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Aussie Rules: Carlton handed double boost for Crows clash

Carlton are out to maintain their unbeaten start to the season on Thursday night, but it will be far from easy against an in-form Crows side in Adelaide.

We have another exciting week of AFL action to look forward to and there is no better place to start than the Adelaide Oval for a clash between two in-form teams.

Carlton started brightly last season and looked set to play finals before a late slump saw them drop out of the top eight.

They will be keen to ensure the same does not happen again and these are the kind of games they need to be winning if they have top-four aspirations.

As for the Crows, a place in the top eight would be a huge achievement, but they will need to show a lot more than back-to-back wins to get the doubters on board.

Thursday night’s game will say a lot about these two sides. The way the season is going so far, it is a tough one to call, but there should be plenty of excitement either way.

WhatAdelaide Crows v Carlton
WhereAdelaide Oval
When20:40 (AEST), Thursday 13th April
How to watchChannel 7, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsCrows 1.97, Carlton 1.85

Crows welcome back key duo

The Crows are up to the dizzy heights of seventh place on the ladder after back-to-back wins over Port Adelaide in the derby and then Fremantle.

Port may be up and down like a yo-yo and Fremantle may be bang out of form, but they are two big wins nonetheless and something to give the supporters hope.

It is also a sign that coach Matthew Nicks, who has recently been given a huge vote of confidence by the board, is getting things right.

However they do face bigger tests starting with the clash against Carlton. Geelong, Collingwood and St Kilda are also on the horizon and we will know a lot more about the Crows after that.

Nicks and the Crows will not be looking too far ahead though. The cliché, ‘taking it one game at a time’ springs to mind and all focus will be on Carlton.

Adelaide were well beaten against GWS and Richmond in their opening two games, but have been a different side since. Confidence should be sky-high and they will also have the backing of a packed Adelaide Oval.

The Crows have been handed a huge boost with two star players returning, but it has forced Nicks into a couple of tough decisions.

Key forward Darcy Fogarty, who is 1.18 to boot a goal at anytime during the game, returns from a knee injury, while Luke Pedlar is available again following suspension.

It means there is no place for Ned McHenry despite his impressive display against Fremantle. Same applies to Lachie Gollant who kicked two goals, but who has been left out.

Shane McAdam is also available again after a ban, but Nicks can find no room for him, highlighting the strength-in-depth the Crows currently have.

Adelaide can be backed at 3.00 to make the eight and play finals and a win over Carlton will get the Crows faithful believing.

Related Aussie Rules News

Aussie Rules: Takeaways from week four

Aussie Rules: St Kilda look to go four clear

Walsh back in the fold for Carlton

Carlton have won three and drawn one to get the season off to a great start, but the jury is still out to some extent.

Their last two wins against North Melbourne and GWS - two teams not expected to be in the eight - were far from convincing.

Even so, you can only beat what is put in front of you as the saying goes, and they have done just that in the last three games, when Geelong were also put to the sword.

The Blues now need to make it three wins on the bounce before they head into a tough-looking game against St Kilda, which could be a top-of-the-ladder clash.

Coach Michael Voss is able to call on Sam Walsh for the first time this season, which is a huge boost, while Blake Acres returns from suspension.

Matt Kennedy is back following soreness, while Harry McKay had his one-match suspension overturned at the Tribunal and is free to play. However star defender Sam Doherty is out for the next six weeks with a knee injury.

Charlie Curnow has booted 16 goals already this season - only Geelong’s Jeremy Cameron has kicked more - and he is priced at 1.01 to score anytime on Thursday night.

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