It's a massive game for both teams. Carlton has a very slim chance of making the top eight, but in truth there's probably more riding on the result for Essendon.
If the Bombers lose, their chances to the top eight almost evaporate. As a result, Essendon is sure to be fired up because there is so much on the line for them.
For Carlton, it's about trying to keep their good form going and then seeing what happens. A win here keeps them in the hunt for a finals berth.
In terms of form, both teams are probably at about the exact same level at the moment. It's not necessarily a very high level but they're evenly matched and I think they line up well against each other.
Brett Ratten needs to keep winning to have any chance to keep his job as coach, but I suspect whatever happens he probably won't be at the club next year.
There's probably a sense that it lessens the expectation on him because his future is out of his hands.
Chris Judd is back after four weeks out, which is going to be a huge bonus of the Blues, and he should be raring to go after his enforced lay-off.
He will have freshened up considerably and I expect him to play very well. Champions don't lose their touch and Judd will be a huge factor.
Marc Murphy will also be key with his recent outstanding form, especially given Essendon is vulnerable in the midfield.
Essendon could get Brent Stanton back, and Stanton and Jobe Watson versus Judd and Murphy would make it a terrific contest.
We know about their midfields, and their forward lines have been good on their day, but for both teams you have to ask where the goals will come from.
Looking at the two teams, I think the balance for Carlton seems better. Having Jarrad Waite back and Levi Casboult up forward helps them, with Eddie Betts too they seem to be getting the mix of talls and smalls right.
Michael Hurley and Stuart Crameri will boost Essendon as the pair were very important to the Bombers' early season form.
I'm tipping Essendon to win given they appear to have a lot more to play for than Carlton, but I am expecting it to be a very close game with a goal in it.Saturday Arvo Footy
Essendon v Carlton
Melbourne 3pm on Channel 7
Adelaide 2.30pm on Channel 7
Brisbane 1.30pm on 7mate