Jeremy Cameron is tackled by Brayden Maynard during Geelong's clash with Collingwood in the 2022 qualifying final. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG and Collingwood will head into their crucial qualifying final at the MCG as named, with no late changes for either team. 

Mark O'Connor will be the Cats' medical sub, while big forward Nathan Kreuger will don the vest for Collingwood. 

As expected, NAB AFL Rising Star Nick Daicos will take his place in the team despite a light week on the training track after pulling up tight from a gym session, while the Cats will welcome back all of Jeremy Cameron, Mitch Duncan and Rhys Stanley for the blockbuster final. 

>>> CATS v MAGPIES Live coverage from 4.35pm AEST


Geelong v Collingwood at the MCG, 4.35pm AEST


Mark O'Connor
Nathan Kreuger


Collingwood returns to September after winning 12 of its final 13 games of the home and away season to secure fourth spot. Taylor Adams looms as the only player returning from injury, with the Magpies vice-captain set to play for the first time since hurting his groin in round 20. Geelong arrives at the start of another finals series on the back of a 13-game winning streak, finishing two games clear on top of the ladder. Jeremy Cameron, Rhys Stanley and Mitch Duncan all missed round 23, but all three are set to play. Cam Guthrie hurt his shoulder in the that game but is good to go. 

Where and when: MCG, Saturday September 3, 4.35pm AEST



Round 3: Collingwood 13.13 (91) lost to Geelong 16.8 (104) at the MCG

Before Collingwood clicked into gear under new coach Craig McRae, it almost stunned Geelong early in the season. The Magpies booted nine third-quarter goals to lead by 30 points at the final change, before the Cats steamed home, kicking seven final-term goals to none with Jeremy Cameron booting six majors in a dominant display. Only one team banked the points that night, but Collingwood fans didn't leave disappointed. 



Jeremy Cameron earned Therabody AFL All-Australian selection for the third time last Wednesday night after a brilliant second season at Kardinia Park. But the Coleman medallist arrives at the start of September with some concern regarding his fitness after straining his hamstring in round 22. The 29-year-old has been cleared to play, but he has history of hamstring issues at Geelong. Hopefully this one is behind him. 

Jeremy Cameron, pictured with Richmond's Shai Bolton, earned All-Australian honours for the third time this year. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

While the Cats had five players named in the All-Australian side, Brayden Maynard was the only Magpie to be picked in the 22. The 25-year-old is the match-up no one wants from Geelong. Maynard's versatility could see him used on anyone from Jeremy Cameron to Tyson Stengle to Patrick Dangerfield if he plays in attack. The defender's style stacks up in finals, just like it has in big games at the MCG in front of 70,000-plus this year. Collingwood has played in front of the five biggest crowds of 2022.  

Brayden Maynard at the All-Australian presentation on August 24, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


The Cats have only missed out on playing in the finals once in the 12 years Chris Scott has been at the helm. Just once. But since going all the way in 2011, Geelong has won seven of 22 finals. Preliminary finals are very hard to win, but they haven't been the Cats' biggest problem. Geelong has won only two qualifying finals under Scott, dropping six and two elimination finals. They haven't won in the first week of September since 2016. 

While the Cats have been gearing up for September for months, Collingwood has been preparing in a different way. It has won nine games by single digits, two more by less than two goals, losing one other by just seven points. With so much more on the line in the finals, Craig McRae's men have gained some invaluable experience this winter that should stand up in spring. 


While Joel Selwood and Tom Hawkins have multiple premierships on their CVs, Patrick Dangerfield doesn't have one yet. At 32 and with plenty of kilometres on the odometer, the Brownlow medallist is running out of time and might not get another opportunity like this to taste the ultimate success. It all starts on Saturday night for the 300-gamer who has 23 games of finals experience.

It has been a big year for Jordan De Goey. The off-field drama has taken away from his brilliant first half of the season, but the stage is set for the box office star to explode this September. De Goey has proven his ability to perform in finals in the past and if he does so again in the coming weeks, it will be hard to see Collingwood letting him play elsewhere next season. 


Geelong by five points. Collingwood has proven over a long period of time that it can match anyone, but the Cats are clearly the best team in it and should be able to overcome the best of the Magpies, just like they did in round three.