Where and when: University of Tasmania Stadium, Sunday April 28, 3.20pm AEST
Last time they met: Etihad Stadium, round 18, 2018: Carlton 7.10 (52) lost to Hawthorn 18.16 (124)
The Hawks held the Blues to just one goal in the first half on their way to a thumping 72-point win late in the season. Tom Mitchell was the standout with 46 disposals and two goals, while smalls Luke Bruest and Paul Puopolo combined for nine majors between them.
What it means for Hawthorn: On paper, this should be routine for the Hawks. But their indifferent form means nothing can be ruled out down in Tasmania. Victory on Sunday should be a settler in an unpredictable season.
What it means for Carlton: After its first victory of the season last week, Carlton will hope to replicate what St Kilda has done this year and build upon that confidence. Victory here could get the Blues on a roll.
How Hawthorn wins: By exploiting Carlton’s mid-sized defenders. If players such as Breust and Puopolo can find form, as they did last season, it could spell trouble for the Blues.
How Carlton wins: By doing exactly what it did against the Dogs. Win the ball out of the midfield, control the tempo of the game and let its key forwards get to work inside 50.
The stat: Hawthorn has won 15 of its last 16 encounters against Carlton. Remarkably, seven of those have been won by more than 50 points and two have been won by triple-digit margins.
The match-up: Jaeger O’Meara v Patrick Cripps
Cripps is the game’s best inside midfielder at the moment, with Carlton’s onball brigade delivering in its first victory of the season last week. Hawthorn’s midfield has had its issues this season, so O’Meara will prove key to thwarting the Blues’ work out of the centre.
It’s a big week for: Harry McKay
McKay continues to lead the League for contested marks, but he must find consistency in front of goal. After his bag of four majors against the Dogs last week lifted the Blues to victory, he’ll be hoping for another haul against the Hawks on Sunday.
Father Dougals’s Tip: Hawks by 10. Hawk are better than the Dogs. The Blues might be pumped and surprise, but it would still be a surprise.
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