Carlton is coming off the bye (more on that below), after a worse-than-expected 4-8 start to season 2021. That said, Collingwood was the only game dropped which shouldn't have been. The Giants ran Richmond to four points before an impressive win over West Coast and a loss to the Dogs. They are approaching the first of what they hope will be two wins against ourselves and Hawthorn, which would see them at 6-1-6 and poised for a run at the eight. They've been solid but not brilliant. Today's draw against North was a bad slip up, and opens the door for a number of their rivals (maybe even us?).
In the last nine years our overall win percentage is 32.7% (63-1-130). Coming off the bye we are 44.4% (four wins out of nine matches - all four wins by under a goal).
We've played them 10 times overall. We won the first two convincingly, when they were still in nappies. A solitary win since then, and that by a point. Before the shortened COVID game last year (9 point loss after we kicked only one goal after half time), they pantsed us by around 100 points in the previous two encounters.
Styles In Summary
Giants tend to muscle their way to their wins of late, led by Mummy in the ruck. They have not been rock solid in front of goal, but have generated enough chances to get them over the line in their wins.
Blues tend to find various ways to lose by just under four goals. Common factors are heroic efforts by the back six, breaking even at least in the midfield, missing easy shots at goal and going to sleep for 15 minutes at some point each game.
How to stop/beat the Giants:
Frankly it's hard to see a way. If we play them every week for the next ten weeks, they win nine of them. Our best bet is to cross our fingers and hope that this is the other one.
Their midfield bats deeper than ours, and is not short on talent and class (Kelly, Taranto, Whitfield, Ward, DeBoer, Hopper, Green). I'm guessing that De Boer will go to Walsh - it will be interesting to see how our man goes. After getting destroyed by Heeney and Ryan in our last two games, we face the prospect of not one but two dangerous small forwards (Greene, Bobby Hill). Weitering and Jones should be able to beat their two KPF's though (Finlayson, Perryman). At the other end Harry will have an edge (over who? suspect they will double team him all day) and will be hard to stop, but (a) we need to give him enough looks at it, and (b) his conversion needs to improve.
Perhaps if their defence is too Harry-focussed then Betts, Owies, Fisher and Silvagni can do some damage. That quartet will likely need to kick five or six between them if we are any chance.
We certainly won't win if it's a shoot out. To have a chance we need to slow it down, tackle, contest, scrap, tackle, take our chances, tackle, defend well, and tackle.
Blues: Out - Murphy (sub), Cottrell, Newnes, Setterfield, Curnow. In - Plowman, Parks, Kennedy, Kemp, Samo (Plowman and Parks to take their small forwards, Stocker, Samo, Kennedy and Kemp to be thrown into our midfield rotations).
Logic and form would say we lose this by three our four goals, again. Or maybe we turn the corner and lose by 70+.
But in an alternative universe we turn a different corner and break the cycle. The 'other' Carlton, that one we all know is lurking just under the surface, the one that plays with confidence, dash, flair and composure when necessary, the one that is capable of multiple wins in a row, like freshwater pearls shining on a string in the sunshine... that one shows up.
Blues by 25.