Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs
Etihad Stadium, 7:50pm Friday May 25
Team news: Ben Reid and Brayden Maynard are chances to return to the Collingwood line if they pass fitness tests. Daniel Wells will be rested.
The Bulldogs will have Tory Dickson available for selection and could bring Josh Schache in after some good form in the VFL. Ed Richards will debut.
Injury Watch: Alex Fasolo and James Aish will miss multiple weeks for the Pies and Darcy Moore and Jamie Elliott won’t be rushed back into the side.
Bulldogs bionic man Dale Morris pulled up sore from his return to footy last week and will most likely miss this week.
Prediction: The Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back after their poor loss to the Crows last week but the Collingwood midfield will be hard to stop. Collingwood by 8 points.
Richmond vs St Kilda
MCG, 1:45pm Saturday May 26
Team news: Jack Riewoldt is suffering from a bruised lung, but the Tigers are confident he will be okay to play this weekend.
Injury Watch: Richmond will most likely have to wait one more week before seeing Dion Prestia back on the park but Daniel Rioli returned in the VFL last weekend and come through unscathed so he shouldn’t be far away.
Nathan Freeman (St Kilda) finally returned from hamstring problems but sustained a should injury and will be out for another three weeks.
Prediction: It would be a different story if this was played at Etihad but the Tigers at the ‘G are a hard enough task without needing to bounce back after a bad loss. Richmond by 50 points
Brisbane vs Sydney
The Gabba, 4:35pm Saturday May 26
Team news: Sydney’s Zak Jones has been cleared of concussion and will be right to play.
Prediction: The Lions will be up and about after their terrific win against Hawthorn last week but the Swans will be too good. Sydney by 27 points
Geelong vs Carlton
GMHBA Stadium, 7:25pm Saturday May 26
Charlie Curnow is expected to come back in for Carlton but Marc Murphy is in doubt. Ed Curnow will also be avalible after missing last week through suspension. The Blues will make multiple changes after last week’s thumping.
Injury Watch: Daniel Menzel (Geelong) hasn’t trained for a month due a groin injury.
Carlton defender Caleb Marchbank is on track to return after the bye.
Prediction: Both teams were bad last week but the Cats have class on their side and will bounce back from their loss to Essendon. Geelong by 29 points.
GWS vs Essendon
Spotless Stadium, 7:25pm Saturday May 26
Team news: GWS are hoping to welcome gun midfielder Josh Kelly back into the team and Phil Davis should return from concussion.
Essendon’s Michael Hurley and Andrew McGrath are in the mix to return if they complete training and pass fitness tests this week. David Myers should also be ready to return and after a week in the VFL, they could bring Darcy Parish back into the side.
Injury Watch: GWS’ injury list is starting to get shorter and Brett Deledio, Matt de Boer and Toby Greene should be fit to play in the next month.
The Bombers have no new updates on Joe Daniher. At this stage, he won’t be back for another month.
Prediction: If these two teams perform the way they did last week, you would expect Essendon to win, but they haven’t shown any signs of consistency and GWS are still a talented side. An interesting clash that comes down to who turns up on the day, but GWS have some helpful inclusions. GWS by 15 points
Hawthorn vs West Coast
Etihad Stadium, 1:10pm Sunday May 27
Team news: The Hawks will bring in Jaegar O’Meara and James Frawley if they are fit. They are also likely to bring in another tall defender to help shut down the powerful West Coast forward line.
The Eagles can bring Luke Shuey back in if he is fit.
Injury Watch: West Coast are looking to have Liam Ryan back in the team after the bye.
Prediction: If this was played in Perth you would be tipping West Coast without a doubt, but this being at Etihad evens out the contest because the travel query still hangs over the Eagles. They are the ladder leaders and should still be too good for the Hawks. West Coast but 19 points.
Melbourne vs Adelaide
TIO Traeger Park, 2:50pm Sunday May 27
Team news: Hard to see the Demons making any changes to the team after winning by 109 points last week.
The Crows are a slight chance to have Matt Crouch and Wayne Milera back in. Luke Brown could come in to replace Andy Otten.
Injury Watch: Sam Weideman (Melbourne) hurt his calf last Thursday at training and has been ruled out for this week but the injury isn’t serious and he should be back playing next week.
Tom McDonald (Melbourne) hurt his foot at training on Thursday, but should be right to go according to coach Simon Goodwin.
Adelaide fans won’t see Rory Sloane or Taylor Walker back in the team for another 3-4 weeks.
Prediction: Both teams won very well last week and this game will show us exactly where Melbourne are at. An undermanned Crows team is beatable for the Dees, but Adelaide are the classier side. Adelaide by two points.
Fremantle vs North Melbourne
Optus Stadium, 2:40pm Sunday May 27
Team news: Joel Hamling must overcome a concussion from last week to line up for the Dockers and Stephen Hill could return if he is fit enough.
Injury Watch: Brad Hill (Fremantle) is back running but his return date is still unknown.
The Kangaroos’ injury list is getting smaller and smaller, with Mitch Hibberd returning in the VFL last week after a knee injury.
Prediction: North Melbourne have been going very well but Fremantle should just get over the line at home. Fremantle by five points.
Point to prove:
Essendon. Dyson Heppell said what we were all thinking last Saturday night, “where the bloody hell has that been?!” The way they played against Geelong was outstanding and you genuinely wondered why they couldn’t have done this all year long. This is the week for them to prove if they are the real deal and can back up performances like that. John Worsfold’s main message was about the team finding an identity and what that game style could be, but only if they can keep it consistent. Was that superb tackling pressure and ball movement just a flash in the pan? We’ll find out on Saturday night at Spotless Stadium…
Carlton. A 109-point loss is bad, regardless of whether you’re a developing team or not and Carlton have no excuses for their result last weekend. They have showed signs here and there of what they could be but they are really just getting their fans excited and then letting them down. Brendon Bolton needs to assess whether this list is actually good enough to be successful or whether he needs to keep adding more kids. One thing to commend him on is that he stuck to his plan and made the team play out the game plan rather than trying to flood numbers back to turn a 109-point loss into a 70-point loss. They can only learn from this.
Quote of the week:
“My preference would be to be able to go to work and not get slapped on the arse by a complete stranger.” – Easton Wood on the incident at Adelaide Oval last Friday night.
Photo of the Week:
— Michael Willson (@MichaelCWillson) May 21, 2018