Carlton’s recent record against West Coast doesn’t make for pretty reading, and Blues coach Michael Voss is eager for his group to change the narrative at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The Blues have lost their past seven games against West Coast dating back to 2015, and they haven’t beaten the Eagles in Perth since 2013.
But Carlton will enter Sunday’s clash as hot favourites after storming into premiership contention on the back of their 10-5 start to the season.
Voss has been proud of the way his team have broken through barriers this year.
The Blues ended their 11-match losing streak to Richmond in round one, and they are well on truly on track to play finals for the first time since 2013.
Voss says his players are learning what it’s like to be a winning team, and he wants them to continue that trend against West Coast.
“I was reading some statistics about the last time we beat West Coast, and the last time we beat West Coast over in Perth,” Voss said.
“There are some stats there that haven’t been kind to us, but we have to accept that at the same time.
“That’s been part of the story, part of the narrative, and it’s up to us to change it. We get the chance to do that, and we are pretty determined to go about it that way.”
West Coast were a basket case earlier this season, with the Eagles copping a series of hidings on the way to a club-record nine-match losing run.
But the return of a host of key players, including Nic Naitanui, have helped steady the ship.
West Coast were competitive against flag fancies Geelong and Richmond, and they posted a 10-point win over Essendon a fortnight ago.
“The name tags look different compared to what they were earlier in the season,” Voss said.
“It’s easy to look at what they were and some of the struggles they had earlier this year with personnel.
“But they’ve been able to get some continuity with some of those players now. We’re well and truly on guard, that’s for sure.”
One player high on Voss’ radar is Naitanui, who made a successful return from a knee injury in last week’s 35-point loss to Richmond.
Naitanui’s presence means it will be another tough day in the office for Carlton big man Tom De Koning, who bravely battled away against Rowan Marshall and Paddy Ryder in last week’s shock loss to St Kilda.
West Coast have been boosted by the return of veteran forward Josh Kennedy, while Carlton welcome back defender Jacob Weitering.