Where and when: Giants Stadium, Sunday May 19, 4.40pm AEST
Last time they met: Marvel Stadium, round 20, 2018: Greater Western Sydney 23.13 (151) defeated Carlton 7.4 (46)
Josh Kelly’s 41 possessions, 16 inside-50s and 10 clearances torched the Blues, while Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward and Jacob Hopper also ran rampant all over Marvel Stadium. Jeremy Cameron (four) was one of 11 goalkickers for the Giants.
What it means for GWS: With two disappointing losses to lower-ranked teams in the past month the Giants lost a golden opportunity to get ahead of the pack, so must consolidate against the lowly Blues.
What it means for Carlton: Respect. Competitive losses aren’t acceptable anymore for the Blues, and if they’re after a challenge to get them going, the Giants at home is a monster.
How GWS wins: They struggled for any momentum going forward against the Hawks, but back on home soil the Giants midfield will be too powerful for the Blues. Expect a tsunami of scoring opportunities.
How Carlton wins: Led by skipper Patrick Cripps, the Blues must make it a scrap. If they can stop the Giants’ run and make it hard for their forwards to find one-on-ones, they might have a sniff.
The stat: GWS had 36 scoring shots from just 65 inside-50s when they pummelled the Blues late last year. No backline can stop that sort of efficiency or supply, and if the home side’s runners get freedom again, it’ll be a Sunday to forget for Carlton.
The match-up: Sam Taylor v Charlie Curnow
The GWS youngster might be ranked 454th in the Official AFL Player Ratings, but he should get first crack at the big Blue (126th) inside 50. Taylor is athletic and an outstanding defender one-on-one, so has the ability to follow Curnow wherever he goes. Phil Davis and Harry McKay will be another crucial battle.
It’s a big week for: Marc Murphy
With Cripps likely to have Matt de Boer as a tag, the former skipper must have a big day if the Blues are any hope of an upset. Murphy must use all his experience and class to get his hands on plenty of footy and hurt the Giants going forward.
Father Dougal’s Tip: Giants by 40 points.
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