Carlton defenders Jacob Weitering and Liam Jones will have the unenviable task of stopping Sydney superstar Lance Franklin in Sunday’s AFL clash at the SCG.
Franklin returned to his best with a six-goal haul in the Swans’ loss to Fremantle last week.
The four-time Coleman medallist now has 963 career goals, with the remarkable 1000-goal milestone looming large.
Blues coach David Teague, who will be unable to call on suspended backman Lachie Plowman this weekend, says Franklin’s opponent will depend on where the forward is stationed.
“Jacob Weitering is the guy who has gone to most of the opposition’s first forwards,” Teague said.
“Having said that, Liam Jones has played pretty well against him the last couple of times.
“We’ll have a look at where he plays. He can get right up the ground at times and on other days he plays closer to goal.
“It’ll be between those two guys.”
Weitering told 3AW earlier in the week that he would relish a chance to play on the 306-game “legend”.
“He’s terrific when he’s on the run … and I’m not the fastest defender going around, so keeping him in a contest is certainly going to be a priority,” the Blues’ reigning best and fairest said.
“Definitely looking forward to the match up.”
Teague also highlighted the importance of restricting the quantity and quality of Sydney’s forward entries, adding that Isaac Heeney, Tom Papley and Hayden McLean also loomed as key threats.
“They’re a good side. They’ve been able to move the ball in there a bit quicker this year … which gives these guys a bit more space,” he said.
“We’ve got to make sure our team defence is really strong.”
The Blues have dropped former captain Marc Murphy for their round-11 clash with the Swans, who were forced to omit in-form ruckman Tom Hickey (knee).
“It’s disappointing he couldn’t get up, we were hoping he would be able to for this week but his knee has pulled up a little bit sore,” Swans coach John Longmire said.
Veteran ruck Callum Sinclair, defender Kaiden Brand and youngster Justin McInerney have been called into the side in place of Hickey, Robbie Fox (eye) and Nick Blakey.