This critical MCG clash has must-win status for both teams, firstly to make the finals and secondly to push their top-four claims. Port Adelaide, which holds onto eighth spot by just a game, is ruing missed opportunities after losing four of its past five games but will be invigorated by its good recent record both against the Pies and at the MCG. The Power must now combat the loss of key forward Charlie Dixon for the rest of the season, which should provide some relief for the Pies' small defence, while Port ruckman Paddy Ryder is also under an injury cloud, which could give Collingwood's talented midfield brigade an armchair ride through Brodie Grundy's tap work. The injury-hit Pies, who sit fifth, will be tough to toss at the MCG, where they have won five of their past seven games, the only blemishes being against League leaders Richmond and West Coast.
WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Saturday August 18, 1.45pm
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
LAST FIVE TIMES
R21, 2017, Port Adelaide 14.14 (98) d Collingwood 10.11 (71) at Adelaide Oval
R14, 2017, Port Adelaide 13.15 (93) d Collingwood 9.8 (62) at the MCG
R11, 2016, Port Adelaide 19.11 (125) d Collingwood 7.16 (58) at the MCG
R15, 2015, Port Adelaide 9.12 (66) d Collingwood 9.9 (63) at Adelaide Oval
R19, 2014, Collingwood 11.10 (76) d Port Adelaide 10.10 (70) at the MCG
THE SIX POINTS
1. Port Adelaide has had the better of Collingwood recently, winning its past four matches and six of seven. The Magpies last defeated the Power in round 19, 2014.
2. The Power's small men did the damage when these teams last met, with Travis Boak, Robbie Gray, Sam Gray, Jake Neade and Jarman Impey combining for eight goals between them.
3. Port has been in good touch at the MCG, where it has won four of its past five games, while Collingwood has won seven and lost six on the hallowed turf this year.
4. Collingwood continues to be the highest-ranked disposal team this season, averaging 404.5 a game, well clear of the Power, who are ranked 10th with 377.1.
5. Another win for the Magpies and it will be the first time they've won 14 games in a home and away season since 2013. The Power have lost four of their past five games by an average margin of just 10 points.
6. In the Schick AFL Player Ratings, Collingwood boasts seven players among the top 55 (Brodie Grundy 6, Scott Pendlebury 10, Adam Treloar 12, Steele Sidebottom 38, Taylor Adams 42, Jack Crisp 51 and Jeremy Howe 55) while Port Adelaide has just three (Robbie Gray 23, Paddy Ryder 29 and Ollie Wines 54).
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
With no Charlie Dixon to crash packs in attack, the Power's small forwards, led by Robbie Gray, will need to hit the scoreboard. The champion forward/midfielder kicked two goals last week but will be smarting after missing a set shot that would have given the Power breathing space in the last quarter of their after-the-siren loss to West Coast at home. In the corresponding game at the MCG last year, he kicked five goals in a best-afield effort.
PREDICTION: Collingwood by 15 points