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AFL: Carlton rocked by Walsh blow

Two of the 2024 premiership contenders Brisbane and Carlton will clash in what has all the makings of a classic at the Gabba on Friday night.

The game is a re-match of the 2023 preliminary final, which the Lions won by 16 points, before going on to lose the grand final to Collingwood.

Brisbane are priced at 6.00 to win the grand final in 2024, but many believe that it is Carlton’s year to go all the way.

The Blues can be backed at 9.00 to snap their premiership drought which stretches way back to 1995.

They need to hit the ground running, but have to overcome injuries and a Lions side that love the Gabba, if they are to pull off an upset win.

. What: Brisbane v Carlton
. Where: The Gabba, Brisbane
. When: 18:40 (AEST), Friday 8th March 2024
. How to watch: Foxtel, Kayo
. Odds: Brisbane 1.28, Carlton 3.75

Lions ready to roar

Brisbane are a formidable side wherever they play, but particularly on home soil at the Gabba, where they won every game in 2023.

They beat Carlton 79-63 in last season’s preliminary final and their home form will again be crucial as they attempt to make up for grand final heartbreak.

The Lions will have licked their wounds and will be ready to go again. A home clash against the Blues could not be a better start for them.

It looks sure to be a close encounter however, and Brisbane winning by 1-12 points can be backed at 6.50. Carlton to do the same is 7.00.

Brownlow Medalist Lachie Neale will again be a massive player for the Lions and will be key in midfield alongside Josh Dunkley.

Neale can be backed at 2.15 to produce over 30 disposals in the game, while Dunkley is 1.65 to do the same.

Charlie Cameron booted 59 goals last season and Brisbane would love something similar in 2024.

He is 9.00 to boot the first goal of the game.

Carlton have injury concerns

Carlton’s hopes have been hit by the news that Sam Walsh looks set to miss out through injury.

The midfielder is continuing to battle with back issues and will play no part in the Gabba showdown.

Carlton were flying last season when winning 11 of the last 12 games of the regular season. They also performed well in finals before the prelim defeat against the Lions.

They have not won at the Gabba since 2013, but this could be their best opportunity to break that streak.

Patrick Cripps in midfield will be key to them doing that and he is 3.60 to produce over 30 disposals in the game.

Brisbane have a huge goal threat in the form of Charlie Cameron, but the Blues have their own Charlie, in the form of Curnow.

Curnow can be backed at 7.50 to kick the first goal.

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