Who wins AFL State of Origin, and why?

Shane Edwards and Bachar Houli of Richmond will face each other in the State of Origin game. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

State of Origin returns on Friday night with Victoria locking horns with the All-Stars at Marvel Stadium, a match where all proceeds will be going towards Australian bushfire relief.

Both sides have named a galaxy of superstars, so who wins? ESPN's Niall Seewang and Jake Michaels break it down and provide their selections for thee much-anticipated game.

Victorian squad

Rory Sloane (Adel), Toby Greene (GWS), Trent Cotchin (Rich), Stefan Martin (Bris), Nick Haynes (GWS), Bachar Houli (Rich), Darcy Moore (Coll), Josh Kelly (GWS), Tom Lynch (Rich), Scott Pendlebury (Coll), Lachie Whitfield (GWS), Dustin Martin (Rich), Steele Sidebottom (Coll), James Sicily (Haw), Jade Gresham (StK), Adam Saad (Ess), Andrew Gaff (WCE), Jake Lloyd (Syd), Mark Blicavs (Geel), Todd Goldstein (NM), Tom Papley (Syd), Patrick Dangerfield (Geel), Shaun Higgins (NM), Marcus Bontempelli (WB), Jeremy Cameron (GWS), Travis Boak (PA), Jack Macrae (WB)

Coach: Damien Hardwick

All-Stars squad

Rory Laird (Adel), Jeremy Howe (Coll), Neville Jetta (Melb), Brodie Smith (Adel), Nat Fyfe (Freo), Scott Lycett (PA), Taylor Walker (Adel), Michael Walters (Freo), Shane Edwards (Rich), Harris Andrews (Bris), Tom Hawkins (Geel), Jack Riewoldt (Rich) ,Charlie Cameron (Bris), Zach Tuohy (Geel), Bradley Hill (StK), Lachie Neale (Bris), Lachie Weller (GC), Callum Mills (Syd), Dayne Zorko (Bris), Stephen Coniglio (GWS), Brad Sheppard (WCE), Patrick Cripps (Carl), Luke Breust (Haw), Elliot Yeo (WCE), Brodie Grundy (Coll), Isaac Smith (Haw), Jason Johannisen (WB)

Coach: John Longmire

Way-too-early predictions

Niall Seewang: I see the Vics winning this one, not because their squad is significantly stronger than the All-Stars' -- I mean, there's champions across every line in both teams -- but because they'll have more motivation on the night due to the fact they're representing their state.

The 'Big V' is a powerful symbol with so much rich history, so I can imagine the Victorian players putting more on the line than their best-of-the-rest counterparts.

One area I think the All-Stars might have an advantage is through their small forwards in Luke Breust, Dayne Zorko, Charlie Cameron, Michael Walters and Shane Edwards - I doubt defence will be a key focus during this game, so it will likely be an attacking free-for-all, which could suit John Longmire's men.

Saying that though, Victoria is also bursting with talent, especially through the midfield, and with more to play for, should win in a free-flowing shootout.

Verdict: Victoria by 19 points.

Jake Michaels: Talk about stars on every line! This State of Origin game is going to be an absolute cracker.

When these teams were announced my eyes were immediately drawn to the midfield groups. There's certainly a plethora of talent in the All-Stars team, but boy is the Victorian side stacked: Dustin Martin, Patrick Dangerfield and Scott Pendlebury could be lining up at Todd Goldstein's feet for a centre bounce. Want to switch it around for the next one? How about Marcus Bontempelli, Robbie Gray and Trent Cotchin? Advantage, Big V.

The next thing I noticed was the All-Stars' defence. A great mix of taller key position players, such as Brisbane's Harris Andrews, medium-sized stoppers, like Jeremy Howe, and explosive line-breakers -- I'm looking at you Jason Johannisen -- give the edge here to the All-Stars.

It all came down to the forward line to settle it and once again I believe the Victorians simply have too much firepower. The reigning Coleman medallist Jeremy Cameron and Tom Lynch are perhaps the best two key forwards in the game right now, and with talent like Toby Greene and Tom Papley at their feet, a big score could be posted.

We may never see more talent on a single football field ever again, so do not miss this game!

Verdict: Victoria by 10 points.