MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 02: Nick Maxwell and Mick Malthouse the coach of the Magpies hold up the Premiership Cup after the Magpies won the AFL Grand Final Replay match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 2, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Former Collingwood coach has talked up the Pies’ premiership chances ahead of their blockbuster Queen’s Birthday clash with Melbourne on Monday.

Malthouse outlined in the Herald Sun why his ex-club has made a resurgence to the top half of the ladder this year.

He talked up Collingwood’s engine room, saying they “have a list as long as any club in the competition for players who can go through the middle.”

Taylor Adams, Jordan De Goey, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips, Steele Sidebottom, Josh Thomas, Brayden Maynard and Daniel Wells — whether they start in the centre or play a cameo role during the game, Collingwood’s riches here give it an incredible advantage,” he said.

Malthouse referenced how the Pies’ top three goalkickers last year, Jamie Elliott, Alex Fasolo and Darcy Moore, have barely featured this season, and that the team has maximised the talent of a medium-sized forward line in 2018.

“Their number of medium-sized players who can double up in the middle or go forward and kick multiple goals is astonishing.

“De Goey, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Jaidyn Stephenson, Thomas, Adam Treloar and Wells. Rookie Brody Mihocek, 25, even kicked four in his first game last week,” he said.

Malthouse described Collingwood’s defence as “sound”, highlighting the emergence of Matthew Scharenberg and the experience of former Demons Lynden Dunn and Jeremy Howe.

“Scharenberg has changed the dynamics of the backline, beating every key forward he has played on this season.

“Dunn has been a revelation as a key back and, he too, is rarely beaten.

“Howe, who missed last week, has been the most exciting player in the air in the past two years. He continues to be Collingwood’s best intercept player and sets them up from behind centre,” he said.

The coaching legend thinks their main challenge will be getting the balance right, but praised the club’s decision to re-appoint Nathan Buckley as their senior coach.

“The foresight and faith from the board to reappoint him for a further two years gave Buckley the license to continue building that brand and it’s paying off for him and the Magpies.

Malthouse also liked Collingwood’s ball movement and ability to dominate stoppages.

He asserts that a win over the Demons on Monday could be proof that the Magpies are every chance to come from nowhere to win the 2018 flag, just as the past two premiers did.