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Opposition watch: Port Adelaide

Jacqueline Guldon, Carlton Media  April 21, 2017 9:01 AM

Cold hard facts | Round 5 Hear the cold hard facts of our Round 5 match against Port Adelaide, presented by OnTime.

Carlton will look to bounce back tonight when it takes to South Australian turf for the first time since Round 22, 2014.

On that occasion Port Adelaide proved far too comfortable at home to defeat the visitors by 103 points.

While that distant memory can remain as that, the Blues will look to recall their last two meetings against the Power, after managing to scrape through as victors in 2015 and 2016 by four and two points respectively.

The most recent triumph over Ken Hinkley’s men was afforded to the Blues in Round 8 last year, after they stole the lead late in the fourth term with a goal from big man Matthew Kreuzer.

For Carlton, Patrick Cripps, Bryce Gibbs and Sam Docherty all reached the 30-disposal mark with Docherty recording a career-high 33 possessions, while Port Adelaide’s Ollie Wines managed the most touches for the Power with 29.

Wines, averaging 28 disposals this year, will hope to trouble the Blues again when they face off for the 30th time this weekend.

But the 22-year-old inside mid won’t be the only concern for Carlton, however.

Power tall Patrick Ryder will return to the line-up after a one-week suspension saw him sidelined for his side’s Round 4 clash against Greater Western Sydney.

In his absence, Port Adelaide managed 31 hit-outs to the Giants' 54, two less than Ryder’s season average which sits at 33. 

With the in-form Kreuzer to miss because of soreness, the Blues have recalled a fit-again Andrew Phillips to shoulder the ruck workload in his first game of the season.

Ranked second for tackles this year, the Blues will look to uphold their pressure in and around the contest when they face the side which averages 10 less tackles per game.

A six-day break for both squads will see Carlton return to Friday night footy for its first and only time this season when the Power host the Blues from 7:20pm ACST at Adelaide Oval.