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Preview: Magpies v Blues

Dennis Armfield and Tyson Goldsack do battle in the last Blues-Magpies clash - ${keywords}
Dennis Armfield and Tyson Goldsack do battle in the last Blues-Magpies clash

SUMMARY: You can throw form out the window when the Pies and Blues come to play. Collingwood was a clear-cut top four side last season while the Blues were battlers, yet Carlton twice emerged victorious when they played, by 60 points in round three and 23 points in round 15. Collingwood's depth was severely tested last week with several players out, yet the Pies looked super-impressive in beating North Melbourne by 16 points. The Blues rallied late to nearly overcome Richmond, but the loss of Eddie Betts and Shaun Hampson this week leaves its forward line looking even more exposed and that will be the area the Blues need to address in their planning, as will the formidable Collingwood forward press that Nathan Buckley has brought back to his side. A secret weapon for the Blues that has flown under the radar is that coach Mick Malthouse was formerly in charge of the Magpies.

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Sunday April 7, 3.20pm

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R15, 2012, Carlton 12.13 (85) d Collingwood 8.14 (62) at the MCG
R3, 2012, Carlton 18.14 (122) d Collingwood 9.8 (62) at the MCG
R17, 2011, Collingwood 13.20 (98) d Carlton 11.13 (79) at the MCG
R3, 2011, Collingwood 15.12 (102) d Carlton 11.8 (74) at the MCG
R18, 2010, Collingwood 15.15 (105) d Carlton 9.3 (57) at the MCG

1. In both 2012 contests the Blues thrashed the Magpies in the total possession count, 411-332 and 402-334, they also won the contested possession count both times.

2. Collingwood won the previous five encounters against the Blues before Carlton's two wins last year.

3. This will be the 246th time these teams have clashed, more than any other in competition history; Carlton holds the advantage with 125 wins to 116, with four draws.

4. The highest home and away attendance to watch the Magpie and Blues is 88,181 in round 3, 2011 at the MCG. It was the night the Pies unfurled their 2010 premiership flag with the Blues their handpicked opponent.

5. Malthouse will be coaching against Collingwood for the first time since round 18, 1999 when in charge of West Coast?

6. The highest score ever kicked in a Collingwood-Carlton clash is 28.12 (190) by the Blues against the Pies in 2000. That match was at Visy Park in what was billed as the last suburban challenge.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs