AFL live scores blog: Western Bulldogs v Carlton
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After three consecutive wins against lowly opposition, the Bulldogs face a stern test in their ongoing attempt to win back some respect. Join us this afternoon at 4:40 for live scores and commentary as the Western Bulldogs host Carlton at Etihad.
Meetings since 2000, and at this venue, are evenly split, although the Dogs had a hefty 68-point win the last time they met in round 15 last season.
The Dogs have struggled to match the form of that day this season, while Carlton has become a top four contender, despite being exposed by the red hot Eagles, two weeks ago.
After a slow start to the season, the Dogs have regained some form, winning their last three games against relatively lowly opposition. As a consequence, they find themselves knocking on the door of an unlikely finals berth.
This turnaround in form has occurred with players such as Cooney and Giansiracusa redisovering some touch and the moves of Murphy and Higgins to the half-back line has worked a treat.
Griffen and Ward have added to a strong midfield which includes Boyd and Cross who have been shining lights all season. They will be up against the likes of Judd, Gibbs and Murphy, one of the best midfield combinations in the competition.
Carlton look to have the edge on some key match-ups: Thornton is capable of keeping an aging Hall in check; Waite looks far too big and strong for Wood; and if Kreuzer is left up forward for long periods, in the absence of Lake, I expect Williams to have his hands full.
If Garlett and Houlihan can slow down the run and carry Murphy and Higgins off half-back, the Bulldogs will struggle to set up quality scoring shots, with Jones and Grant not being strong enough to take contested marks on anything being bombed into the forward 50 haphazardly.
I think the dogs will be able to control large periods of the game with Eade having instilled a brand-new game plan the last few weeks, but not sufficiently to stop the Blues from running the game out with a three-goal win.
LAST TIME: Western Bulldogs 20.6 (126) d Carlton 8.10 (58), Round 15, 2010, Etihad Stadium
PAST FIVE: Western Bulldogs 2 Carlton 3
RECORD OVERALL: Western Bulldogs 48 Carlton 85 draw 4
AT THIS GROUND: Western Bulldogs 4 Carlton 3
SINCE 2000:Western Bulldogs 7 Carlton 6
BETTING: Western Bulldogs $3.30 Carlton $1.30
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