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Opposition watch: Swans

Bolton talks Swans and contacts Brendon Bolton fronted the media at Melbourne Airport this morning, as the team prepared to fly to Sydney for the Round 23 match with the Swans.

CARLTON will look to close out the 2017 season with back-to-back wins when it takes on the Swans in a Saturday twilight clash at the SCG. 

Following a triumphant win against Hawthorn, the Blues will be eager to recapture the form they displayed across four quarters last week. 

Senior coach Brendon Bolton said the victory over the Hawks would hold his side in good stead, however the Blues were “under no illusions” with a dominant Sydney looming as a formidable challenge.

“It (Hawthorn win) gives our guys a little bit of confidence … But they’re under no illusions it’s going to be a really contested game,” Bolton told the media on Friday. 

“They’re (Swans) one of the form teams of the competition.

“One of the toughest road trips that you can face (is) going up to Sydney, and also considering the form they’re in, we’ve got to be right on in this game.” 


When the teams last met in Round 6, Carlton proved too strong for Sydney to register a 19-point win at the MCG, handing the Swans’ their sixth straight loss. 

Jake Lloyd was the Swans’ most consistent with 32 touches, but Carlton’s Sam Docherty was the man with the greatest impact with 39 disposals – 34 of them hitting a target.

Fellow Blues defender Alex Silvagni played a crucial first game in the navy blue to keep Sydney forward Lance Franklin to just one goal. 

In Silvagni’s absence, the Swans spearhead looms as a task for Liam Jones, who kept Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead to one major last week. 

In the lead-up to the clash, Sydney coach John Longmire was wary of a travelling Carlton which has been “particularly strong defensively” throughout 2017. 

“Carlton have been really hard to score against and have got an enormous amount of young players now that are playing really good footy,” Longmire said.

“They’re a really tough opponent. They beat Hawthorn on the weekend and they’re in good form. They’ve been in almost every game they’ve played so that’s a real test for us.”  

With a top-four place in the sights of Longmire’s charges, they’ll look to replicate last week’s effort against Adelaide, where they took home the four points for the 13th time in their past 15 encounters. 

The Swans will be without key players Dan Hannebery and Tom Papley, who have been forced out of the side which defeated the Crows by three points. Their boots will be filled by defender Nic Newman and utility Harry Cunningham.

Carlton will have extra incentive to do the double over Sydney for the first time since 2011 with retiring fan-favourite Dennis Armfield recalled to the side for his final outing in the navy blue. The 30-year-old replaces youngster Jack Silvagni who underwent surgery on his shoulder during the week.

The stage is set for Carlton and Sydney to go head-to-head from 4:35pm on Saturday at the SCG.