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Geelong out to blunt Magpies’ attack

Unbeaten Collingwood’s new attacking streak has left Geelong coach Chris Scott both wary and eyeing opportunities ahead of the teams’ round-three AFL clash.

The Magpies ranked fourth for points scored over the opening two weeks of the season, kicking triple-figure tallies in consecutive victories over St Kilda and Adelaide.

They have averaged 101 points a game and had 13 separate goal-kickers in a strong start to new coach Craig McRae’s tenure ahead of Saturday night’s contest at the MCG.

“They’ve been good and they’re definitely playing a different style, which is understandable with some new coaching staff in there,” Scott said.

“We’ve always had a healthy respect for them and they look like they are challenging the opposition’s defence a fair bit.

“There’s always risk-reward with that and we’re going through a bit of that ourselves.

“We’re striving to find the right balance between putting the opposition under pressure and trying to score heavily without leaking too much at the other end.

“I suspect both teams are a bit of a work in process.”

Shaun Higgins returns for Geelong after he was rested in round two and young defender Sam De Koning is back from a week out through concussion protocols.

Zach Guthrie and Luke Dahlhaus have been omitted.

Collingwood picked Darcy Cameron ahead of fit-again ruck-forward Mason Cox and named midfielder Reef McInnes to debut, while star defender Brayden Maynard is straight back into the side after serving a two-match suspension.

After playing second fiddle to fellow milestone man Lance Franklin in round two, Geelong captain Joel Selwood will get his moment in the sun when he leads the team out for the 227th time on Saturday night.

However, the individual focus doesn’t sit well with the veteran Cats leader as he surpasses Carlton legend Stephen Kernahan’s record for games as an AFL-VFL club captain.

“When you reach his status in the game, one could be forgiven for prioritising yourself a little bit more, but he’s never been that sort of person,” Scott said.

“He’s all about the team and I think he’s a little bit uncomfortable with the awards and the recognition that he keeps knocking off because he wants it to be about the team.”

Collingwood are aiming to start a season with three straight victories for the first time since they won their opening six matches in 2011 as reigning premiers.

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