game and give our full betting tips below. Remember, you can check out the rest of our tips for the Round 5 action by heading to our AFL Tips Page later in the week.
Thursday 18th of April, 7.35pm AEST, Gabba
From all reports, Brisbane will sell out The Gabba for the first time since Brendon Fevola made his debut for the Lions against the Blues back in 2010. The hype around the 3-1 Lions at the moment is at fever pitch in Brisbane, which should make Thursday night a great game.
Brisbane started the season 3-0 but had their bubble somewhat burst on the weekend by an impressive looking Bombers side. Playing at the MCG, the Bombers were big 47 point winners over Brisbane which sent the Lions to 3-1 on the season, currently sitting in fourth place. Midfield recruit Lachie Neale was once again fantastic in the loss, racking up 40 touches, but ultimately the Lions struggled to find a reliable avenue to goal.
Despite the loss, it’s still been a stellar start to the season for the Lions, who will welcome the return to The Gabba this weekend against an old rival in Collingwood. Brisbane’s tall forward line struggled to get on top of the Bombers as they did in the first three weeks as Michael Hurley Cale Hooker were instrumental in defence. The Lions forwards might have an easier time this weekend against a Collingwood defence that is arguably undersized.
Brisbane’s injury list is in a pretty good place at the moment. Losing second year player Zac Bailey on the weekend with a hamstring injury was a slight blow, but apart from him, no best 22 players will be on the sidelines this weekend.
The Pies got the job done the hard way against the Bulldogs on Friday night to move to 2-2 on the season. After trailing by five points at three quarter time, Collingwood stacked on five goals to two in the last quarter to edge out a 14 point win. The host of Magpies small-medium sized forwards looked in sync in the win as Jamie Elliot, Jaidyn Stephenson, Josh Thomas and Jordan De Goey booted seven goals between them
The star-studded midfield that Collingwood possess probably hasn’t been as dominant as we would have expected to be in the pre-season. They were outplayed by a strong Cats unit in Round 1 before being manhandled by the Eagles in Round 3. They were once again, arguably outplayed by the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.
There shouldn’t be many changes to the Pies line-up after the win on the weekend. Daniel Wells is one to keep an eye on, however, as he was among the best players on the ground in Collingwood’s VFL game on the weekend.
2018 Round 21 – Collingwood (14.20.104) defeated Brisbane (11.7.73)
2018 Round 7 – Brisbane (18.6.114) lost to Collingwood (19.7.121)
2017 Round 10 – Collingwood (18.21.129) defeated Brisbane (13.6.84)
2016 Round 8 – Brisbane (10.5.65) lost to Collingwood (20.23.143)
2015 Round 1 – Brisbane (11.8.74) lost to Collingwood (12.14.86)
2014 Round 21 – Collingwood (8.8.56) lost to Brisbane (18.15.123)
Collingwood have won the last five meetings between these two sides, however, that in the midst of a Brisbane rebuild. The Lions look to finally be on the other side of that rebuild, and even in the two sides two games last year, they remained extremely competitive with the eventual Grand Finalists.
The Lions lost by just seven points at The Gabba in Round 7 last season as Dayne Zorko had a monster game with 34 touches and four goals. It should be an interesting battle in the ruck this weekend as forgotten premier ruckman in the league, Stefan Marin looks to reinsert his name back into the best ruckman conversation.
Tough game to call here. The Pies start as 9.5 point favourites on the road, which we think is a little high given the early form of the Lions, especially at The Gabba, where they trounced the Eagles by 44 points in Round 1 and captured another good win over the Power in Round 3. We like the Lions to cover here and we absolutely love them to win with the Sportsbet 12 points up at any quarter market. Look for them to get off to a flying start with the raucous Gabba crowd behind them
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