Fri, Jun 6, 1:05pm by Brad McGrath
IT’S hard to remember how Geelong responds to a big loss.
The Cats were hammered to the tune of 110 points by a rampant Sydney on Friday night, the eighth biggest loss in the club’s 118 year history.
The 148 points Geelong gave up was the most since 2001 and suddenly “the greatest team of all” is under the pump, its three recent premierships now a thing of the past.
The Cats will come up against a Carlton side in more disarray than them.
The Blues were abysmal in losing to the Lions and then were forced to cull one of its recent high draft picks because of off-field behaviour.
Mick Malthouse’s outfit sacked young defender Josh Bootsma after a complaint about him sending a naked picture to a teenage girl.
It won’t be the only tough decision Malthouse makes in the off-season with several other players including Jarrad Waite needing a spike in form to save their careers.
The way the Blues lost to the injury-hit Lions was limp, it bared none of the grit that has been associated with Malthouse’s teams.
If it wasn’t for skipper Marc Murphy the Blues would have lost by more and they desperately need some other midfielders to stand up.
Both teams have been boosted by some important inclusions with Tom Lonergan and Corey Enright returning from injury for the Cats.
The Blues have recalled Andrew Walker and Dennis Armfield but resisted the urge to rush former skipper Chris Judd back into the team, instead he will play in the VFL with the Northern Blues.
AustralianGambling takes a look at the contenders and odds to kick the most goals in the big clash between Geelong and Carlton.
Big ‘Tomahawk’ is just such a presence in the forward line that it is hard to look at this match and think he won’t have an impact. Hawkins has kicked 28 goals this season to sit third in the Coleman Medal race.
If the Cats midfield gets on top of Carlton, Michael Jamieson will have his work cut out stopping Hawkins. It will be up to their inexperienced backline to lend him support and if he doesn’t get it a bag of goals awaits for Hawkins.
Hawkins is the standout pick to kick the most goals for the Cats if it is dry. He is only paying $3 with Sportingbet which doesn’t offer much value for a straight up bet, but him topping the goals looms as an ideal leg for your multis. (Hawkins is paying $2.85 with Sportsbet)
The Cats reliance on Hawkins is showcased by Jimmy Bartel, with 13 goals, being their next most prolific goalkicker.
The former Brownlow Medallist has spent a lot of time forward, in between very effective stints in the midfield, this year. His strong overhead marking and uncanny knack of finding room in traffic make him a very hard player to defend against.
If it rains, Bartel offers significant value to top the Cats goals, but if it’s a dry night you would be mad to bet against the dominant Hawkins. You can get $14 on Bartel kicking the most goals with www.Sportsbet.com.au. (He is paying $12 at Sportingbet and Centrebet)
One player to have clearly blossomed this year is Lachie Henderson. The former Lion has been the Blues most effective forward with 14.8 from 10 games.
While the Blues attack has nowhere near the potency of the Swans forward line, the Cats will receive a boost to the backline that was given a whipping, with consistent tall-defender Tom Lonergan returning from injury.
Surprisingly, it’s Jarrad Waite who is favourite to lead the goalkickers, at $8, but every time we’ve fallen into him this year he has cost us.
Because Waite has cost us in the past and his form is flaky at best, Henderson is our pick to top the Blues goals and at $14 with Sportsbet he provides some value. (This is better than the $11 Sportingbet is offering).
The Blues will be stoked with the development of their first round draft pick. The young forward has kicked 12 goals this season, the same amount as established Blue Chris Yarran.
While the Blues have denied they will blood the kids because of their awful start to the season, it is likely Menzel will be given plenty of game time and opportunity kick goals. The more he plays the better he will get.
Menzel is a natural forward and is going to be a good player for a long time for the Blues. With the Cats boasting Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan as one of the best key defensive pairings in the competition it could fall to a smaller Blue to kick their goals.
There is no reason it shouldn’t be Troy Menzel.
Most major bookies having him at $17 to lead the goalkicking which could provide a nice pay if he manages to kick a few.
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