Carrazzo among Blues pushing for return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carrazzo among Blues pushing for return

By Sam Lienert 03/06/2009 03:36:45 PM Comments (0)

Carlton's Andrew Carrazzo is among several Blues in contention to bolster a midfield which coach Brett Ratten believes is crucial to beating Brisbane this weekend.

Carrazzo has played just two games this season, missing the first four with a broken arm then fracturing a finger in round six.

But, after having a pin removed from the finger on Tuesday, Ratten said the 2007 best and fairest could return against the Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Carrazzo's defensive midfield abilities will be important, given the strong form of Lions' playmakers Simon Black, Luke Power and emerging youngster Daniel Rich.

Heath Scotland, who missed the past two rounds with hip soreness, and Shaun Grigg, who has impressed in the VFL over the past fortnight after overcoming an ankle injury, are also under strong consideration.

"(Carrazzo's) fitness levels are outstanding ... from training, running around half touching the ball with his other hand," Ratten said on Wednesday.

"Now he can fully touch it, so he's right.

"Grigg's right in the mix, he's had two performances in the reserves of over 30 possessions and Scotland's right to go."

Ratten said whichever side held sway in the midfield battles would go a long way to winning.

When the clubs last met - a 19-point Blues' win just two months ago at Etihad Stadium - Carlton dominated the midfield to kick eight goals to one in the second term, before the Lions turned the tables in the centre and kicked five goals in 10 minutes in the third.

"The stats show that Brisbane score a lot from centre bounces and they're very effective from there," Ratten said.

"It was a bit like that (in round two), in the third quarter they really got going again from centre bounces.

"It will be a big stat for the game, we'll reflect on that and say who won the centre clearances actually got to score a lot easier."

But Ratten noted the Lions had since altered their playing style, after losing ruckman Matthew Leuenberger and key defenders Daniel Merrett and Joel Patfull to injury.

"With Merrett and Patfull out it's been glaringly obvious that they've done that a bit more to get that support (in defence)," he said.

"But the way they've counter-attacked, they've got (Josh) Drummond and (Jed) Adcock in really good form and (Ashley) McGrath's one that gives them great run and rebound as well."

He said with Jared Brennan as the Lions' second ruckman it also made them a more mobile side.

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