CARLTON will return to the home of football this Sunday in the hopes of recording back-to-back wins when it hosts Melbourne at the MCG.
Here is everything you need to know about the Blues’ upcoming opponent.
Ladder position: 16th
Average points for: 71
Average points against: 91
It's back.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) July 4, 2019
Get your hands on the 2019 Blueout training guernsey today. #BoundByBlue
Fresh off a stirring win over Fremantle at Optus Stadium, the Blues will be eager to record consecutive wins for the first time in two seasons.
The rousing four-point win over the Dockers should give the Blues confidence heading into the Round 16 encounter, out to prove they can make an impact without exciting forward Charlie Curnow.
On the other side, the Demons will be keen to return to winning form after last week’s 33-point loss to Brisbane.
It’s been a relatively even showing across the history of these two sides, but it’s the Blues with the ascendancy: Carlton heads into Sunday’s clash with 26 more wins over Melbourne.
The real battle this Sunday will be in the centre, with both sides proving themselves as elite clearance teams. Matthew Kreuzer has been in outstanding form in recent weeks, but Max Gawn - who will face a fitness test before Sunday - presents a dangerous opponent on any day.
Where Carlton could have the upper hand is in its ability to intercept and launch from defence, with Melbourne conceding the most rebound 50s of any side in the competition.
The territory battle will be more important than ever, and the work of experienced defenders Dale Thomas and Michael Hibberd will be critical for their respective sides. With rain forecast for Sunday, their ability to run and carry and gain meterage could prove even more important on a big afternoon for both clubs.