Carlton v Hawthorn

Source: Michael Klein/
Sam Mitchell has been in good form for the Hawks. Source: Michael Klein/
After slipping out of the top eight following last week’s bye, Carlton  will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they face Hawthorn  at the MCG on Friday night. The Blues have lost five of their past six matches – including a 79-69 loss to West Coast in their most recent match - and desperately need a win to stay in touch with the top eight going into the second half of the season.

In direct contrast to Carlton, the Hawks have been in fine form, winning six of their past seven matches. They have won their past three games against the Lions, Port Adelaide and Kangaroos by a cumulative margin of 226 points and have big guns Sam Mitchell and Lance Franklin coming into form at the right time of the year.

Where It Will be Won – The Blues much vaunted midfield has had little impact in recent weeks, with Chris Judd well below his best and Marc Murphy still out with a shoulder injury. If the likes of Sam Mitchell  and Brad Sewell  can get the better of Judd, Heath Scotland  and Kade Simpson , it is hard to see how Carlton will be able to contain the Hawks.

Prediction – Hawthorn has won eight in a row against the Blues and hasn’t lost to them since 2005. They are finally starting to look like the premiership contenders that many thought they were at the start of the season and it is hard to see how Carlton, without several key players, will be able to contain them. Hawthorn 1-39

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