Friday night footy doesn’t get any better than this, two finals bound sides looking to set their season up with a win against the other.
Both sides are coming off convincing wins against the disappointing West Australian sides in West Coast and Fremantle.
Carlton needed to make a statement after their loss to St Kilda and unfortunately for West Coast fans, they managed to do that and more, led from the front by their superstar full-forward Charlie Curnow who finished with 9 goals.
The Blues look like a much more dangerous side with Harry McKay playing up the ground further, utilising his strong hands to take contested marks. No defender in the competition wants to be stuck in the forward 50 one on one with Charlie Curnow.
The Blues midfield is starting to really motor, Patrick Cripps is providing his usual midfield grunt, Sam Walsh continues to rack up disposals at will, however, it’s the improvement of Adam Cerra that has impressed the Blues coaching staff the most. Cerra has tidied up his disposal whilst still maintaining his ability to collect 25+ inside and outside.
As strong as the Blues midfield is, the engine room of the Brisbane Lions is just as good. Lachie Neale looks to be back to his ball-winning best, whilst Will Ashcroft looks more like a 10 year veteran than a first-year player. Josh Dunkley has added extra pressure into the midfield, allowing Zac Bailey to play more of an outside game and use his pace to break lines.
Let’s take a look at the match-ups that will decide the game:
Charlie Curnow vs Harris Andrews
Watching these two big dogs go at it will be worth the price of entry alone. Curnow at his best is near impossible to stop, yet Harris Andrews is having one of his career-best years since being named co-captain alongside Lachie Neale.
With McKay impressing up the field last week, it looks like Charlie will play more of an inside 50 role. Curnow will not be able to dominate in the air as he did last week with Andrews an exceptional reader of the play, often intercepting the ball before it reaches the forward.
If Charlie get’s his confidence up early it could spell disaster for the Lions.
Adam Saad vs Charlie Cameron
Instead of watching the two big dogs go at it, it could be just as exciting watching these two greyhounds chase each other all over the ground.
Charlie Cameron is in the form of his life, kicking 19 from his last 4 appearances, providing a target on the ground and in the air for the Lions.
Adam Saad however could be the perfect opponent for Cameron, one of the most dangerous backliners with the ball-in-hand. Does Charlie chase Saad up the field or make space hoping for the rebound?
Similar to above… If Charlie get’s his confidence up early it could spell disaster for the Blues.
AFL Fantasy VC Options:
Sam Walsh – The Blues are a much better side with Walsh in, his engine makes him near impossible to tag, getting 25+ disposals in his last 25 games. The Blues midfielders have consistently been racking possessions and Marvel Stadium suits Walsh’s hard running game to an absolute tee. Whilst he may not have the 140 ceiling of some, Walsh is a safe VC selection.
Josh Dunkley – Dunks used to be our Friday night safe VC option when he was at the Doggies, his scoring has gone down since moving up to the Lions but I’m expecting a big score from him tonight. With the Blues midfield stacked, Dunkley should return to the tackling beast that we all know and love, getting those cheeky 4 points sitting on the shoulder of Patrick Cripps. 8+ tackles for Dunks tonight. Lock it in.
Verdict – Safe VC Walsh, you don’t win a hat playing it safe however, Josh Dunkley for me
Big Call – Everyone loves some Charlie on a Friday night.
8 goals between Charlie Cameron and Charlie Curnow.
Final Tip – Carlton by 3 points