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Preview: Blues vs. Giants

Blues News | Round 12 Grace Phillips fills in for Emily Angwin, bringing you all the news from Ikon Park as the Blues prepare for their clash with GWS.

AFL Media's Howard Kotton previews Carlton's clash with GWS at Etihad Stadium on Sunday:

This appears to be a pretty straight-\forward result, but in this season of uncertainty nothing can be taken for granted. The Giants sit atop the AFL ladder for the first time and have defeated the Blues in their past four encounters. But there has been a lot to like about Carlton leading up to last week’s bye, despite losing its past three games. The Blues’ gutsy performances bely their 17th placing – their experienced players are playing well and their youngsters are improving rapidly. A depleted Greater Western Sydney has manufactured several close victories with four of its past five wins by under 10 points. Although ravaged by injury, the Giants still boast a deep and talented midfield and scoring power that is the envy of most. By contrast the Blues rely heavily on a few in their midfield and their attack is the least potent in the competition. 

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Sunday, June 11, 3.20pm AEST 

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

R14, 2016, Greater Western Sydney 18.19 (127) d Carlton 9.11 (65) at Spotless Stadium
R22, 2015, Greater Western Sydney 20.12 (132) d Carlton 7.9 (51) at Spotless Stadium
R7, 2015, Greater Western Sydney 19.21 (135) d Carlton 9.3 (57) at Etihad Stadium
R14, 2014, Greater Western Sydney 15.10 (100) d Carlton 14.8 (92) at Spotless Stadium
R10, 2013, Carlton 22.16 (148) d Greater Western Sydney 8.6 (54) at Etihad Stadium 

1.When the teams last met in 2016 the Giants dominated the disposal count, inside 50s, clearances and contested possessions although the Blues laid more tackles. Dylan Shiel was best on ground with 34 disposals and two goals.

2. The Giants are ranked first for clearances and second in centre clearances. On the other hand, the Blues are 17th for clearances and 16th in centre clearances.

3. Carlton and Greater Western Sydney clash for the seventh time and the Giants hold the advantage, winning four games to two. The Blues won the first two clashes before the Giants took out the past four, including the past three by 78, 81 and 62 points.

4. No team kicks the ball more this season than the Blues, ranked first for kicks per game with 229.9. But they are ranked last for handballs with an average of 132.7.

5. Carlton is winless from three games at Etihad Stadium this season and has not won at the venue since round 11 last season when they defeated Brisbane. The Giants have won three of their past four at Etihad Stadium.

6. Tim Taranto’s star continues to rise. After another solid performance in his 10th AFL game against Essendon last Saturday, the Giant leapt 21 spots in the Schick AFL Player Ratings to No. 490 overall with 100.3 points. He ranks second of the first-year players this season. Fellow NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Sam Petrevski-Seton is the highest-ranked Blue among their first-year players, sitting in fifth spot (No. 525 overall with 79.3 points). 

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR … Lachie Plowman
The defender, who started his career with the Giants and managed only 20 games in three seasons, has settled in well at Carlton since being traded at the end of 2015 and will play his 50th game against his former club. He will be joined by teammate Matthew Kreuzer, who finally reaches the 150-game milestone.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs