Stats preview: Carlton Blues vs Western Bulldogs

This Sunday Carlton take on the Western Bulldogs at the M.C.G. The Blues are coming off a nail-biting defeat to Melbourne while the Bulldogs come into the match off the back of a 59-point loss to Adelaide.

What stats will matter the most when the two sides face off for the four points?

Carlton is ranked first in the competition for kicks, second for the most marks and second in least opponent marks conceded per game. The Bulldogs are ranked 15th in kicks per game, 17th in marks per game and last in marks margin difference per game.

Carlton have been exceptional in this aspect of its game and hold a reasonable advantage over the reigning premiers in this area.

This style executed by Brendon Bolton’s Blues has allowed Carlton to control and dictate the play in periods during matches this year. This shows why the Blues are currently ranked fourth in least opponent disposals conceded per game.

What makes this stat interesting is that Carlton is ranked 15th in disposals per game, so while the Carlton doesn’t get a lot of the ball, it’s restricting its opposition’s disposal output.

The Bulldogs are ranked second in the competition for handballs per game, first in tackles per game but last in opposition tackles conceded per game. Luke Beveridge’s side is also ranked fourth in handballs margin difference per match. The Doggies have the advantage in this area, Carlton are ranked last for handballs and last for handballs margin difference per match.

Both sides are in the bottom three for points per game, the Bulldogs are the third lowest scorers while the Blues are the lowest scoring team. These two sides also feature in the top 10 for least points conceded, the Doggies are seventh in this department and Carlton is tenth. Both teams are 2-4 in their last six games.

The Bulldogs will enter the match with seven wins and eight losses, currently one win out of the top eight. The Blues enter the match with five wins and nine losses, Carlton had the lead in the final quarter in five of those losses.

The Bulldogs are desperate for a win to keep up its premiership defence but it won’t be easy against a significantly improved Carlton side.