There would be two games that stick in the minds of the Sydney Swans from earlier in the season. Their awful effort against the Tigers and performance against the Saints, saw them completely dominated from start to finish. These could cause doubts in the minds of players, so a win against the Blues to back their last gasp victory of the Dons will be handy going into September.
Carlton on the other hand, have a greater task. A loss against the Swans, alongside a victory to North Melbourne could see them two games out of eight and staring down the barrel of a September holiday.
WHY SHOULD YOU TUNE IN:
Their hardened midfield at full flight is essential viewing for any footy fan. They bat deep, often swarm around the ball and extract it with ease. With Josh Kennedy and Keiran Jack in red-hot form, Ben McGlynn and Craig Bird playing defensive midfield roles & Jarryd McVeigh and Daniel Hannerbury bring up the rear, the task for Carlton becomes immense in the middle. Such a talented midfield bunch is able to not only pressure the opposition into submission, but move the ball quickly and even run forward to score. Considering the absence of Judd, Sydney should be able to stretch Carlton with midfielders being able to hit the scoreboard.
One thing that could hinder the Swans, is the absence of key forward Sam Reid and potentially Shane Mumford. Even if Mumford plays, he will be severely underdone and proppy from his re-occurring injuries. Considering Kruezer has been battling well through injury, some ascendancy in this department may quell some of the influence of the Swans midfield.
Bryce Gibbs maybe feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, but the criticisms that have come his way this season aren’t exactly astray. Gibbs has a role to play on Sunday, and it involves most likely quelling Adam Goodes. The Swans X-factor needs to be taken out of the game; and Gibbs has the footy smarts and height just to do that. If Gibbs can also influence the game offensively by rebounding off half-back, that’s a huge win for his confidence and his team on game day.
Considering the form of Ted Richards, whoever plays forward for Carlton in a key position needs to make him accountable. Not only has his stifiling of opposition key forwards top notch, but his also able to win the ball, and start the rebound from defense. If it’s Waite or Casboult, they both must get on top early to prevent him from playing with an offensive mindset. Preventing Sydney’s rebounding is halfway to beating them, and will ensure decent pressure from all the forwards.
Prediction: The Swans just seem to have a little more to play for, and Carlton will be missing Judd in an encounter like this. The confines of Etihad Stadium favors the Swans with their hardened midfield depth and fast rebounding tactics.
Swans by 36.