Chris Yarran bagged four goals against West Coast last weekend. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Last Five Meetings
Round 8, 2012 – Adelaide Crows 124 d Carlton Blues 55
Round 5, 2011 – Carlton Blues 85 d Adelaide Crows 79
Round 4, 2010 – Carlton Blues 103 d Adelaide Crows 55
Round 22, 2009 – Adelaide Crows 176 d Carlton Blues 104
Round 9, 2009 – Adelaide Crows 104 d Carlton Blues 60
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These two teams are making it particularly tough to find a form line. Carlton could be coming in to this match with an 0-4 record, but now the Blues are favourites after upsetting the Eagles in Perth. A great win, no doubt, but the Eagles are travelling very poorly and even Melbourne managed to stick with them for a half of football a couple of weeks back. Adelaide , meantime, has managed to beat two teams travelling pretty poorly in the Lions and Bulldogs, but their losses at AAMI Stadium to high flying Essendon and Port Adelaide were disappointing, to say the least.
In their only game last season, Patrick Dangerfield ripped the Blues to shreds finishing with 35 possessions and two goals, although that was against a Carlton team minus Andrew Carrazzo. Dangerfield made a welcome return to form on Sunday with four majors in the wet against the Western Bulldogs and Carlton will need to curb his influence on Saturday. Talented rookie midfielder Brad Crouch will miss the game due to a hamstring injury while Jason Porplyzia has been omitted. Bernie Vince and Brodie Smith come in to the team.
Carlton’s speed in the forward line really troubled West Coast last week with Chris Yarran booting four goals and Jeff Garlett also proving to be a handful. Rookie Sam Rowe is doing an admirable job as a key forward, and if he can at least provide a contest in the forward 50, then the Blues nippy smalls – including Eddie Betts, who returns this week – have the potential to wreak havoc.
(Blues) Heath Scotland – You expect teams to get better in the early rounds of the season, but Carlton certainly looks a different outfit with Heath Scotland in its line-up. After missing the first couple of games due to a club-enforced suspension, Scotland has resumed normal service in the Blues back half, whilst also getting some stints in the centre. A very good user of the footy on both sides, Scotland’s ability to find the footy across half-back is vital if the Blues’ star-studded midfield is to get in to gear.
(Crows) Andy Otten – He was a Rising Star nominee back in 2009, but the football world hasn’t really seen anywhere near the best of Andy Otten since then. His 2010 season was destroyed by a knee injury, but the versatile defender hasn’t really hit his straps since then. But he appears to have some level of confidence back this season, and between him, Ben Rutten and Daniel Talia, the Bulldogs were suffocated on Sunday rustling up just 28 points on a miserable day in Adelaide. Otten finished with 25 disposals and five marks in his best performance for some time. His use of the Sherrin was excellent, and if he can maintain those standards, Adelaide will continue to have one of the strongest defences in the league.
The Crows haven’t really been frequent visitors to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in recent seasons, and it hasn’t been a happy hunting ground by any means. They’ve lost six of their last seven there, although they were impressive in last season’s preliminary final loss to Hawthorn. They were 2-4 in Melbourne last year, but one of those wins was against Carlton by a whopping 69 points at Etihad Stadium. Patrick Dangerfield was the main man last week and he terrorised the Blues in the Crows’ win last season. If he isn’t kept in check, most likely by Andrew Carrazzo , then Adelaide will be hard to stop. Crows by 10 points
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