AFL Media's Mitch Cleary previews Saturday night's match against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium:
Just when you thought it couldn't get tougher for Carlton, the Blues meet Geelong. On the rebound. In Geelong. And with the Cats' biggest name vowing for redemption. Gary Ablett's match last week was his least effective in his return to the Cats, but when you hear that he's promised Chris Scott something special in his first game back at GMHBA Stadium in blue and white hoops, you stand up and take notice. The Cats were clinical in their performance against Greater Western Sydney at home in round seven after being made to look second-rate against Sydney the week prior, so last week's display against Essendon will have Carlton nervous. As the Blues travel down the highway for the first time since 1997, the memories of a 109-point loss to Melbourne six days prior will be ringing in the back of their minds. Brendon Bolton questioned his team's effort against the Demons.
WHERE AND WHEN: GMHBA Stadium, Saturday May 26, 7.25pm
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
LAST FIVE TIMES
R19, 2017: Geelong 18.15 (123) d Carlton 8.10 (58) at Etihad Stadium
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
R12, 2014: Geelong 16.11 (107) d Carlton 15.12 (102) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2014: Geelong 11.16 (82) d Carlton 11.10 (76) at Etihad Stadium
THE SIX POINTS
1. After Tom Hawkins' best on ground performance at GMHBA Stadium in round seven, he will be buoyed by his 2017 performance against the Blues. He booted six goals from 12 marks and 27 disposals in the 65-point win.
2. Gary Ablett's last two games for Geelong at GMHBA Stadium will fill Cats fans with optimism, in round 22, 2010 he had 33 touches and four goals, five weeks earlier bagging five goals from 26 disposals.
3. Carlton has scored 100 points just twice from their previous 63 matches – one including Geelong in round 10, 2016. It was their only win against the Cats from their past nine meetings.
4. Carlton sits last for total disposals, inside 50s and 17th for marks inside 50 and total scoring this season after being heavily beaten in all four departments last weekend against Melbourne.
5. The Cats have had recent struggles of their own. The worst-performed clearance team this season, they've averaged just 58 points per game in the past fortnight.
6. Patrick Cripps (19th) and Matthew Kreuzer (70th) sit well ahead of all Carlton teammates in the official Schick AFL Player Ratings after impressive starts to 2018.
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR …
Geelong's No.1 ruck position is still up for grabs as Zac Smith goes up against Kreuzer in a battle that could decide his fortunes for the remainder of the year.