Carlton coach David Teague is predicting another high-scoring encounter on Sunday afternoon when his side faces the Western Bulldogs.
Both the Blues and the Bulldogs play attacking brands and styles of football but the Carlton coach concedes that his side will need to tighten up defensively.
Carlton has conceded on average 91.4 points per game in 2021 – ranked 13th in the competition – whereas the Bulldogs are only giving up 62.4 points across the opening seven rounds.
Teague believes that instructing his team to play an open, attacking, and instinctive game style will suit his players and urged his players to attack on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.
“If we concede a big score, we’ve just got to make sure we kick a bigger score,” Teague said on Thursday.
“It’s scores for versus scores against and I’ll be honest, I think this game could be really exciting.
“It might be a high-scoring game and I think both teams will do their best defensively, but it could end up being a more offensive game.”
Teague acknowledged defence as the Blues’ “biggest growth area” as they seek to end their finals drought.
“We want to improve that area, absolutely,” he said.
“We’ve got to get better at it, but each game you’ve got to play the game on its merits”
The Blues are wrestling with several selection dilemmas following the stirring win over Essendon last Sunday at the MCG.
Zac Williams and Marc Murphy both missed the game with soreness and Mitch McGovern injured his hamstring late in the game which will sideline him for up to two months.
Paddy Dow also had his afternoon ended early after a stray finger to the eye leaving him unable to see.
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Williams and Dow, along with forward Jack Silvagni will all need to get through training to prove their fitness and push their case for selection.
“Dow and Silvagni have got to get through training. They should be available if they get through. Similarly with Marc and Zac,” Teague said.
There is a selection squeeze looming at Ikon Park with players set to return from injury layoffs soon coupled with players putting together strong form at VFL level and pressing a case for a recall to the senior side
“We’re getting a couple of numbers back. The competition for spots, [is quite strong] particularly through our inside mids, Wil Setterfield is playing quite well, Lochie O’Brien who is probably more of an outside mid but he’s also playing well at the moment,” Teague said.
“There’s some competition for spots and that’s exactly what we want.”
Matthew Owies took his opportunity on the weekend against Essendon kicking 3 goals while young midfielders Sam Ramsay and Josh Honey continue to put together some great form at VFL level and are looking to earn senior opportunities in the coming weeks.
Carlton will also consider the inclusions of Nic Newman and Tom De Koning after the duo returned to action via the VFL last week after long layoffs with injury.
Both got through their managed game time and participated in full training with the main group.
Marc Murphy and Patrick Cripps both trained away from the main group but the club said both are ok and are just being managed with their loads.