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Aussie Rules: Richmond v Carlton preview

As is tradition Richmond Tigers and Carlton will get the new AFL season underway when they clash under the lights at the MCG on Thursday night.

After a long pre-season all 18 AFL teams are raring to go ahead of the new campaign and we look all set for an exciting opening round of action.

The Tigers and Blues will get it underway and we could be in for a close one. In recent times it has been a pretty one-sided affair with the Tigers coming out on top. Carlton did win the round one opener in 2022 but apart from that the Tigers have dominated against the Blues.

As ever it is important to get off to a strong start and both sides will be going for it. The Tigers have ambitions to push for the flag in 2023, while Carlton are desperate to return to finals.

The G will be packed to the rafters on Thursday and we could be in for a cracker. Let’s take a closer look at both sides as we close in on the action.

What:Richmond Tigers v Carlton
Where:MCG, Melbourne
When:19:20 (AEST) Thursday 16th March 2023
How to watch:Channel 7 
Odds:Tigers 1.72, Carlton 2.15 

Tigers target premiership glory

The Tigers won three Premierships in the space of four seasons before dropping out of the top eight altogether in the 2021 campaign. They returned to finals in 2022 before falling at the first hurdle but many are tipping them to kick on this season and challenge at the top of the ladder.

Damien Hardwick’s men are priced at 9.00 to go on and win the grand final and they could be relying heavily on the form of Dustin Martin to get them there. The gun midfielder was instrumental in their three premiership wins, but like the Tigers, has gone off the boil since the 2020 grand final success.

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He has had to deal with injury issues and the loss of his father, while there has also been talk of him being unsettled and wanting to move away from Melbourne. However reports suggest that Martin is now fit and firing and ready to take the season by storm, albeit in a slightly different role.

With Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper both arriving at the club in the off-season, Martin is set to play further forward in the hope he will be able to boot more goals and carry the Tigers to glory. Meanwhile Taranto and Hopper have already caught the eye in pre-season and could make a huge difference for the Tigers in the new season.

Both players are set to take their place in the Tigers side that face Carlton and co-captain Toby Nankervis is backing them to hit the ground running. Dion Prestia is battling back from a pectoral injury but the Tigers are hopeful he will be able to take his place in the side.

The same cannot be said for Jayden Short who has a calf issue. The clash against the Blues looks set to come a touch too soon. Josh Gibcus and Jack Ross are also doubts with hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Carlton set sights on finals

Carlton looked set to play finals in 2022 as they were in and around the top four for much of the season but a disappointing end to the campaign saw them slip out of the top eight altogether.

They are priced at 1.55 to make the eight this season and 11.00 to go on and win the Grand Final. The Blues have been handed a huge boost on the eve of the new season following the news that Sam Docherty has penned a two-year contract extension to take him through until the end of the 2025 campaign.

Not only that, but key defender Lewis Young has also penned a new three-year deal so the feel good factor is there at Carlton heading into the new season. Meanwhile Carlton have confirmed that two debutants will be handed the chance to shine against the Tigers in round one.

Ollie Hollands and Lachie Cowan were recruited with picks 11 and 30 respectively at last year’s draft and have made rapid progress. Coach Michael Voss says they have caught the eye during pre-season and deserve their chance. The Blues coach says he is excited to see what they have to offer.

Cowan will come in to help fill the void left by Zac Williams who will miss the entire 2023 campaign after suffering a knee injury last month.

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