Is it Christmas? It sure seems like it with the AFL returning this Thursday night! After a long two month hiatus, Round 2 of the 2020 season will finally be played this week, getting underway on Thursday night with a massive game between Collingwood and Richmond.
We’ll have a full preview and AFL tips for every game in Round 2, starting with a dedicated preview for the Thursday night game below!
Thursday, 11th June, 7.40pm (AEST)
The Magpies and Tigers both recorded good wins in Round 1 back in March and will be looking to resume their season with another win. If form and odds are anything to go by, then this could well be a preview to what could be a massive finals matchups later in the year.
The Pies were absolutely dominant over the Bulldogs in Round 1, travelling to Marvel Stadium and recording a 52 point win which landed them in 2nd place on the ladder at the conclusion of the round. Brodie Grundy was the standout performer of the night, racking up 19 touches, 37 hitouts and a goal in the win to finish with a game high 114 fantasy points.
Collingwood will be without some key players for their Round 2 matchup with the Tigers, as Dayne Beams remains on the sidelines due to mental health concerns while Adam Treloar is set to miss 1-2 more weeks with a calf strain. Key forward Mason Cox is battling some knee issues and is likely to be left out for Darcy Cameron.
Steele Sidebottom has been relegated to a forward flank/wing over the last few seasons but with both Treloar and Beams set to miss this clash, the veteran should be thrust back into the middle of the ground for portions of the game. He had 26 touches in Round 1 against the Doggies and we expect him to have big numbers again this Thursday night.
The Tigers were 24 point winners over the Blues in their annual opening night clash. After kicking away to an 8 goal lead in the first half, Richmond went into cruise control and although the Blues crawled their way back into the game, the reigning premiers looked in control throughout the contest.
Dustin Martin was dominant in the win, racking up 24 touches and a goal while Dion Prestia was solid through the midfield with 25 disposals. Shai Bolton, Jack Riewoldt, Jason Castagna and Daniel Rioli each kicked three goals.
The Tigers have a fantastic bill of health at the moment. Besides Bachar Houli, who is battling a calf injury at the moment but could still play this week, the Tigers won’t be missing anyone from their best 22. Tom Lynch has kicked 12 goals in his last four games against the Pies, including a five goal performance in his only matchup while playing for the Tigers. We like him to have another strong game this Thursday.
Tough game to call here. With both teams at full fitness it would be almost impossible to pick a winner, however, with some key injuries to Magpies we have to lean towards the Tigers on Thursday night. The line is just 7.5 points, which the Tigers covered comfortably last time the two teams met, back in Round 19 last year.
Richmond won by 22 points that night, with Dustin Martin racking up 38 touches and two goals in a dominant performance. Levi Greenwood will be out for the Pies through injury, which will make it hard to corral Martin once again. Back him to have a big game and the Tigers to cover the 7.5 point spread.
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