7:50 PM (AEST) Friday, April 27 at Etihad Stadium, Docklands
Round 6 of the AFL gets underway on Friday night when the Western Bulldogs take on the struggling Carlton Blues at Etihad Stadium.
Western Bulldogs: Ed Richards, Aaron Naughton, Bailey Williams; Matthew Suckling, Easton Wood, Jason Johannisen; Lachie Hunter, Luke Dahlhaus, Bailey Dale; Josh Dunkley, Marcus Bontempelli, Lin Jong; Tory Dickson, Jack Redpath, Billy Gowers; Tim English, Toby McLean, Jack Macrae.
Carlton: Lachie Plowman, Liam Jones, Jacob Weitering; Kade Simpson, Caleb Marchbank, Aaron Mullett; Ed Curnow, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy; Jarrod Garlett, Charlie Curnow, Cameron Polson; Matthew Wright, Levi Casboult, Sam Petrevski-Seton; Matthew Kreuzer, Zac Fisher, Matthew Kennedy.
There have been 144 games between these two sides with the Blues scoring 87 wins to the Dogs 53 and another 4 clashes drawn. The Dogs have won the last 3 clashes, the most recent of which was by 20 points in Round 17 last year.
After winning a long awaited premiership in 2016, the Bulldogs in 2017 suffered from the dreaded premiership hangover. They ended up missing out on a place in the top 8 by just 1 victory, finishing the season in 10th place. Their 2018 campaign got off to a horror start as they were convincingly belted by the Giants 133-51, sending the Dogs all the way to the bottom of the ladder. They were belted again in Round 2, going down by 51 to the Eagles. They bounced back emphatically in Round 3 with a 104-83 win over Essendon. They were valiant in defeat to the Swans, going down by just 7 points in Round 4, but were blitzed last week by 9 goals against Freo.
Carlton has had little to cheer about since their good season in 2011 where they finished fifth. In 2012 and 2013 they managed to win 11 games and thanks to Essendon’s punishment in 2013, Carlton finished eighth to participate in the finals. Since that fortunate circumstance, they’ve had four consecutive dire seasons, winning just 24 of their 88 games. They’ve finished in the bottom 6 for four years and desperately need to improve this season. They opened the 2018 season where they got off to a flying start before being reeled in by defending champions Richmond in the final term. The Tigers won 121-95. Carlton were less impressive last week against the Suns, losing 101-67. In Round 3 they fell 4 goals shy of arch nemesis Collingwood, before getting annihilated in Round 4 by the Roos, 116-30. They were much better last week, especially defensively, as they went down by ten points to West Coast.
Blues attack v Blues defence – These sides are evenly matched at both ends of the field, but it’s the Blues lack to fire at either end for an entire game that has seen them lose all of their opening 5 games.
If Carlton can put an entire match together, they could win this. But the Dogs will be the highly fancied favourites here.