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GO FIGURE by Sam the Stats Man

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In May last year, a rampant Melbourne side demolished Carlton by 109 points at the MCG. The Demons did as they pleased and ran rings against a young, abysmal Blues combination. The Dees led in virtually every key performance indicator, notably entering the inside 50 metre mark 63 times to 33 and the superiority of their attack was highlighted by a 74% shooting accuracy rate (to 47%). 

A little more than a year later the two sides face each other for the first time since that rout and the tables appear to have turned substantially to the point where people are talking in terms of a Carlton win and that’s with the possibility of the absence of a few of their stars.

So what’s changed?

Well the Blues have matured considerably, acquired a fresh coach with a different approach and the team appears to have clicked under the new regime while the Demons are languishing with several factors combining to bring about their demise. Statistically speaking, Melbourne continues to push the footy inside 50 advantage more times than its opponents but we should be so lucky to see a positive shooting accuracy rate, let alone one as high as 74%.

Go figure?

I’m tipping a draw.

THE GAME

Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 7 July 2019 at 1.10pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 92 wins Drawn 2

 At MCG Carlton 50 wins Melbourne 52 wins

Past five meetings Carlton 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins

The Coaches Teague 0 wins Goodwin 0 wins

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy Channel Live at 1.00pm

RADIO - SEN ABC

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 25.9.159 defeated Carlton 7.8.50 at the MCG Round 9, 2018

The Demons’ campaign for 2019 was building and this was their perfect game for the year. Despite the damp and drizzly conditions, they piled on 25 goals at an amazing accuracy rate. This year, it would take them three weeks to surpass that number of goals.

THE TEAMS 

Screenshot_2019-07-04 AFL Team Line Ups - AFL com au.png

CARLTON

B Lachie Plowman Liam Jones Caleb Marchbank
HB Kade Simpson Jacob Weitering Dale Thomas
C Will Setterfield Ed Curnow Lochie O'Brien
HF Jack Silvagni Levi Casboult Sam Petrevski-Seton
F Marc Murphy Mitch McGovern Michael Gibbons
FOLL Matthew Kreuzer Zac Fisher Sam Walsh
I/C Paddy Dow Matthew Kennedy Darcy Lang Nic Newman
EMG Matthew Cottrell Alex Fasolo Hugh Goddard Andrew Phillips 

IN Darcy Lang  

OUT Charlie Curnow (knee)

MELBOURNE

B Jay Lockhart Steven May Harrison Petty
HB Marty Hore Sam Frost Christian Salem
C Nathan Jones James Harmes Alex Neal-Bullen
HF Bayley Fritsch Sam Weideman Christian Petracca
F Mitch Hannan Tom McDonald Angus Brayshaw
FOLL Max Gawn Jack Viney Clayton Oliver
I/C Kyle Dunkley Michael Hibberd Jayden Hunt Jordan Lewis 
EMG Oscar McDonald Braydon Preuss Corey Wagner Josh Wagner

IN Kyle Dunkley Jordan Lewis Braydon Preuss 

OUT Oskar Baker (omitted) Max Gawn (ankle) Tim Smith (calf) 

NEW Kyle Dunkley

Injury List: Round 16

Kade Chandler (hip) – test
Max Gawn (ankle – test
Declan Keilty (ankle) – test
Jake Lever (knee) – test
Neville Jetta (knee) – test
Jake Melksham (foot) – 3-4 weeks
Tom Sparrow (knee) – 4-5 weeks
Kade Kolodjashnij (head) – TBC
Billy Stretch (foot) – TBC
Aaron vandenBerg (foot) – TBC
Jeff Garlett (shoulder) – season
Joel Smith (groin) – season
Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season
Guy Walker (shoulder) – indefinite

The statistical highlight of the year to date reflects one aspect of the club’s season perfectly. The figures show that Melbourne is leading the AFL for games lost through injury by best 22 players. The contrast with Brisbane - its opponent last week - was stark. The Lions had only two players on their injured list. The Demons had more than a dozen and four of its listed players have yet to take the field in 2019.

This is how the playing list has been traveling to date. Four listed Demons have not played at all this year - either with Melbourne or with the Casey Demons. Two players involved in the club’s recent recruiting “coups” epitomize the club’s injury woes.

The Jake Lever trade cost Melbourne two first round draft selections but has managed only a single game to date this season. It’s always wise to treat recoveries from ACL’s conservatively but I recall the pre season predictions as to his likely return were for round 5 or sooner.

