THESE two teams are the contested footy beasts. They thrive on body contact and one-on-one match ups. Carlton is ranked first at 43.8 per cent for contested possessions; the Swans are ranked second at 43.2 per cent.
Blues coach Mick Malthouse has his players matching up like-for-like against the opposition. They use this tactic with their eye on winning 12 positions across the ground, if Carlton can achieve this and it holds the Swans to winning 10 positions, it will feel it is on the right track towards winning the game.
Malthouse will check statistics at the completion of each quarter, making sure he is always one step ahead by shifting players (if need be) to continue this focus. He will not want any the Swans players to get on top of their direct opponent and give the Swans the advantage by impacting on the game. Some match-ups you could see: Chris Yarran on Lewis Jetta, Nick Duigan on Nick Malceski, Ed Curnow to Kieren Jack (unless Jack tries to go to Chris Judd).
Against Richmond in the first week of finals, Carlton had only 292 possessions. From these 292 possessions only 99 were handballs.
Carlton will kick the ball long or quickly kick the ball out of congestion because it believes that if it has its match-ups right that it will win more of the 50-50 contests. Malthouse has always preached that finals footy is about yardage and the further the mistake from the opposition's goal then the better the chance that the team can defend it.
The Swans play the contested style differently. They try to squeeze the game by bringing their forwards up to the stoppages to create further congestion, but strategically they are opening up space to run back into should they win the football.
They use chains of handballs to spread from the congestion, averaging 165 a game and then long kicks once a player has time and space. This style requires high energy. The Swans are 18th for short kicks and 18th for uncontested marks meaning the ball is always live.
However, they do control the tempo of the game through the congestion at the stoppages by creating second and third umpire ball-ups. This is where the Swans recover, and set themselves to go again.
Over the past few weeks, the Swans have struggled with having the ability to create any uncontested play because of a lack of run and speed. They need the likes of Jetta and Malceski to give them break away speed.
At ANZ Stadium the Swans may be tough to beat, but Carlton is definitely running into form and has a good chance of causing an upset.