After round 1 of the AFL 2012 season I asked the question, "Are Carlton the real deal?" Well tonight we may get the answer as two of the AFL's biggest rivals, Carlton & Collingwood, face off at the MCG. As opposed to doing a full match preview, I'm just going to ask a few key questions to start with. I'll then be running a live blog from the game, giving my thoughts from the MCG. Feel free to join in with your comments below!
Collingwood were the hardest team to score against in the AFl last season, but conceded 135 points against Hawthorn in round 1 of this season. Carlton have the capacity to pile on goals quickly, so the Pies defence will have to be at the top of their game tonight.
Can the Blues win the midfield battle?
This clash pits two of the best midfields in the competition together, with Judd, Murphy, Pendlebury & Swan all sure to play their part. It's likely to be a tight, hard game, so expect lots of stoppages. Whichever team emerges with the ball most often will have taken a big step towards victory.
Will Travis Cloke kick straight?
Despite welcoming back key defender Michael Jamison, Carlton's defence is still relatively inexperienced, and I expect Cloke to see plenty of ball in and around the 50 metre arc. Whether he can convert his chances remains the big question, with his set shots still hit & miss.
I still think the Pies are the team to beat in the AFL, and expect them to prove that to the rest of the competition tonight. Pendlebury is almost unplayable at the moment, and I struggle to see how the Blues will keep him quiet.
Collingwood by 16