Venue: The ‘G, 14:10 AEST
Last 5 times:
R6, 2016, Carlton 10.12 (72) d Essendon 8.9 (57) at the MCG
R3, 2015, Essendon 16.9 (105) d Carlton 11.18 (84) at the MCG
R23, 2014, Carlton 14.6 (90) drew Essendon 13.12 (90) at the MCG
R3, 2014, Essendon 21.12 (138) d Carlton 8.9 (57) at the MCG
R22, 2013, Essendon 12.10 (82) d Carlton 9.22 (76) at the MCG
Top SC scorers from last match:
- Carlton: Thomas 141, Gibbs 130, Murphy 103, Graham 101, Simpson 100
- Essendon: Dempsey 132, Cooney 109
In: B.Goddard, C.Dempsey, S.McKernan, N.Kommer
Out: M.Jamar, A.Cooney (retired), M.Stokes (retired), O.Fantasia (groin)
In: S.Kerridge, J.Silvagni
Out: A.Everitt , E.Curnow (knee)
Game notes: Essendon goes into the final game of its most difficult season still a chance of avoiding the wooden spoon. In the incredibly remote instance that the Bombers beat Carlton on Saturday and the Brisbane Lions lose to St Kilda on Sunday, it will come down to percentage to decide 18th place on the ladder. The Bombers were competitive in last week’s loss to the Western Bulldogs, but were ultimately outclassed by the top-eight Dogs. Carlton overcame the odds to outrun and outmuscle a Melbourne side looking to make the finals in an impressive victory last round. Last year’s wooden spooners broke a nine-game losing streak to claim a morale-boosting victory over the Dees, and were led by star midfielder Patrick Cripps. Coach Brendon Bolton has said this season shouldn’t be judged on wins and losses alone, but the Blues will be keen to finish their 2016 campaign on the right note.
The 6 Points
1. If Carlton wins this clash it will be the most victories in a year (eight) for the Blues since 2013, when they won 12 games. If the Bombers lose it will be their lowest win tally in a season (two) since they last claimed the wooden spoon in 1933.
2. The Blues’ win over Essendon in round six was their first over the Bombers since late in 2012. The Bombers had won four of the past five contests, with a draw in 2014. The Blues haven’t won consecutive clashes with Essendon since 2011.
3. Don’t expect a shootout on Saturday afternoon. It is a battle between the season’s two lowest scoring sides. Carlton is ranked 17th in the competition averaging only 70 points a game, while Essendon is last with an average of 63 points.
4. If Essendon doesn’t reach 100 points against the Blues, it will join Melbourne in 2014 as the only sides since 1973 to go through a season without reaching triple figures in a game at least once.
5. The MCG doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in both teams. In a combined 14 games at the venue this year, the Blues and Essendon have won a total of four matches.
6. Essendon star Zach Merrett has had a remarkable third AFL season. He is the seventh-youngest top-50 player since the launch of the AFL Player Ratings system (round one, 2012).
Ol Mottsy’s tip: Blues by 30
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