THURSDAY night is teams night on and the AFL Live Official App.

For so long a staple in the typical football week, we must sit and wait for the return of the flurry of line-ups dropping at 6.20pm AEST.


So instead, we're winding back the clock to pull apart one match-up.

This week we couldn't look past the Anzac Day blockbuster that was set for Saturday at the MCG.

Since the inaugural draw in 1995, there have been some super moments between Collingwood and Essendon.

Here's how the team line-ups would look, selected based on the best performances on Anzac Day from 1995 to now.

Who would win? Tell us in the poll below …

B: Ben Johnson, Simon Prestigiacomo, James Clement
HB: Gavin Brown, Nick Maxwell, Heath Shaw
C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar
HF: Scott Russell, Travis Cloke, Nathan Buckley
F: Alan Didak, Saverio Rocca, Paul Medhurst
R: Damian Monkhorst, Mark McGough, Dane Swan
Inter: Chris Tarrant, Paul Seedsman, Shane O'Bree, Jarryd Blair
Coach: Mick Malthouse

This side is so strong that Buckley starts at half-forward. Given Swan and Pendlebury have five Anzac Medals between them, and McGough delivered one of the great performances in 2002, Buckley will have to wait for the first rotation. Every Pie to win a medal goes in, with Tarrant among them starting on the bench due to his ability to play forward or back. Cloke was favoured over Anthony Rocca due to his weight in goals, while Didak and Medhurst's presence makes for a damaging forward half. Maxwell was given a start due to his 7-1 record in the match which will free up Clement to play as the third tall. Monkhorst got the nod over Brodie Grundy due to his retrospective 1997 medal, while Shane O'Bree was ahead of Scott Burns and Paul Williams because he polled three votes in a losing 2001 line-up. Blair couldn't be forgotten as the match-winner in 2012. – Mitch Cleary

Saverio Rocca clunks a pack mark in Collingwood's R4 clash with Essendon in 1995. Picture: AFL Photos

B: Michael Hurley, Dustin Fletcher, Mark Johnson
HB: Dean Solomon, Sean Wellman, Mark McVeigh
C: Brent Stanton, Dyson Heppell, David Zaharakis
HF: Mark Mercuri, Scott Lucas, James Hird
F: Joe Daniher, Matthew Lloyd, Andrew Lovett
R: Patrick Ryder, Jobe Watson, Jason Johnson
Inter: Zach Merrett, Alwyn Davey, Joe Misiti, Damian Cupido
Coach: Kevin Sheedy

The mainstays are obvious. Fletcher has played in the most Anzac Day games of any player – 18 times – while Hird is a three-time Anzac Medal winner. Lucas and Lloyd have combined 55 Anzac Day goals, and the forward line is also bolstered by Anzac Medal winners Daniher (2017) and Lovett (2005). Stanton was a consistent wingman whose late goal in 2012 was nearly the match-winner before the Pies struck back, while Zaharakis had had his share of heroics – he kicked the famous late goal in 2009 and was best afield in 2013. Paddy Ryder won the ruck role after his brilliant 2009 performance, while Heppell's average of 27 disposals in eight games gives him the role in the centre. Alwyn Davey's speed caught the eye in his first Anzac Day appearance in 2007 when he booted three goals, while the crazy-talented Cupido won the last spot after his five-goal show in 2003. – Callum Twomey

Kevin Sheedy and James Hird after the 2003 Anzac Day clash. Picture: AFL Photos


Overall: Collingwood 15 wins, Essendon nine wins, one draw


James Clement v James Hird: Hard to look past this as one of the standout match-ups of Anzac Days gone by. Clement would always take Hird when he played in the front half with their comparative sizes meaning a fascinating duel. Hird won back-to-back medals in 2003 and 2004 before Clement got the better of the Bombers' champion in 2006.  

Damian Monkhorst v Patrick Ryder: They never played on one another but it'd be an interesting watch. Monkhorst would have the battle of strength, while Ryder would have him in the air with his fantastic leap. Both Anzac medallists, 12 years apart.

Saverio Rocca v Dustin Fletcher: Strength and power v size and reach. Rocca kicked 23 goals from his first four Anzac Day outings before Fletcher really started to hit his straps. Rocca managed just one goal from his last two matches on Anzac Day before moving to North Melbourne.

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Anzac Day classic moments

Relive some of the great Collingwood v Essendon highlights from their Anzac Day clashes over the years

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James Hird (2003): It was Hird at his absolute peak. Picked up a lazy 27 touches (13 contested) before completing blowing the game open after half-time. He kicked three of his five goals in a 12-minute stretch in the final term and winning his second of three Anzac Medals. 

Scott Pendlebury (2011): Five games after winning the Norm Smith Medal in the 2010 Grand Final, Pendlebury decided to blitz the Bombers at the 'G. With the game all but over, Pendlebury had 18 touches, five clearances and two goals. He finished with 34, eight and three.  

Dane Swan (2012): Was literally the difference. In front of 86,932, Swan collected 43 disposals and kicked three majors – including two in a pulsating third term before winning his first of two Anzac Medals. The Bombers almost stole victory before Jarryd Blair toe poked the winner.

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Friday showreel: Anzac medallist Dane Swan

The Collingwood star was at his damaging best with 26 disposals and 4 goals

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  1. Dustin Fletcher (18 games)
  2. Scott Pendlebury and Matthew Lloyd (13 games)
  3. Scott Lucas and Brent Stanton (12 games)


  1. Matthew Lloyd (36 goals)
  2. Saverio Rocca (25 goals)
  3. Travis Cloke (23 goals)
  4. James Hird (20 goals)
  5. Scott Lucas (19 goals)


  1. Scott Pendlebury (15 votes)
  2. James Hird (12 votes)
  3. Steele Sidebottom (9 votes)
  4. Nathan Buckley (8 votes)
  5. Dane Swan (7 votes)


On the canvas midway through the final term, Essendon wrestled its way back into the contest with goals to Leroy Jetta and Ricky Dyson to trail by a point with only seconds left. Tarkyn Lockyer's clearance fell to Nathan Lovett-Murray who found fourth-gamer David Zaharakis on the paint of 50m.

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In The Moment: Zaka becomes Anzac Day hero

David Zaharakis sinks the Pies with the winner in 2009

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