Main content

Preview: Blues vs. Cats

Injury Update | Round 18 Head of Football Andrew McKay brings you the latest injury news after Round 18.

AFL Media's Howard Kotton previews Saturday night's clash with Geelong at Etihad Stadium:


With spearhead Tom Hawkins struggling, Cats coach Chris Scott faces a conundrum against Carlton on Saturday night – where to play veteran Harry Taylor. Taylor started the season in attack before being moved back to defence, but the forward line functioned much better with him there against the Crows last week as he booted five goals in the second half. Carlton was disappointing against the Brisbane Lions last Sunday and is missing the midfield drive generated by injured duo Patrick Cripps and Ed Curnow. While the Cats will miss the injured Mark Blicavs, the Blues lack class and depth in this area. Carlton's leaders need to respond after an ordinary performance and will take some confidence from their previous encounter with Geelong at this venue last season, when Bryce Gibbs and Matthew Kreuzer starred.

WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, July 29, 7.25pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide


R10, 2016, Carlton 16.8 (104) d Geelong 12.13 (85) at Etihad Stadium
R8, 2015, Geelong 22.8 (140) d Carlton 9.9 (63) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2014, Geelong 11.16 (82) d Carlton 11.10 (76) at Etihad Stadium
R12, 2014, Geelong 16.11 (107) d Carlton 15.12 (102) at Etihad Stadium
R3, 2013, Geelong 18.11 (119) d Carlton 15.13 (103) at Etihad Stadium


1. Carlton takes more marks than any other team, averaging 105.3.  Geelong is at the other end of the table, 17th at 82.2 a game.

2. Carlton's win last year was its first over the Cats since early in 2010. Geelong had won the previous seven matches. Since 2011, six of seven games have been decided by fewer than 20 points.

3. The Blues continue to struggle to score. They are the lowest-scoring team this season, averaging only 73 points a game, and have yet to kick 100 points in a game. In contrast the Cats are ranked third for scoring.

4. At Etihad Stadium, the Cats have dominated the Blues, winning 14 of 15 games. Carlton has struggled at the venue this season, losing three of four matches.

5. Geelong is a strong contested possession team this season, ranked seventh to average 145 a game, ahead of Carlton in equal 13th with an average of 139.9.

6. While the Cats have star duo Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood in the top 10 of the Schick AFL Player Ratings, injured midfielder Patrick Cripps remains the highest-placed Blue in 25th spot with a total of 492.9. Bryce Gibbs is 29th with 484.4 points.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Zach Tuohy. The running defender renews acquaintances with his former teammates for the first time since being traded in the off-season. Tuohy's move down the highway has been successful and he will be keen to help the Cats remain in second spot with a victory over the Blues.