AFL Round 1 Preview and Betting Tips – Thursday Night fixture

The traditional season opener between Carlton and Richmond will get the season underway, under lights at the MCG on Thursday night. The selected teams for the remaining seven matches will not be released until 5pm tomorrow (Thursday) night, so I will preview those games once the sides are named.




LAST TIME: Carlton 23.18 (156) d Richmond 10.7 (67), Round 20, 2010

AT SELECTION: There will be plenty of new faces running around for both clubs. Jeremy Laidler, Nick Duigan and Ed Curnow will all make their Carlton debuts, while the Tigers have given a gig to ex-Carlton player Shaun Grigg, former Bomber Bachar Houli, talented youngster Reece Conca as well as Jake Batchelor and Brad Helbig.

WHO IS MISSING? The blues have been hit hardest by injury and suspension missing Paul Bower, Matthew Kruezer and Michael Jamison, while Brock McLean, Lachie Henderson and Andrew Collins were overlooked. The Tigers, meanwhile, are effectively at full strength.

PREVIEW: Carlton have thrashed Richmond in this fixture the last two years. The loss in 2009 inflicted so much psychological pain that it derailed the Tigers whole season. Last year was a similar story and the Blues have now won the last five meetings between the two teams. This time it should be closer. Carlton are undermanned at the back with key defenders Paul Bower and Michael Jamison both missing through injury and suspension respectively. This will play into the hands of Richmond’s goal scoring machine, Jack Riewoldt. Every time the ball gets in the Tigers forward 50, Riewoldt will be extremely dangerous. Carlton have the superior midfield led by Chris Judd and Marc Murphy, so the ball won’t be in Riewoldt’s zone too often. If Carlton’s forwards get their two or so goals each the Blues will get the four points.

TIP: Carlton by 28 points

ANDY’S BET: Carlton – 19.5 points @ 1.94 (Sportsbet)

ANDY’S BET: Jack Riewoldt to score the most goals @ 2.75 (TAB Sportsbet)

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