Cripps out of Blues' AFL clash with Pies

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Carlton have suffered a huge blow ahead of Sunday's AFL clash with traditional rivals Collingwood, with co-captain Patrick Cripps ruled out through soreness.

It comes after the midfield warrior was limited to 19 disposals in last week's loss to Geelong as he pushed through with a corked thigh.

Cripps, who has played every game so far this season, was named in the Blues' initial 26-player squad to take on the Magpies but has been replaced by Will Setterfield.

The late change leaves a massive hole in Carlton's midfield while they look to keep their slim finals hopes alive.

With the external review of the club's football department unfolding in the background, the Blues (6-10) are two wins out of the top eight with time running out.

They have a good run home, facing just one current top-eight side - Port Adelaide away in round 22 - in their six remaining matches.

"We want to finish the year strongly and continue to improve," coach David Teague said this week.

"As much as we want to play finals this year, it's about getting to finals - whether it's this year or next year.

"It's about improvement, it's about getting something out of this time.

"We're not going to go through the motions."

Carlton and Collingwood will do battle for the 260th time in AFL/VFL history on Sunday.

The Magpies lead the head-to-head record 128-127, with four draws, and have won the past five meetings between the clubs.

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