Where and when: Metricon Stadium, Sunday April 14, 2.40pm (AEST).
Last time they met: Metricon Stadium, round 19, 2018: Carlton 12.7 (79) defeated Gold Coast 5.14 (44).
Just seven days after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory by defeating Sydney at the SCG, Gold Coast laid an egg against the one-win Blues. In a terribly scrappy game, Patrick Cripps (37 disposals) and Marc Murphy (36) ran riot in a seven-goal third quarter that ultimately proved the difference.
What it means for Gold Coast: A golden opportunity to go 3-1. After a friendly first month the draw starts getting significantly more difficult and wins could start to dry up. Winning at home for a second straight time would be a huge boost for the club.
What it means for Carlton: The Blues have been ultra-competitive in the opening three rounds without nabbing a win – this match provides that opportunity. A win would give the Blues so much belief.
How Gold Coast wins: Start taking advantage of Jarrod Witts’ work in the ruck – the Suns are inviting pressure by losing clearances every week. That’s easier said than done against an improving Blues midfield.
How Carlton wins: The Blues’ difficulty in generating goals over the past few years has been well documented, so they simply must provide their forwards with an avalanche of opportunities through winning clearances and inside-50s.
The stat: Two of the most prolific intercept markers through the first three rounds are in this game. Carlton’s Jacob Weitering and Gold Coast’s Sam Collins (both with 11) trail only Fremantle’s Luke Ryan (12) in that department.
The match-up: Jack Bowes v Patrick Cripps
After following Nat Fyfe and Marcus Bontempelli for large stretches of the past fortnight, it stands to reason Bowes will spend time on another monster star midfielder. Cripps tore the Suns apart in Carlton’s win at the same venue late last season and his impact will again be telling.
It’s a big week for: Matthew Lobbe
Nine years after he made his debut for Port Adelaide, Carlton ruckman Matthew Lobbe is in line for his 100th career game. Not only is it a huge personal milestone for Lobbe, he’ll play a crucial role in trying to curtail the influence of Suns co-skipper Witts.
Father Dougals’s Tip: The Suns by 14. At home, with both teams better, not sure the Blues are enough better yet. I have Low confidence in this pick.
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