Collingwood claimed their record-equalling 16th premiership last year in the second season of Craig McRae's reign.

The leadership of McRae and new captain Darcy Moore, coupled with the rise of Nick Daicos and the addition of five pivotal recruits, played a part in the Magpies amassing a four-point win over the Lions on the last Saturday of last September.

The Pies will enter the new season as one of the more favoured sides for the premiership, with their defence set to get underway with a preliminary final rematch against GWS.

2024 expectations

Defending a premiership is one of the hardest tasks in the AFL, with the Magpies now looking to improve on a near-faultless 2023. They were able to add Fremantle sharpshooter Lachue Schultz to their list over the off-season, however, his arrival came as Jack Ginnivan and Taylor Adams departed for the Hawks and Swans respectively.

For the full preview download Zero Hanger's FREE 2024 AFL Season Guide.

Following the Magpies' opener against the Giants, they'll face other 2023 finalists in Sydney and St Kilda before a grand final rematch against Brisbane in what will act as a testing first month.

Star Player: Nick Daicos

The young Magpies sensation was just three votes off winning a Brownlow Medal in his second season in the league, with a knee injury perhaps preventing the son-of-a-gun from taking out the award.

Daicos made the move from defence to midfield and continued to find the ball with ease, using his pace, evasiveness and clean ball work to set up scores for his side - a role he'll likely add to this year.

He was one of the Magpies' best performers in last year's grand final win and will again be a crucial piece in their plans for the 2024 season.

To read the full Collingwood preview - including player profiles, the must-watch matches, full club-by-club fixtures, player records, best 23s and HEAPS more - download Zero Hanger's FREE 2024 AFL Season Guide.