AFL Betting: Clash of the midfield masters
Apart from Judd and Murphy, the Blues have eight other players who have averaged 20 disposals or more over the first two rounds, while Collingwood only have four.
David Murdoch loves the age-old rivalry between Carlton and Collingwood and predicts another classic in their AFL Friday night match-up.
Rivalries don't come any bigger than this one.
Carlton-Collingwood clashes are part of the fabric of the AFL and as tribal as it gets.
While there's enough black and white newsreel and sepia toned footage of all-time
classic games to get all nostalgic about the match-up, it's the most recent history between the two clubs that really matters most.
Carlton have lost five of their last six matches against a Collingwood side that has been the envy of the league in recent years, but in prime-time Friday night footy, the Blues have an opportunity to send a message that they are top four material. And yet while Carlton's wins over Richmond and Brisbane in the first two rounds have been impressive, Collingwood is in another class altogether.
Expect the Blues to bring power defender Michael Jamison back from injury in an effort to blunt Collingwood's Travis Cloke. How effective Jamison is on Cloke after two weeks in the VFL will go a long way in determining the outcome of the match.
• Collingwood have won 29 of their last 35 matches at MCG
• Carlton have lost four of their last five matches on the line against Collingwood
• Collingwood have lost eight of their last nine matches on the line at MCG
For the Pies, skipper Nick Maxwell's return is also a timely one, especially with key defender Chris Tarrant expected to be sidelined for a month with a calf injury, meaning it should be a straight swap.
Nathan Buckley may also catapult Sharrod Wellingham straight back into the fray after serving a two-game club imposed booze ban.
But the battle everyone is waiting for is the clash of the midfields: Collingwood's Swan and Pendlebury, up against the Blues' Judd and Murphy.
It's a dream match-up with all four averaging 30 disposals in the first two rounds. While these four stars of the game are expected to add the class, it's their supporting cast that may actually have a greater impact on the outcome. Apart from Judd and Murphy, the Blues have eight other players who have averaged 20 disposals or more over the first two rounds, while Collingwood only have four.
I expect Carlton to out-point the Collingwood midfield and only inaccurate kicking will cost them this one.