Could Carlton be favourites against Fremantle?

IF YOU didn't know better, you would think Carlton would be hot favourites to beat Fremantle when round 19 kicks off at Patersons Stadium tonight.

After all, the Blues beat top four aspirants North Melbourne by 23 points in their last game, while the Dockers were beaten by 58 points by cellar dwellers St Kilda.

In the head-to-head coaching stakes, Carlton boss Mick Malthouse leads his Dockers rival Ross Lyon eight-to-four. They have also played out an memorable draw - the 2010 grand final between Collingwood (Malthouse) and St Kilda (Lyon).

On top of that, Carlton has beaten Freo three times in its last four clashes in Perth.


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Expect all of that to count for nothing when the siren sounds tonight, however, with Dockers coach Ross Lyon certain to have laid down the law to his players after the embarrassing loss to the Saints.

Lyon blamed a lack of midfield and forward pressure for the last-round loss, an area the team has been renowned for during his time in charge.

In fact Fremantle is ranked fourth for contested possessions this season, while Carlton is 13th in that category.

The Blues are even worse in the area of total disposals, with only the Brisbane Lions having had less possessions in 2014.

The Dockers can join Sydney, Hawthorn and Geelong on top of the table with 52 points with a win tonight.