Wayne Carey has said it would be "a miracle" if Collingwood played finals in 2017.
The Pies have slumped to a 1-3 start, and Carey was quizzed on the future of Nathan Buckley and Collingwood on the Sunday Rub.
He said the future of the two doesn't hinge on the result of Anzac Day.
"I don't think they'll play finals footy, whether they beat Essendon or not," he said.
"I've tipped Essendon."
Buckley has previously said he doesn't expect to be kept on as Collingwood coach if the Pies don't make finals in 2017.
And Carey said he believes finals for Collingwood will be quite unlikely.
"At the end of the day, I don't like to see any coach be sacked," he said.
"But Bucks has said himself if they don't play finals footy, then he realises it's curtains, and I honestly believe it'll be a miracle if they play finals.
"So, you work it out."
Paul Roos said Nathan Buckley should not have put a 'finals or bust' mantra on the agenda.
"Most people probably would have known that if Collingwood didn't make the finals (Buckley could be sacked), but when your coach puts that on the agenda, it becomes even stronger," he said.
"That's an uncomfortable situation and an unnecessary situation.
"I applaud Bucks, I worked with him for a couple of years and he's really honest. (But) sometimes you can be too honest."