AFL Pies confident of handling GWS tagger

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury is backing in the Magpies' midfield collective amid the certainty that one of them will be terrorised by relentless GWS master tagger Matt de Boer in Saturday's AFL preliminary final.

The Giants hard man was hugely influential in their lead-up finals wins over Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs, shutting down Lachie Neale and Marcus Bontempelli respectively.

Bulldogs star Bontempelli managed just 13 disposals in his worst game for the season and Neale was held to 17 a week later.

The only real uncertainty for Collingwood is who de Boer will have in his crosshairs out of Pendlebury, Taylor Adams and Steele Sidebottom.

But finals veteran Pendlebury is confident the Pies' ball-winners can handle de Boer's attention when they line up at the MCG.

"He plays a good role for their side," Pendlebury told reporters on Monday.

"It's a challenge if he comes to any of us midfielders but we also know that it's not a one-on-one battle. It's our midfield versus theirs and our team versus theirs.

"There'll be times where we probably can manipulate that position that he wants to get into and you might have to sacrifice your own game at times but it would be for the betterment of the overall result.

"We'll attack their whole midfield group and not get too caught up in the individual battles."

The Pies will make at least two forced changes after losing Jordan De Goey (hamstring) and Levi Greenwood (ACL) in their qualifying-final loss to Geelong.

De Goey trained on Monday after returning from Germany, where he received treatment from hamstring specialist Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.

The Magpies are hopeful De Goey might be fit to play in the grand final if they qualify but Pendlebury said the star forward was no chance of returning before then.

He added veteran swingman Ben Reid had done everything he could to put his name up for selection.

The Giants posted a 47-point victory when the sides last met in round 18 and Pendlebury said the Pies couldn't afford another slow start.

That day we played them up there, it was game over basically by quarter-time," he said.

"We've really got to make sure there's pressure on the footy. They're a very good clearance side and contested footy has been a big staple of theirs for a long time.

"We need to match that heat and then surpass it and try to get the game on our terms."