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Where: The MCG, Melbourne
When: 10.10 (BST)
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It can be said of many rivalries and this is no different: a form line has little influence in games between Essendon and Carlton.
The Bombers, on the first two weeks of the season, would appear favourites to beat the Blues, who are winless. But in encounters over the past few years, Carlton has at times troubled the Bombers with its speedy small forwards and midfield stars.
Both sides come off close defeats in games that they should probably have won. Essendon had the edge over Hawthorn late last week, and Carlton will rue its inefficiency near goal against Richmond so look for a tight contest at the MCG.
1. No team has had more disposals so far in 2014 than the Bombers, with a total of 861. The Blues are ranked last with 639, showing a stark contrast in their playing styles.
2. The Bombers are also using the ball better so far. At 78.7 per cent Essendon is the number one ranked team this year for disposal efficiency, while Carlton’s has been at 66.2 per cent (15th overall).
3. There are few bigger rivalries than Carlton and Essendon. In 239 contests, Carlton holds the advantage, winning 121 games to Essendon’s 113. There has been five draws.
4. Carlton could have an advantage up forward. The Blues are ranked second in marks inside 50 this season, with 15 a game. The Bombers have been less effective, taking just 19 marks inside-50 from 111 entries.
5. Nothing separates the sides since 2011 with three wins each and one draw; Carlton’s three wins have been by big margins – 74, 62 and 96 points.
6. Carlton’s small forwards have troubled Essendon in the past, with Jeff Garlett averaging two goals a game against the Bombers. Garlett is ranked Carlton’s sixth best player in the Gatorade Official AFL Player Ratings.