The Steven May trade cost Melbourne one first round draft pick but a combination of suspension and injury has limited his tally of games to four while the “steak knives” thrown into the deal - Kade Kolodjashnij - has two to his name and is, in all likelihood, cooked for the season with his concussion issues.

Losing quality players like Neville Jetta and Jake Melksham for long stints has also been unhelpful.

On another level, the Demons were known in 2018 for their scoring power. The club boasted two key forwards,  Tom McDonald (20 games, 53 goals 20 behinds) and Jesse Hogan (20 games, 47 goals 23 behinds) in the AFL top ten goalkickers. That’s a ton of goals at a spectacular accuracy rate that yielded five goals per game between them. Throw in Melksham (32 goals), Mitch Hannan (22 goals) and Jeff Garlett (18 goals) who have both missed significant game time this year and Sam Weideman who was expected to increase his output significantly in Hogan’s absence (but hasn’t to date) and the issue becomes clear in stark terms.

We are closing in on ⅔ of the season and the club’s top goal kicker is Jayden Hunt with 15 goals. The key forwards McDonald, Weideman and Tim Smith have 22 goals between them (Smith scored ½ of his six in one game) at an average of a little over a goal per game while ruckman/forward Braydon Preuss, who kicked two goals in each of his two games seems unwanted and unloved by the selectors. 

Go figure?

1. Steven May MFC games 4, goals 1 CD games 1, goals 0
2. Nathan Jones MFC games 14, goals 7
3. Christian Salem M FC games 12, goals 0
4. James Harmes MFC games 14, goals 9
5. Christian Petracca MFC games 14, goals 14
6. Jordan Lewis MFC games 4, goals 0
7. Jack Viney MFC games 13, goals 3
8. Jake Lever MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0
9. Charlie Spargo MFC games 6, goals 2, CD games 4, goals 0
10. Angus Brayshaw MFC games 14, goals 7
11. Max Gawn MFC games 14, goals 3
12. Toby Bedford CD games 11, goals 14
13. Clayton Oliver MFC games 14, goals 2
14. Michael Hibberd MFC games 11, goals 0
15. Billy Stretch MFC games 7, goals 2, CD games 1, goals 0
16. Kade Kolodjashnij MFC games 2, goal 1, CD games 3, goals 2
17. Sam Frost MFC games 14, goals 0
18. Jake Melksham MFC games 8, goals 10
19. Mitch Hannan MFC games 4, goals 4, CD games 1, goals 1
20. Corey Maynard CD games 6, goals 1
21. Braydon Preuss MFC games 2, goals 4, CD games 7, goals 6
22. Aaron Vandenberg
23. James Jordon CD games 11, goals 1
24. Jay Kennedy Harris MFC games 1, goals 0, CD games 4, goals 4
25. Tom McDonald MFC games 14, goals 12
26. Sam Weideman MFC games 10, goals 10, CD games 2, goals 5
27. Aaron Nietschke
28. Oscar McDonald MFC games 9, goals 0, CD games 2, goals 0
29. Jayden Hunt MFC games 14, goals 15
30. Alex Neal-Bullen MFC games 8, goals 3, CD games 2, goals 1
31. Bayley Fritsch MFC games 14, goals 4
32. Tom Sparrow MFC games 2, goals 1, CD games 6, goals 0
33. Oskar Baker MFC game 6, goals 2, CD games 5, goals 6
34. Marty Hore  MFC games 11, goals 1, CD games 1, goals 0
35. Harrison Petty MFC games 4, goals 0, CD games 6, goals 0
36. Jeff Garlett MFC games 7, goals 9, CD games 2, goals 3
37. Kade Chandler ® CD games 10, goals 9
38. Tim Smith ® MFC games 6, goals 6, CD games 3, goals 7
39. Neville Jetta MFC games 4, goals 0
40. Corey Wagner ® MFC games 5, goals 1, CD games 8, goals 3
41. Jay Lockhart ® MFC games 9, goals 9, CD games 1, goal 1
42. Josh Wagner MFC games 10, goals 0, CD games 2, goal 0
43. Guy Walker ®
44. Joel Smith 
45. Declan Keilty ® MFC games 2, goals 0, CD games 8, goals 6
46. Austin Bradtke ® C D games 3, goals 1
48. Kyle Dunkley ® CD games 4, goals 5

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