Melbourne currently sit in third spot on the ladder.
Melbourne currently sit in third spot on the ladder.

Hawthorn great says Melbourne needs to ‘frank this form’

HAWTHORN great Dermott Brereton says Melbourne must win Monday's big Queen's Birthday clash with Collingwood to confirm their premiership credentials.

The Demons go into the clash with the Magpies sitting in third position with an 8-3 record, on track to play finals for the first time since 2006.

Having won the last two Queen's Birthday matches against the Pies, Brereton says that Melbourne needs to continue their strong run of form against tougher opposition.

"They're playing great footy and they're wiping the park with teams," Brereton said.

"They have to frank this form, because the only thing left to say about them is, can they do it when it's expected from them?

"So this is a game that will frank their form and say that they will perform in the top three."

Collingwood head into the match also full of confidence, winning their last three games, with Nathan Buckley's side in prime position to hold their spot inside the top eight with a win over the Demons.

The Pies will be buoyed by the possible return of Jeremy Howe, with the defender named on the extended bench for the game, with the former Dee to prove his fitness when the team trains on Saturday.

Howe missed last weekend's match against Fremantle due to bone bruising in his knee.

Jeremy Howe is set to return for Collingwood. Picture: Mark Stewart
Jeremy Howe is set to return for Collingwood. Picture: Mark Stewart

The Magpies haven't played finals since 2013 and Monday's match gives them a chance to perform and claim the big scalp of the Dees who are flying in the opening half of the season.

 

After crunching the numbers, Brereton believes Melbourne are deserving of their top three status in the competition.

"The last 24 hours, I've gone through some real statistical data and clearly at the top of the tree you've got West Coast, Richmond and Melbourne,' Brereton said.

"They sit above everyone else. It's the first time Melbourne has been included in that type of rarefied air.

"They have to frank perform. Collingwood are a seriously good team right now. Those three teams all have percentages over 130."

"In the last six weeks, the whole three clubs have only lost one game between them, so they are in great company."

Monday's Queen's Birthday match will again be aligned with Neale Daniher's brave fight against motor neurone disease (MND).

The former Essendon player and Melbourne coach will lead the fourth Big Freeze at the 'G event, with all 18 AFL coaches heading down the slide into the ice bath before the game.


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