MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 18: Magpies head coach Nathan Buckley talks to his players during the round 22 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and Port Adelaide Power at Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 18, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Melbourne great Garry Lyon has said Collingwood “appear to be cloning Richmond,” and could be the big challenger to Richmond in this upcoming finals series.

Speaking on SEN this morning, Lyon said “I think Collingwood is the second best team in the competition as we sit right now.”

The former Melbourne captain said Collingwood’s improvement in 2018 had come from adopting a game plan eerily similar to the reigning premiers.

“I watched them on the weekend and again, Nathan Buckley probably won’t like this, this is just my opinion from watching footy all year, they appear to be cloning Richmond,” Lyon said.

“Cloning the way they play and it’s smart because it’s worked for Richmond and it’s working for Collingwood.

“They are strong through the midfield, super strong, they’ve got a spread of goal kickers like Richmond, you don’t know who to go to in the Collingwood forward line.

“They’ve got about six blokes capable of kicking bags of three.

“Their pressure is fanatical and unrelenting. Now they are all the cornerstones of what Richmond has been doing over the last couple of years.”

Co-host on SEN and former Essendon champion Tim Watson disagreed, believing Collingwood had this game plan in previous years but not the talent to execute it as well as they have in 2018.

“There was evidence Collingwood was playing like that last year, but they just didn’t have that connection and now they seem to have more options when they go forward,” Watson added.