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Preview: Blues v Lions

The significance of Carlton Respects Pull your socks up this Sunday. The players talk about what the Carlton Respects game means to them.

CARLTON will be looking to consolidate a top-two spot when they take on the Lions this Sunday afternoon at Ikon Park. 

In the must-win game, the Blues will have to fight off a Lions team looking to right the wrongs of their disappointing last week, and knock the Blues out of second spot in conference B.  

Two changes have been made to the team, with Lauren Brazzale and Tilly Lucas-Rodd replacing Jess Edwards and Emerson Woods. 

Details: Ikon Park, Sunday, March 10, 4:05pm (AEDT) 

Broadcast: Click here for broadcast guide and here for all game day info. 

THE GAME IN FOCUS:

Carlton will hold the momentum coming into the game this week, after a thrilling victory against traditional rivals Collingwood last week. 

In their second win of the season, the Blues were able to show great composure and resilience, never surrendering the fight against the Pies and ensuring that their hopes of finals football stayed alive. 

The Lions will be full of fight after suffering a disappointing 27-point loss at the hands of Geelong, and slipping into third place in the Conference B standings. After their lowest score in their AFLW history, the Lions' forwards are sure to be ready to capitalise on any opportunity in front of goal. 

The stakes couldn't be higher for both of these teams, with the game truly make-or-break in terms of a finals appearance. 

THE DIFFERENCE:

“She’s an amazing player, I love watching her play. Sometimes  I stop on the field and go ‘Gee, that was good." 

The words spoken by Alison Downie about teammate Darcy Vescio could not be more relevant. Carlton fans saw first-hand the immediate impact that this star forward can have on the game. 

There are few better players on the big stage, and there is no doubt Vescio has all the potential to blow the Lions defenders away in a matter of moments. 

The Hosking twins have also been at their very best this season, with their ability to fight for the ball at the bottom of the pack, their ruthless agression in the contest and football smarts to be key this Sunday afternoon. 

BLUE FOCUS:

Once again, the combination of Kerryn Harrington, Gab Pound and Jayde Van Dyk across the back-line is going to be the key to success against the Lions' impressive forward line. While she wasn't able to hit the scoreboard last week against the Cats, Brisbane's Jess Wuetschner has the full potential to blow the game open at any stage.

BLUE VIEW:

Expect a tightly-contested, scrappy affair when these two teams take to the field on Sunday afternoon at Ikon Park.

These are two of the closest-ranked teams on paper this season and, with the added importance surrounding the game, there will certainly be nothing left on the field. 

The Blues will once again look to make the most of their fast ball movement, and will be wanting to get forwards Tayla Harris and Darcy Vescio involved in the game early on. 

For the Blues, it will be a question of maintaining a four-quarter effort and keeping the pressure on the Lions around the contest. Expect big games from the Hosking sisters, Katie Loynes and Kerryn Harrington in defence.