Collingwood will be under pressure to bounce back after its loss to Geelong. Picture: Dylan Burns.
Collingwood will be under pressure to bounce back after its loss to Geelong. Picture: Dylan Burns.

The stat which should have Pies, Dees, Dons worried

The heat is on a host of highly-fancied sides heading into Round 2, as history shows teams that lose their first two games rarely make finals.

Since 2010, 49 teams have made 0-2 starts to the season.

Only three of those - or a measly 6.5 per cent - have finished in the top-eight at season's end, being Collingwood (2018) and Sydney (2017 and 2014).

The history adds to the intrigue around some bumper Round 2 matches this week.

Collingwood meets Richmond on Thursday night, the Magpies looking to bounce back from a seven-point Round 1 defeat to Geelong.

It does not get any easier for Nathan Buckley's men the following week, either, with a Grand Final rematch scheduled against West Coast in Round 3.

Many experts had Adelaide in their top-eight - or even top-four - predictions pre-season but the Crows had a stinker against Hawthorn in Round 1 and now head to the SCG to face Sydney on Friday night.

The Swans, too, would go 0-2 with a loss, having managed just nine goals in a 17-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.

Sydney has played finals 15 of the past 16 years and defied the odds in 2017 to make a semi-final after recording a 0-6 start to that season.

A dejected Melbourne leaves the field after a surprise Round 1 loss to Port Adelaide. Picture: by Michael Dodge/Getty Images.
A dejected Melbourne leaves the field after a surprise Round 1 loss to Port Adelaide. Picture: by Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

The much-hyped Essendon will be favoured to take care of St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, but will need to bring a far different attitude to what it did in a 72-point Round 1 loss to Greater Western Sydney.

The Bombers made a 2-6 start last season and consequently missed finals by one game and percentage despite a strong second half of the year.

Melbourne is similarly in the gun after a lacklustre performance against Port Adelaide on Saturday and faces Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night in one of footy's biggest tests.

Essendon is feeling the heat after a poor showing against GWS. Picture: Getty Images.
Essendon is feeling the heat after a poor showing against GWS. Picture: Getty Images.

The Demons have won in Geelong just once from eight attempts since 2008.

Then there is reigning premier West Coast, which needs to beat a sharp-looking GWS side at Optus Stadium on Saturday night to also avoid a 0-2 start to the season.

It's only Round 2, but the pressure is already high for five of the top six pre-season premiership favourites.

 

THE LIMITED SUCCESS OF 0-2 SIDES

2018 - 4 teams, Collingwood finished 3rd

2017 - 8 teams, Sydney finished 6th

2016 - 4 teams, 0 made finals

2015 - 5 teams, 0 made finals

2014 - 6 teams, Sydney finished first

2013 - 7 teams, 0 made finals

2012 - 5 teams, 0 made finals

2011 - 4 teams, 0 made finals

2010 - 6 teams, 0 made finals

 

THE ROUND 2 CRUNCH GAMES

Richmond (1-0) v Collingwood (0-1)

Sydney (0-1) v Adelaide (0-1)

Essendon (0-1) v St Kilda (1-0)

Geelong (1-0) v Melbourne (0-1)

West Coast (0-1) v GWS (1-0)

News Corp Australia


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