Where and When: MCG, Saturday April 21, 1.45pm
TV: Fox Footy, 1.30pm, Ch7, 3pm (90min Delay)
Radio: 3AW, Triple M
Odds: Carlton $1.13, Essendon $7.50, Line Essendon +42.5
Well isn’t this a fiery affair?
Carlton and Essendon always put on a match. The problem being, of course, that Essendon have to put on another match in four days’ time, the biggest of the home and away season.
Carlton are coming off their belting of Collingwood, stamping their contender status on the AFL, while Essendon were lucky to get away with the win against Gold Coast.
Carlton, it must be said, are in impressive form. While both sides come into this match 3-0, Carlton’s wins have been altogether more impressive, smashing Brisbane and Collingwood as well as running over Richmond in the final term.
Essendon, on the other hand, are hampered by injuries, with Hille, Lovett-Murray, Winderlich, Myers and McVeigh all absent.
The resulting line-up is makeshift at best for the Dons, while Carlton head in at virtually full strength. The Blues are cruising along seeking to continue their dominance.
The midfield contest: Essendon’s mids are in rare form, particularly Brent Stanton who is delivering the touches. However, up against the class of Chris Judd, Marc Murphy, Kade Simpson and Bryce Gibbs they will need to deliver like a fugitive special forces squad from Los Angeles.
Michael Hurley v Lachlan Henderson/Michael Jamison: One of these two will have to neuter the continued marking threat of Hurley. They will especially have to try arrest his impact on contested situations inside Essendon’s forward 50 to stop them turning to roving goals for the likes of Stanton.
Rucks rule: Kreuzer and Hampson v Ryder and Bellchambers. Interestingly though, the battle of the rucks is more likely to be won around the grounds, where players can impact on the game outside of the stoppages.
Hampson in particular has been critical in recent weeks and if he can chip in with a couple of goals, it’s a very good sign for the Blues.
Essendon will have one eye on Wednesday, while the Blues will come out all guns blazing.
Blues by 38
B: J.Laidler M.Jamison C.Yarran
HB: N.Duigan L.Henderson Z.Tuohy
C: M.Murphy C.Judd K.Simpson
HF: J.Garlett J.Waite K.Lucas
F: S.Hampson M.Robinson E.Betts
Foll: M.Kreuzer B.Gibbs A.Carrazzo
I/C: P.Bower E.Curnow B.McLean H.Scotland
EMG: A.Collins J.Russell B.Thornton
In : McLean
Out : Armfield
B: D. Fletcher, T. Pears, C. Dempsey
HB: K. Hardingham, C. Hooker, D. Heppell
C: M. Hibberd, J. Watson, J. Melksham
HF: S. Crameri, T. Bellchambers, S. Lonergan
F: L. Jetta, M. Hurley, A. Davey
Foll: P. Ryder, H. Hocking, B. Stanton
I/C: A. Monfries, D. Zaharakis, B. Howlett, C. Dell’Olio
Emg: R. Dyson, H. Slattery, L. Davis
In: Lonergan, Hooker, Dell’Olio
Out: Dyson, Reimers, Carlisle
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