The Blues will be looking to make it four wins from their last five matches when they take on North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium to kick off Saturday afternoon football. Can the Roos continue to work their way off the bottom of the ladder? Or will Carlton continue their good run of form? We’ve got you covered with a full preview and tips for a big Saturday afternoon clash!
Marvel Stadium, Saturday July 24th, 1:45pm AEST
A six goal to none final quarter launched Carlton to a come from behind win against Collingwood, as Sam Walsh (39 disposals, 1 goal) and Harry McKay (4 goals) dragged the Blues over the line after a poor first half. North Melbourne were brave in an 18 point loss against the Bombers last week, the Roos led at half time but could quite run out the game, although they’ve shown a huge improvement in the second half of this season.
Carlton dominated the clearance battle last week with a plus fourteen advantage over Collingwood as Sam Walsh and Matt Kennedy dominated in the centre of the ground. With the Roos biggest strength coming through their young midfield, if the Blues can get on top through the midfield, it will go a long way to winning the game. With Patrick Cripps a likely inclusion to the side, Carlton get even stronger through the centre of the ground.
Harry McKay was quiet in the first three quarters last week, but kicked four goals in the final term to take his total tally to 50 goals this season. McKay is ten goals clear at the top of the Coleman leaderboard, and looms as a massive trouble for North Melbourne to contain. Key forwards have gotten a hold of the Kangaroos this season, conceding 3 or more goals to key forwards on nine occasions this season. Ben McKay will have his work cut out against his brother, especially if he gets the ball supply he received in the fourth quarter of last week's match.
Matthew Kennedy only played twice in the first thirteen rounds of the season, but was given an opportunity in his natural position as an inside midfielder since round 14 and he hasn’t let the Blues down. In his five games since returning to the side, he’s had disposal returns of 27, 24, 22, 18 and 26. With Cripps and Kennedy alongside each other in the midfield, the Blues should be able to limit Ben Cunnington’s influence at stoppages.
North Melbourne have been comfortably beaten in the clearance battle over the last two matches (-11 & -9), and with the big body midfielders Carlton possess in Cripps, Kennedy and Ed Curnow, the Blues will be able to control the territory battle.
Carlton’s defence has been vastly improved across the last three weeks, conceding an average of just 52 points per game. Nick Larkey and Cam Zurhaar have been good in the last month, but they’re going to be in for a tough day against Liam Jones and Jacob Weitering. The Blues have been very impressive in the last month, showing the form that was expected of them at the beginning of the season. The Roos have shown plenty of heart in the second half of the season, but Carlton just have too much talent for the Roos to handle.
There’s plenty of ball winners going head to head in this game, so there’s plenty on offer in the disposal market for this match. Sam Walsh is the most in form player in the league, averaging 34 disposals a game in the last month. Walsh has gone over 30 disposals in three of his last four games, and has hit the 30 plus mark 11 times this season. Matthew Kennedy has been a huge part of Carlton’s form spike, averaging 23 disposals in his last five games. Kennedy has gone over 20 disposals in four of his last five games. Jy Simpkin has continued his rise this season, averaging a career high 26 disposals. Simpkin has gone to another level in his last six matches, averaging 28 disposals in his last six games. Simpkin has hit the 25 plus disposal mark in five of his last seven games.
Sam Walsh 30+ Disposals
Matthew Kennedy 20+ Disposals
Jy Simpkin 25+ Disposals
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