The Crows' new guard, under coach Phil Walsh and skipper Taylor Walker, enjoyed immediate success last week with a demolition of premiership aspirant North Melbourne, with superstars Walker and Patrick Dangerfield unstoppable, and will be strongly favoured here. The Magpies, meanwhile, were dominant for most of their clash with the Brisbane Lions but can't afford a late fadeout this time against a primed opponent. The Pies will also miss injured star Steele Sidebottom against a deepening Crows' midfield. The winner will complete an impressive opening fortnight.
WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday April 11, 4.35pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the broadcast guide
LAST FIVE TIMES
R18, 2014, Adelaide 14.14 (98) d Collingwood 12.10 (82) at the MCG
R9, 2014, Adelaide 10.16 (76) d Collingwood 7.13 (55) at Adelaide Oval
R16, 2013, Collingwood 17.9 (111) d Adelaide 12.12 (84) at the MCG
R9, 2012, Collingwood 10.15 (75) d Adelaide 6.13 (49) at AAMI Stadium
R9, 2011, Collingwood 20.15 (135) d Adelaide 14.8 (92) at Etihad Stadium
IN THE MIX: ADELAIDE
Veteran midfielder Scott Thompson excelled in his first three quarters for the year, playing against West Adelaide in a trial last Saturday. He had 23 possessions and six clearances, while Matt Crouch – who played a full game – collected 34 possessions, seven marks and a goal. James Podsiadly was a rock in defence, which is where coach Phil Walsh sees his role in 2015. However, Walsh added that after such an emphatic AFL win it would be harsh for any player to fall out of last Sunday's 22 before the clash against Collingwood on Saturday. Luke Brown could be the exception if he can't overcome a corked thigh.
IN THE MIX: COLLINGWOOD
The Magpies will be forced to make at least one change with star midfielder Steele Sidebottom to be sidelined for six to eight weeks after sustaining a broken thumb in the last quarter of their season-opening win over the Brisbane Lions. Left-footer Ben Kennedy, an emergency last week, will come under strong consideration for promotion, as will Nathan Freeman, Tim Broomhead, Paul Seedsman and Sam Dwyer – the latter three performing strongly in Collingwood’s VFL practice match against Casey. Darcy Moore and Jonathon Marsh also impressed in the match, while coach Nathan Buckley has already confirmed Ben Reid will play VFL football this weekend.
THE SIX POINTS
1. The Crows can thank Patrick Dangerfield for their two wins over the Magpies in 2014. The powerful midfielder picked up three Brownlow votes in both wins after gathering 32 and 26 possessions respectively.
2. Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker was superb in round one against North Melbourne, with a scoring tally of 6.5 after amassing 21 kicks and 15 marks. Collingwood defeated the Lions after taking only 52 marks for the match in greasy conditions.
3. Collingwood was strong in close last week, with 165 of their total of 346 possessions coming in contested situations. In better conditions at Adelaide Oval the Crows' 366 possessions included 142 contested.
4. No team kicked the ball more in round one than the Crows, whose 241 kicks achieved 74.3 per cent efficiency. Collingwood had 197 kicks at 66.8 per cent efficiency.
5. Collingwood and Adelaide have met six times at Etihad Stadium for three wins apiece.
6. The Crows boast a distinct advantage over Collingwood in the Official AFL Player Ratings, with Patrick Dangerfield (No. 4), Rory Sloane (No. 5), Brodie Smith (No. 23), Sam Jacobs (No. 40) and Richard Douglas (No. 46) holding sway over Scott Pendlebury (No. 2) and Dane Swan (No. 36). Steele Sidebottom is ranked No. 14 but is injured.
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
Josh Jenkins, who will play his 50th game. The former Essendon rookie has been a late bloomer, making his AFL debut in 2012 at the age of 23, and he is making up for lost time. He kicked 40 goals in 20 games last year, and still fresh in the memory is his matchwinning, four-goal performance in the surprise win over the Pies at Adelaide Oval in round nine. Jenkins kicked three goals last week against North.
PREDICTION: Adelaide by 15 points.