Blues desperate for rivalry win after 'rough' fortnight
Carlton spearhead Charlie Curnow believes the Blues can bounce back from a "rough" fortnight and topple high-flying rivals Collingwood in a MCG blockbuster.
The Blues will return to the scene of last year's final-round disaster when the Magpies came from 24 points down at three-quarter-time to crush Carlton's finals dreams.
Michael Voss' team was in the top-eight for the entire regular season until the last day, prolonging their finals drought dating back to 2013.
After four defeats from five weeks, the Blues have found themselves a target for the club's long-suffering, restless supporter base that was traditionally used to success.
Curnow said the week at Ikon Park had been positive despite the Blues being squarely in the media spotlight for the wrong reasons.
"We get to play Collingwood on the MCG, kind of the biggest stage for football so the team's looking forward to it," the reigning Coleman medallist said on Friday.
"We've had a rough couple weeks, haven't executed the way we wanted but we get to go out on the main stage and prove ourself as a team.
"I know this is a game my family and friends look forward to every year against Collingwood so I can't wait to put on a show for everyone."
Carlton and Collingwood have both embraced the history of the rivalry this week, with Voss and Magpies coach Craig McRae delving deep.
Collingwood are well prepared for a potential ambush from a fired-up Carlton.
"I just want to make sure that we understand what's coming," McRae said.
"The emotion and excitement of what we had in round 23 but there was also the other side of the fence and I'm sure that's going to motivate them."
"They've got so many weapons through the midfield and other parts, up forward, so we'll just plan accordingly and hopefully execute."
Collingwood could be forced to make late calls on Ash Johnson and Jack Ginnivan with the forwards in doubt because of illness.
The ladder-leading Magpies were on high alert on Friday, sending both players home from training to keep them away from teammates and staff.
Carlton ruckman Tom De Koning and Collingwood counterpart Darcy Cameron were both named as emergencies for Sunday's MCG clash, adding intrigue to the final selection mix.