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2021 AFL Round 6: Collingwood vs Essendon Preview & Betting Tips

April 24th 2021, 9:23pm, By: Jack Tobin

AFL Magpies vs Bombers Betting Tips

Round six continues with the biggest game of the home & away season as Collingwood and Essendon go head to head in the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster at the MCG.We’ll be bringing you a dedicated preview and betting tips for EVERY game in the 2021 season so be sure to check our AFL Betting Tips page regularly for updates.

AFL Collingwood vs Essendon Betting Tips

MCG, Sunday 25th March, 3:20pm AEST

Both sides come into the clash with 1-4 for records, most expected that record from Essendon, however the underperforming Pies are under the pump. Collingwood were brave in their 27 point loss against West Coast, whilst the Bombers were completely outclassed in a 57 point loss to Brisbane last week.

Match Prediction 

It’s absolute carnage on the selection front for the Pies. Jordan De Goey (concussion), Jeremy Howe (hamstring), Levi Greenwood (concussion) and Mark Keane (suspension) will miss. Whilst for the Bombers, Jordan Ridley will miss through a concussion, meaning an incredibly inexperienced backline loses its most important cog.

Jay Rantall will debut for Collingwood, whilst it’s expected that the Bombers will bring in Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Andrew Phillips after strong form in the VFL.

The balance of Collingwood looms as the biggest question heading into the clash. Darcy Moore played up forward last week, and Will Kelly has been tipped to come in and play in defence so Moore can remain forward.

The loss of Jordan Ridley will have a massive impact on the Bombers, Ridley averaged 29 disposals, 7 marks and 10 rebound 50’s a game through the first four rounds of the season. Inexperienced pair Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Zach Reid will be under plenty of pressure to contain Collingwood’s forward line.

Collingwood’s biggest advantage in this clash will come through Brodie Grundy. Essendon have struggled in the ruck since Sam Draper went down with injury in round two, and Grundy has an opportunity to give Collingwood control of the game through the midfield. Grundy had 37 hitouts, 20 disposals and 10 clearances against the Bombers last season. Whilst against the Bombers in 2019 Grundy had returns of 33 disposals & 35 hitouts, and 24 disposals & 39 hitouts.

Essendon have rolled out the most inexperienced 22 in AFL over the last three weeks, and whilst that may hold them in good stead in the long run, it’ll make it tough for them in the immediate future.

Despite last week’s defeat, Collingwood will be buoyed by the effort they showed across the four quarters under challenging circumstances. The Pies have shown an ability to produce when under pressure, and Anzac Day will provide them a wonderful stage to answer their critics.

The Pies have won four of their past five against the Bombers, and Essendon hasn’t won on Anzac Day since 2018. With the way Collingwood has defended this season, it’s hard to see the Bombers kicking a winning score.

Collingwood -4.5 (1.5 Units)


Magpies Prop

As mentioned before, Grundy has dominated Essendon over the past few years. Grundy has averaged 25 disposals per game in his past four games against the Bombers. Whilst there has been plenty of critics of his ruck work this season, his around the ground effort has been elite. Grundy has averaged 22 disposals over the past three weeks despite Collingwood losing all three games, if the Pies can get going this week, Grundy will be all over the place. With the Bombers ruck stocks in disarray, Grundy should set to have an absolute field day on Sunday. 

Grundy 25+ Disp.


Bombers Prop

After a breakout season in 2020, Andrew McGrath has led the way for the Bombers through the midfield in 2021. With injuries to Dylan Shiel and Jye Caldwell, McGrath has shouldered the load through the middle, averaging 26 disposals per game this season, including a 30 disposal game last week in tough conditions against the Lions. McGrath’s contested game has gone to another level, averaging a career high in congested possessions and clearances clearances, whilst he’s ranked third in the AFL for tackles. McGrath’s been a consistent ball winner in 2020, and you can expect that to continue against the Pies.

McGrath 25+ Disp.


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