Fit Lions look to give Carlton the Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fit Lions look to give Carlton the Blues

By Jim Morton 14/05/2008 05:35:33 PM Comments (0)

Classy midfielders Simon Black and Travis Johnston trained strongly to boost Brisbane's hopes of fielding their strongest team of the year and continuing their dominance of Carlton on Saturday night.

Co-captain Black (groin) and Johnston (hamstring) appeared to have overcome their injury concerns by running freely with the Lions main group ahead of the round-eight clash at Telstra Dome.

The Lions will also have spearhead Jonathan Brown back from the quadricep-muscle strain that kept the power forward out of the 27-point loss to Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

Brown, who led Victoria to victory over the Dream Team in Saturday night's Hall of Fame match, was given light goalkicking duties on Wednesday and is seen as a certainty to play, and possibly continue his torment of the Blues.

The reigning Coleman Medallist has reaped a maximum nine Brownlow Medal votes from his past three games against Carlton and also kicked a club record 10 goals in last year's 117-point thrashing.

The Blues have lost their past seven home-and-away matches against Brisbane.

The Lions also have play-making defender Josh Drummond (quad) available, making for a selection dilemma for coach Leigh Matthews.

Finding four players to omit, particularly two in the midfield, will be a tough task after a spirited performance against the Cats.

Justin Sherman is expected to be safe after carving a name for himself as the club's best run-with player in recent weeks and is expected to get the unenviable job tagging Chris Judd.

The speedy Sherman does have form on Judd, keeping him to just a dozen disposals when West Coast beat Brisbane at the Gabba on a hot day in 2006.

"He's obviously a tough customer around the stoppages with his lateral movement and he has an uncanny ability to move out of the stoppages," Sherman said.

"It (tagging) is something I've really wanted to bring into my game and I'm glad they've really believed in me to play that role."

Sherman said the Lions (10th with a 3-4 record) had spoken about the importance of making the most of their week off.

"Hopefully it will be a really good first game (back) and we attack this next part of the season," he said.

"If we can get four out of the next five matches we'll hopefully be (in a strong position).

"If we can come over the top it will set up the rest of the year for us."

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