Carlton v St Kilda
Where and When: Etihad Stadium, Monday May 14, 7.40pm.
The remaining focus of round 7 will be centred on the Etihad Stadium as Carlton look to continue their early season form against St Kilda.
A win for Carlton will send them to the top of the ladder, further solidifying their position as a premiership contender. As for St Kilda, this game provides yet another opportunity to gauge where they are at against a top four team.
Last week the Blues easily accounted for GWS, cruising to a 67-point victory. They were able to grab the four points while resting some of their stars.
This week they will welcome the return of Chris Judd and Jarrad Waite; arguably two of their most important players. Ed Curnow also returns, adding even more depth to the Carlton midfield.
St Kilda weren’t as successful, losing to Hawthorn by 35 points.
Despite the final margin, the Saints were very competitive throughout most of the game; it was only in the last quarter where the Hawks were able to get on top.
The Saints’ chances have already taken a blow this week with the loss of Sam Fisher to a hamstring and they will greatly miss his presence on the half-back line.
The Saints bring in the versatile Beau Wilkes who will be able to be used both forward and back; as well as Farren Ray who will provide some run.
Players to Watch
The big man was able to have an impact last week, kicking five goals. With the loss of Ben McEvoy as the number one ruckman, Koschitzke will have to pick up some of the slack left behind. If he can have an impact at the ruck contests and move forward and hit the scoreboard like he did last week, the Saints will be in with a chance.
With Carlton’s midfield being so deep and strong Jones will almost certainly have a player to run with. The most likely candidates are Chris Judd or Marc Murphy.
However it won’t be enough to just shut down one player, because of Carlton’s midfield depth he will have to contribute offensively if the Saints are to really compete against the Blues’ midfield.
Waite is a big inclusion for the Blues, he is their No1 key power forward. Not only does he provide a big forward option but he is essential to Carlton’s structure as he gives the small forwards something to work around. And with the absence of Fisher, Waite’s day at the office should be a little more comfortable than expected.
Kreuzer is a crucial cog in Carlton’s midfield engine and if he is firing they can be close to unstoppable. The Saints are turning to their second and third string ruckmen with the loss of McEvoy and Kreuzer should be able to take advantage of this and provide the Carlton midfield with first hands on the ball.
The Final Say:
This game will be won in the midfield and it is Carlton who has the upper hand. Their depth will worry the Saints as they are currently still relying on the old hands of Hayes and Dal Santo.
Times have changed over the last few years and the Blues are premiership contenders while the Saints’ window has closed. While St Kilda will strive to be competitive, the Blues will have too much class and grab the four points.
Prediction: Carlton by 32
B: Jason Gram, Sam Gilbert, Jason Blake
HB: Tom Simpkin, Sean Dempster, Jarryn Geary
C: Nick Dal Santo, Lenny Hayes, Brendon Goddard
HF: Jack Steven, Nick Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna
F: Stephen Milne, Rhys Stanley, Terry Milera
Foll: Justin Koschitzke, David Armitage, Clinton Jones
I/C: Farren Ray, Arryn Siposs, Ahmed Saad, Beau Wilkes
Emg: Jamie Cripps, Tom Ledger, Dean Polo
In: Farren Ray, Beau Wilkes
Out: Sam Fisher, Dean Polo
B: Aaron Joseph, Lachlan Henderson, Michael Jamison
HB: Zach Tuohy, Nick Duigan, Jordan Russell
C: Kade Simpson, Bryce Gibbs, Heath Scotland
HF: Andrew Walker, Jarrad Waite, Mitch Robinson
F: Jeffrey Garlett, Shaun Hampson, Eddie Betts
Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Marc Murphy, Chris Judd
I/C: Paul Bower, Dennis Armfield, David Ellard, Edward Curnow
Emg: Bret Thornton, Kane Lucas, Joshua Bootsma
In: Jarrad Waite, Chris Judd, Edward Curnow
Out: Bret Thornton, Kane Lucas, Joshua Bootsma