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Where: Etihad Staidum
When: 5.10am (BST)
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Gold Coast won their first match without Gary Ablett last week against St Kilda, but their finals hopes are still hanging by a thread.
Carlton were gallant in their five-point loss to Fremantle last week and if it weren’t for some individual errors, the Blues would have caused a huge upset.
The Suns looked pencilled in for a finals spot before the injury to its star captain, and unless they can conjure up a Plan B they are in danger of missing out on September football.
Guy McKenna regains Brandon Matera and Kade Kolodjashnij for the clash at Etihad Stadium, adding much needed class to both ends of the ground.
Carlton are still monitoring the fitness of Chris Judd after suffering an ankle injury against Fremantle last week, but if he is fit the game swings in Carlton’s favour.
The Blues may not be playing finals football, but a victory here has a big effect on the the top eight.
1. Carlton won comfortably when these clubs last met, in round 18 last season at Metricon Stadium. Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was best on ground, earning the three Brownlow votes.
2. Gold Coast has improved its Etihad Stadium record this season dramatically. After losing six straight between 2011-13 the Suns have won two from two this year.
3. The Suns could have a big advantage at the clearances. They are ranked equal second at 40.6 a game compared with the Blues, who are ranked ninth at 38.7 a match.
4. In two victories from three contests between the clubs, Carlton’s average winning margin is 81 points.
5. Gold Coast needs to improve its disposal efficiency. The Suns are ranked 18th for disposal efficiency at 70.6 per cent. Carlton is equal 10th at 71.8 per cent.
6. Jarrad Waite’s influence since returning to Carlton’s senior team has been reflected in his rise in the Official AFL Player Ratings, climbing from 223rd overall to 190th in the past two rounds.