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Carlton fancies itself to beat Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday and, based on exposed form, why not? The Blues took it right up to the reigning premiers in their last up start and the Demons were simply horrible against the Eagles at Optus Stadium.

That opening game of the season revived all of the nightmares of 2019 for a team that went inside the 50 metre arc 45 times, an advantage of 10 times over the home side and yet lost by almost five goals. Such statistics sum it up for a game style and a system of going into attack that defies belief. Time and again throughout the day, the Demon midfield would storm out of the middle with strength only to kick the ball high to a two on one contest where the target was not only outmanned but lacked the size to contest the ball even if he made position to get the ball.

This was particularly evident from the beginning when Melbourne dominated early but couldn’t hit the scoreboard. The Eagles capitalised with a burst of four goals in the space of two minutes late in the first quarter which was effectively the difference between the sides at the end of the day.

If the Demons reproduce that form against the Blues, they will struggle again. It simply beggars belief to understand what has happened to the attacking high scoring combination of 2018 that would benefit week in, week out from a team dominant at the midfield stoppages that moved the ball quickly into a forward line and was capable of converting with ease. Most of that group are still around and the injection of a couple of outside runners on the outside in Ed Langdon and Adam Tomlinson could help in terms of scoring output. Perhaps, the promised injection of youth and the classy disposal of Harley Bennell might make a difference?

Carlton is on a rapid upward curve and has a strong midfield, a settled defence and plenty of avenues to goal. Its main weakness appears to be in the ruck where Max Gawn is due to dominate after a lacklustre performance at his last start. The point has been made over the break between games that Melbourne simply doesn’t make the most out of one of the competition’s dominant ruckmen. The skipper needs to fire both in the ruck and on the ball to inspire his team to victory.

Melbourne by 1 point.

THE GAME

Carlton v Melbourne at Marvel Stadium Saturday 13 June 2020 at 4.35pm

HEAD TO HEAD

Overall Carlton 117 wins Melbourne 93 wins Drawn 2

At Marvel Stadium - Carlton 3 wins Melbourne 1 win *

Past five meetings Carlton 1 win Melbourne 4 wins

The Coaches Teague 0 wins Goodwin 1 win

MEDIA

TV - Fox Footy Channel at 4.30pm

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 15.15.105 defeated Carlton 15.10.100 at the MCG Round 16, 2019

The inaccurate Demons limped home after establishing a big lead halfway through the quarter. The trouble started when Tom McDonald who had six goals and looked like kicking ten for the day went off with a knee injury. A couple of others followed a the Dees were reduced to effectively no interchanges and nearly ran out of puff.

* Then there was the day back in 2009 when they last met at Marvel (then known as Etihad). The Blues thumped the Dees in a high scoring shootout. The Fev kicked seven straight and Chris Judd was best on ground. Mark Jamar and Robbo contributed five goals each.

THE TEAMS

CARLTON

FB Lachie Plowman, Liam Jones, Nic Newman
HB Sam Docherty, Jacob Weitering, Sam Petrevski-Seton
C Sam Walsh, Patrick Cripps, Will Setterfield
HF Mitch McGovern, Levi Casboult, Jack Martin
FF Eddie Betts, Harry McKay, Michael Gibbons
FOL Marc Pittonet, Ed Curnow, Marc Murphy
IC Kade Simpson, Jack Newnes, Jack Silvagni, David Cuningham

IN Eddie Betts Harry McKay Marc Pittonet

OUT Paddy Dow (omitted) Zac Fisher (injured) Matthew Kreuzer (injured)

NEW Marc Pittonet (Hawthorn)

MELBOURNE

FB Neville Jetta, Steven May, Christian Salem
HB Nathan Jones, Jake Lever, James Harmes
C Ed Langdon, Clayton Oliver, Adam Tomlinson
HF Bayley Fritsch, Tom McDonald, Angus Brayshaw
FF Alex Neal-Bullen, Luke Jackson, Christian Petracca
FOL Max Gawn, Jake Melksham, Jack Viney
IC Harley Bennell, Trent Rivers, Jayden Hunt, Joel Smith

IN Harley Bennell Jayden Hunt Luke Jackson
Nathan Jones Trent Rivers

OUT Toby Bedford  (omitted) Mitch Brown  (omitted) Michael Hibberd (omitted) Jay Lockhart  (omitted) Oscar McDonald (omitted) Kysaiah Pickett (suspended) Charlie Spargo (omitted) 

NEW Harley Bennell (Fremantle) Luke Jackson (East Fremantle) Trent Rivers (East Fremantle)

image.jpeg

Injury List: Round 2

Braydon Preuss (Achilles) – 4-5 weeks
Marty Hore (toe) – 6-8 weeks
Harry Petty (groin) – indefinite
Kade Kolodjashnij (head) – indefinite
Aaron Nietschke (knee) – season

PreviewRd022020.png

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