There is no denying, Sunday's game between Carlton and Collingwood is the biggest in recent history.

For the Pies it's a shot at sealing a double chance, a season after finishing second to bottom.

For the Blues, a victory over the old rival will see them qualify for finals for the first time in nine years, and the first on their own accord since 2011 (given the 2013 Essendon circumstances).

The last matchup between both saw a third-placed Carlton outfit head in with an 8-2 record, against a 5-5 Collingwood sitting 10th.

It looked destined that the Blue Baggers were set for a date with finals, but wow how the tables have turned.

The Pies prevailed by four points in the Round 11 clash, and have since gone on to win nine of their last 10 as part of an 11-game winning streak.

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Carlton on the other hand have gone 4-6, losing their last three games in a row.

Given the teams and stakes involved, this is arguably the biggest home and away game since St Kilda vs Geelong in Round 14, 2009.

But enough of that now, as we look back at the biggest and longest rivalry in VFL/AFL history.

Social divisions

This rivalry has long been played up as the biggest, just as we are doing today, however it can be said that it is more a thing of the past and something fans have held onto.

That is generally the truth, as it seems to be hanging on with the fans, passed down with each generation.

A strong hatred is shared between most supporters of both clubs.

It all began with the clear social and even religious divisions between both suburbs of Carlton and Collingwood.

Carlton belonged to the upper and middle class, with more economic advantages, seen by tradesmen and businesses. Collingwood on the other hand was more of a lower working class. Its people worked in factories and workshops, while a strong Catholic faith was present.

These divisions between both have set the general stereotypes between their fans.

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After World War II, these differences somewhat disappeared, with many people moving on to newer suburbs. However, the hatred remained within clubland.

Legendary Pies coach Jock McHale would often have the hot water turned off in the visiting rooms when the Blues played at Victoria Park.

Carlton Hall of Famer, the late Jim Baird, also noted that Collingwood would never invite them into the rooms for drinks, despite every other team doing so.

Grand final appearances

This is where a big piece of the on-field rivalry takes place.

Six deciders have been played between the two, with the Blues winning five of them. The first in 1910, the only triumph for the Pies, was when this rivalry really took a turn.

A massive brawl took place in the final quarter between all players and some officials. As a result, four players were suspended for 12-18 months.

Carlton would get their revenge five years later in the grand final, downing the Pies by 15.

The 1938 grand final saw another brawl breakout, this time after the final siren between players, trainers and supporters, bad enough to warrant police involvement.

Another loss in the 1981 decider saw Collingwood bring their tally of grand final losses to 11 of 12 since 1952.

The two premierships Carlton won over the Magpies between then are touted as all-time classics.

Famous grand final moments

The 1970 grand final saw a 44-point halftime lead to Collingwood turn to a 10-point loss.

A match known for the most famous mark in VFL/AFL history, when Alex Jesaulenko took to the air, a moment etched in folklore forever, with some thanks to the iconic call by Michael Williamson.

1979 saw what many call the greatest V/AFL game to ever take place, when the Pies and Blues met on the final day of the season.

The Pies kicked the first five goals, but eventually succumbed to a five-point loss. 

In the final minutes, Carlton's Wayne Harmes made a desperate chase inside 50, dove to tap the ball, keeping it in play in the forward pocket and setting up a Ken Sheldon goal, sealing the win. 

To this day, Magpies faithful will tell you the ball was out of bounds.

Student vs Master

The most significant match-up between the two in the 2010s was the first between Mick Malthouse and Nathan Buckley in 2013.

It felt like a final.

Malthouse, the former Pies coach of 11 years, was now leading the enemy, while the Magpies ship was steadied by club great and Malthouse's ex-apprentice in Buckley.

Former Magpies skipper and legend, coaching against his old coach.

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Collingwood won by 17 points and would go on to win all games against Malthouse.

Many Blues fans look back at Malthouse's tenure with disdain, and Pies fans the opposite, happy that they struggled under the man that led them to glory in 2010.

This whole coaching run with Malthouse added another chapter to the fan rivalry, with conspiracies also involved.

Last year, former Blue Brock McLean commented on the situation, saying Malthouse had a point to prove after his exit from Collingwood.

Blues spoil the party (twice)

Carlton have defeated Collingwood in not one but two anniversary games.

The first in 1992, when the Magpies were celebrating 100 years of existence, billing the game as the 'Centenary Match'.

The Baggers would spoil the party, winning by 33 points.

2017 saw Collingwood celebrate their 125th anniversary against Carlton, where yet again, they were defeated, this time by 23 points.

Arguably the lowest point many Pies fans had met to that point.

History will be written once again

130 years of history between these two clubs, a long history full of disdain between players, clubs, officials and supporters.

31 premierships between them and 261 meetings, a ledger of 129-128-4 in Collingwood's favour.

No matter where they were each placed on the ladder, each were competitive with the other, and no matter if one side is lowly and the other giant, a victory over the enemy is always wished upon.

The rivalry will be revisited this Sunday, with the highest stakes in a long time.

Another chapter will be written, the Pies could keep Carlton from making finals, a victory that could only be eclipsed by a premiership. Collingwood's faithful wouldn't want anything more than to put the final dagger in Carlton's 2022 season.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29: Adam Saad of the Blues in action during the 2022 AFL Round 11 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 29, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Blues are desperate, and obviously want the win, but being the reason the Pies don't get the double chance would make it so sweeter for them.

One final note, a 'friendly' rivalry will continue within the bitter rivalry, between former premiership teammates now rival coaches, Craig McRae and Michael Voss.

McRae holds the sole victory thus far in what we hope is a long series of clashes between the two former Lions.