Hawks wary of wounded Magpies in AFL

The Hawks are wary of the Magpies who have lost two straight since starting the season impressively.
The Hawks are wary of the Magpies who have lost two straight since starting the season impressively.

Hawthorn will be wary of a wounded Collingwood when they face off in Friday night's AFL clash at Giants Stadium.

The Magpies are coming off consecutive losses, are without star defender Jeremy Howe for the long term and have been left reeling for off-field reasons in recent weeks.

They will also miss forward Jordan De Goey, who has been charged with indecent assault over a 2015 incident and did not travel to Sydney due to COVID-19 testing.

De Goey and Steele Sidebottom - who still has three matches left on his COVID-19 protocol breach suspension - both travelled directly to Perth ahead of Collingwood's next block of matches.

But Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson pointed to Collingwood's blitzing start against Essendon, and round three win over St Kilda, as reasons to be wary of the wounded Magpies.

"We'll be preparing for Collingwood's best," Clarkson told reporters on Thursday.

"We only need to go back a couple of weeks ago and they played a pretty scintillating brand of footy against the Saints - and since then, the Saints have won a couple of really good games themselves.

"So we know the capabilities of the Collingwood side - they're a good unit and we need to play some of our best footy.

"We didn't do that last week, for a whole number of reasons - much of that was to do with the quality of the GWS opposition.

"But we'll give ourselves a good chance if we prepare well and play the brand of footy that we want to play."

The Hawks are poised to make several forced changes to the side that was well-beaten by the Giants.

Shaun Burgoyne will be rested due to the short turnaround while defender Jack Scrimshaw will miss 3-5 weeks with an ankle injury.

The Hawks are unclear whether Mitch Lewis' injury is a high hamstring or hip injury but Jonathon Patton is set to return from a burnt foot - that later got infected - to replace the young tall.

Clarkson said he would wait to see how Collingwood lined up before making a decision on where ruckman-turned-defender Ben McEvoy would play.

The Pies have confirmed young key forward Will Kelly, son of 1990 premiership player Craig, will debut.

Australian Associated Press