Where and when: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, March 30, 4.40pm ACDT
Last time they met: MCG, round 15, 2018. Port Adelaide 13.12 (90) beat Carlton 10.9 (69).
The Power led by just two points at three-quarter time before goals to Steven Motlop, Charlie Dixon and Chad Wingard gave the visitors some breathing room. Robbie Gray booted three goals, Tom Rockliff had 29 disposals and Wingard had 24 touches and two goals. Blues veteran Kade Simpson brought his own footy for his 300th game, amassing 37 disposals. Patrick Cripps and Ed Curnow had 33 possessions each and Charlie Curnow kicked four goals.
What it means for Port Adelaide: This is a chance for the Power to build on their stunning 26-point victory over heavily fancied Melbourne last weekend. The difference is the Power will go in as strong favourites and they can’t afford to take the Blues lightly.
What it means for Carlton: The Blues will want to back up from their promising first-up performance against Richmond. Despite the 33-point loss, there was enough to take out of the contest – especially in the first three quarters – to suggest the Blues won’t be a walkover this year.
How Port Adelaide wins: The Power’s outside run was crucial in upsetting the Demons. They had 93 more uncontested possessions and used the ball beautifully by hand.
How Carlton wins: Limiting the impact of the Power midfield – Tom Rockliff, Travis Boak and Sam Powell-Pepper – at stoppages will be important. Patrick Cripps can’t do it on his own.
The stat: The Blues are a lock if recent history is anything to go by. Over the past eight games between the two clubs, neither has won more than twice in a row – Port, Port, Carlton, Carlton, Port, Port, Carlton, Carlton.
The match-up: Tom Jonas v Charlie Curnow
The Power co-captain will have his work cut out containing one of the emerging stars of the competition. Jonas gives up four centimetres to Curnow, but is the Power’s strongest one-on-one defender. Jonas missed last year’s round 15 win over Carlton through injury when Curnow booted four goals.
It’s a big week for: Justin Westhoff
The 32-year-old Port Adelaide utility gets better with age ahead of his 250th game. Stepped up last week in the absence of key forward Charlie Dixon, playing as a marking target and booting five goals.
Thommo’s Tip: Port by 18 points
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