The final game of Round 4 sees Carlton looking to go 4-0 when they travel to Metricon Stadium to take on Gold Coast from 4:10pm. Can the Suns bounce back after a disappointing loss last week, or will the Blues juggernaut keep rolling on?
Jack Tobin is here with a preview and tips for Sunday twilight football and don’t forget to check our AFL Tips page, where you can get tips for every game of the AFL season from the BeforeYouBet team.
Gold Coast vs Carlton Preview & Betting Tips
Metricon Stadium, Sunday 4th March, 4:10pm AEDT
Injuries: Jack Bowes, Ben King, Joel Jeffery, Bodhi Uwland (Out)
It’s been a big week for the Suns at the selection table with Izak Rankine returning from a quad injury, while Jy Farrar and Malcom Rosas also come into the side. Stuart Dew has wielded the axe after last week’s loss to GWS dropping Rory Atkins, Alex Sexton, Caleb Graham and Jeremy Sharp.
Gold Coast were behind all game last week, barely firing a shot in a 26 point defeat against GWS where the final scoreline humbled the Suns. Touk Miller (17 disposals) and Matt Rowell (18 disposals) were well held and they got next to no support from the rest of their midfield, with no Sun recording over 25 disposals. Gold Coast were smashed around the ball going minus 94 for disposals, minus 19 for clearances, minus 23 in contested possessions and despite having far less possession than the Giants, the Suns lost the tackle count by 28. It’s a major concern as they take on an in-form Carlton midfield that has dominated stoppages through the first three weeks of the season.
Mabior Chol and Levi Casboult were positives for the Suns last week, with the key forwards kicking three goals each. Chol and Casboult have made solid starts to their time at the Gold Coast, with seven and six goals respectively from their first three games. With Oscar McDonald and Mitch McGovern both still out of the Carlton side, there is an opportunity for one of the Suns’ key forwards to have a big day out.
Injuries: Jack Carroll, David Cunningham, Ed Curnow, Josh Honey, Caleb Marchbank, Oscar McDonald, Mitch McGovern, Sam Philp (Out)
Carlton get Adam Saad back into the side after missing Round Three due to health and safety protocols, with Jordan Boyd making way. Small Forward Cory Durdin is out due to health and safety protocols, with last week’s sub Jack Martin upgraded to the starting 22. Oscar McDonald is still recovering from a back injury, meaning Lewis Young keeps his spot in the side.
It was a tale of two halves for Carlton last week after the Blues led by 41 points at the nine minute mark of the second quarter, before conceding seven goals to two in the second half as they scrapped home in a one point win over Hawthorn. The Carlton forward line was firing on all cylinders in the first half with Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Jack Silvagni combining for eight of Carlton’s eleven goals against the Hawks. The trio will stretch a Gold Coast defence that is lacking a quality second key defender behind the reliable Sam Collins.
After seeing the Suns midfield get torched by GWS last week, the Carlton midfield will be full of confidence heading to Metricon on Sunday. Carlton were plus 33 for disposals, plus 18 for inside 50’s, plus 11 for centre clearances and plus ten for contested possessions. Carlton ranks first in the AFL for disposals, first for inside 50’s, fourth in clearances and fifth for scoring. The Blues generate more scores out of their midfield than any other team in the competition and could blow the Suns apart in the middle of the ground.
The Blues come into this game as favourites and the -9.5 point is one to look at given the disparity in scoring power between these two sides. Carlton are the fifth highest scoring team in the competition averaging 92 points per game, while Gold Coast rank eleventh averaging just 77 points per game. Carlton have won three of their last four games against the Gold Coast covering that line in all three games with an average winning margin of 22 points.
The Blues have too much strength in their midfield for the Suns to contain. Sam Walsh (33 disposals per game), Patrick Cripps (32), Matthew Kennedy (31), George Hewett (29) and Adam Cerra (26). They’re physical and have been utterly dominant at stoppages this season, and they’ve got a huge physical advantage over a small Suns midfield. Couple that with the Suns lack of height in defence, and all roads lead to a comfortable Blues win, seeing them move 4-0 for the first time since 1995.
$1.90 (1.5 Units)
After a Coleman Medal winning season in 2021, Harry McKay is receiving excellent support from fellow forwards Charlie Curnow and Jack Silvagni, giving the Blues a seriously potent forward line. The extra attention that Curnow and Silvagni are demanding is giving McKay greater avenues to goal this season. McKay kicked three or more goals in eleven of his nineteen games last season, and with the way Carlton’s forward line is functioning, McKay could be in for a big game on Sunday evening.
Harry McKay 3+ Goals ($2.20 with Ladbrokes)
Adam Cerra has had an outstanding start to his career at Carlton, averaging 26 disposals so far in 2022. Cerra has averaged 28 disposals per game across his last six games and is thriving in his role in a deep Carlton midfield that ranks number one in the competition for disposals. With the way the Blues have been flicking the ball around in midfield, it’s easy to have confidence in the disposal markets for their players.
Adam Cerra 25+ Disposals ($1.72 with Ladbrokes)
Alex Davies has begun to establish his spot in the Gold Coast side as a pressure forward who plays with serious physicality. Davies ranks first for tackles by any Suns forward and has kicked goals in two of his three games this season. Chol and Casboult have provided a strong presence in the air for the Suns, which should create plenty of opportunities at ground level for Davies.
Alex Davies Anytime Goal Kicker ($2 with Ladbrokes)