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Aussie Rules: Kangaroos target Blues upset

North Melbourne have made a strong start to the season and will be out to keep the good times rolling against Carlton on Good Friday.

The Easter schedule got underway on Thursday night with the Brisbane Lions continuing their rollercoaster start to the season with a surprise win over Collingwood.

It was a first defeat of the season for the Pies, who remain in second spot on the ladder, while the Lions are up to eighth with two wins for the season.

Now focus turns to the rest of round four with the Kangaroos taking on the Blues next up at Marvel Stadium. North Melbourne have surprised many when picking up two wins already, but a victory over Carlton would be their biggest scalp yet, if they could pull it off.

The Blues have also started well as they look to end their finals drought, and these are the kind of games they really need to be winning if they are to make the top eight.

It is all set up for a great game so let’s take a closer look at both sides.

What:North Melbourne v Carlton
Where:Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
When:17:20 (AEST) Friday 7th April 2023
How to watch:Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo 
Odds:Melbourne 5.00, Carlton 1.19

Star duo back for North

North Melbourne have been struggling at the bottom of the ladder for some time now, but currently find themselves in seventh with two wins from three.

New coach Alastair Clarkson is already working his magic, and he will need to get the wand out again if they are to see off the Blues.

The Kangaroos opened up with a win over the West Coast Eagles and then travelled to Perth where they pulled off a massive one-point win over Fremantle.

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Time for the ‘Showdown’

They did come back down to earth with a disappointing 19-point defeat at Hawthorn last week and will be keen to bounce back against Carlton. North Melbourne’s chances of doing just that have been handed a massive double boost, with two star players set to return for the clash.

Star midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke missed the defeat against Hawthorn with a minor calf injury, but is ready to play. Meanwhile, co-captain Jy Simpkin is set to return from suspension in another massive boost for Clarkson. 

It is not all good news though as defender Ben McKay will miss out with a foot injury. It robs the player of the chance to go up against his twin brother, Carlton star Harry.

Walsh return on hold

Carlton have started the season well and are unbeaten in three games. After starting the campaign with a 58-58 draw against Richmond, they went on to beat Geelong and Greater Western Sydney.

Both of those victories were by the slenderest of margins and the Blues will be hoping to not only beat the Kangaroos, but do it by a convincing margin. Carlton were hoping to have superstar Sam Walsh back in the side following injury, but the game has come a touch too soon.

Walsh has been battling a back injury since August of last year and the Blues are not willing to rush him back ahead of schedule for fear of suffering a setback. It means he will sit out against the Kangaroos and possibly Adelaide next week, as they have just a six-day turnaround.

The big clash against St Kilda on 23rd April looks a more suitable date for his return. Matt Kennedy and Jack Martin are both close to making a return from calf injuries, but like Walsh, will have to wait.

Coach Michael Voss will feel he still has a more than good enough team to get the job done at Marvel Stadium, although he will be forced into a couple of changes.

Wingman Blake Acres will miss the game through suspension, while small forward Matt Owies will miss out with a hamstring injury. With those two out, Josh Honey has been added to the squad.

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