Where and when: Marvel Stadium, Saturday April 6, 1:45pm AEDT
Last time they met: SCG, round 11, 2018: Sydney 13.13 (91) defeated Carlton 9.7 (61)
Carlton led at half-time, before Sydney piled on five unanswered goals in the third term to swing the game in its favour. Callum Sinclair earned three Brownlow votes, getting on top in the ruck to finish with 22 disposals, 26 hit-outs and two goals.
What it means for Carlton: Brendon Bolton was visibly frustrated with how the Blues fell away last week and was clear in his message: there are no more excuses for honourable losses. The Swans are there for the taking and the Blues will see this as a huge opportunity.
What it means for Sydney: If the Swans are a legitimate finals threat, they simply must win this. While they are notoriously slow starters, opening the year with three straight defeats will mean a mountain to climb to make September – even for them.
How Carlton wins: Carlton’s small forwards need to fire. Alex Fasolo, Cam Polson and Michael Gibbons were all vastly improved last week, but will need to go to another level with Charlie Curnow out injured for the next three weeks.
How Sydney wins: Sinclair was best on ground the last time they met, while Scott Lycett was also able to get on top of Andrew Phillips last week. If Sinclair can provide quality output for his midfielders, the Swans can prosper.
The stat: Only three teams have made the finals from an 0-2 start since 2010. Two of them have been Sydney sides. They did it in 2014 and 2017. Can they do it again in 2019?
The match-up: Lance Franklin v Liam Jones
‘Buddy’ has a tremendous recent record against Carlton, typified by a 10-goal haul at the SCG back in 2017. Who gets the match-up from a Carlton perspective will be interesting. Expect Liam Jones to get first crack, with Jacob Weitering to provide the double-team.
It’s a big week for: Mitch McGovern (Carlton)
McGovern showed glimpses of his talent against Port Adelaide, kicking two goals, but must step up to become the main man in Carlton’s forward line with Charlie Curnow hobbled by injury. If he’s sticking his marks, he can provide a massive threat.
Big call: Longmire, Swans looking for answers. The rebuild ain’t working.
Mottsy’s Tip: Carlton by 20
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