Adelaide Oval, 7:20pm Friday May 18
Team news: The Crows could bring Kyle Hartigan, Darcy Fogarty and possibly Sam Jacobs back into the side, but they lose Mitch McGovern. Tex Walker has also been ruled out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury.
Bulldogs bionic man Dale Morris will play this weekend but it could be in the VFL, and Marcus Adams is a chance to return for his first game of the year. Skipper Easton Wood has to pass a fitness test and Fletcher Roberts could come in for injured defender Aaron Naughton.
Injury Watch: Adelaide’s Mitch McGovern will miss two months of footy with a high ankle sprain and questions are being asked as to whether we will see Brad Crouch at all this year after it was speculated that he could undergo season ending groin surgery.
Good news for Bulldogs fans this week with the club announcing that Liam Picken could play again this year after suffering from ongoing concussion symptoms. He is expected to return after the bye.
Prediction: The Crows will be hungry for a win after last week’s narrow loss and they will be too strong at home for the Bulldogs. Adelaide by 22 points.
Blundstone Arena, 1:45pm Saturday May 19
Team news: Kangaroos skipper Jack Ziebell will play this week after having his one-match suspension overturned.
Giants mifielder Josh Kelly won’t return for another week unless he completes a full training session this Wednesday.
Prediction: You have to respect North Melbourne after the way they played against the reigning premiers last week and they have a good record in Tasmania, but GWS should still be able to get over the line. GWS by 11 points.
Jiangwan Stadium, 1:15pm Saturday May 19
Team news: Gold Coast’s Peter Wright likely to come in for the suspended Sam Day.
Injury Watch: Tom Lynch will be back for the Suns after their bye.
Prediction: Gold Coast copped an absolute belting last week and this has the potential be another one. Port Adelaide by 35 points.
MCG, 4:35pm Saturday May 19
Daniel Menzel is the Cat’s main injury query with a groin issue and the club is unsure when he will be back.
Prediction: It’s hard to see Essendon beating anyone with the way they’re playing at the moment, but note that they are 2-0 against 2017 finalists. Geelong by 27 points.
SCG, 7:25pm Saturday May 19
Team news: The Swans have ruled out Buddy Franklin again this week but they might get Dan Hannenbery back.
Injury Watch: Sydney still don’t know when they will get Franklin back into the team and it might not be for a couple of weeks.
The Dockers are hopeful to have Matt Taberner back for the second half of the season.
Prediction: While Fremantle have improved this season, Sydney at home is a tough challenge when you’re coming from Perth. Sydney by 18 points.
Etihad Stadium, 7:25pm Saturday May 19
Injury Watch: Nathan Freeman (St Kilda) has put a couple of VFL games together after dealing with a number of hamstring problems over the last few years and the club will be hoping he can make his AFL debut soon.
Collingwood’s soft tissue issues continue with Darcy Moore and Jamie Elliot suffering more hamstring injuries.
Prediction: St Kilda will be competitive against the Pies this week but Collingwood should still win. Collingwood by seven points.
Carlton vs Melbourne
MCG, 1:10pm Sunday May 20
Team news: Carlton are hoping to have their captain Marc Murphy and defender Caleb Marchbank back this weekend after they narrowly missed last week’s game. Jacob Weitering played another good game in the VFL last weekend and should be in the mix for selection.
Melbourne could bring Jack Viney back in after he got through a VFL game last weekend.
Injury Watch: Melbourne can expect Dean Kent to return from a Hamstring injury in 2-3 weeks.
Prediction: Even though Carlton were back on the winners list last week, Melbourne should be able to get over the line in a scrappy one. Melbourne by 18 points.
The Gabba, 3:20pm Sunday May 20
The Hawks are likely to welcome Paul Puopolo back from a hamstring injury this week.
Injury Watch: Cyril Rioli is still on track to return after Hawthorn’s bye.
Prediction: Hodgey reunites with his ex-teammates, but the Hawks will have the last laugh. Hawthorn by 40 points.
Optus Stadium, 2:40pm Sunday May 20
Injury Watch: West Coast have knocked a week of Liam Ryan’s return and at this stage he will be back in six weeks. Luke Shuey is two weeks away.
Daniel Rioli could be finally returning for Richmond in the VFL this weekend.
Prediction: Easily the game of the round; first vs second on the ladder. If the game was at the MCG it would be a no brainer, but the Optus Stadium factor makes this a very even contest. Richmond are still the better team. Richmond by 3 points.
Point to prove:
Contact with umpires. The AFL Tribunal used Tom Hawkins to make a statement to everyone that deliberate contact with umpires is not on. This week it was almost as if they did a complete 180 and have decided that it is perfectly legal. If that is the case then that’s fine, as long as that is what they stick to. They seem to make up rules as they go along which isn’t just a new thing for 2018. It would be much appreciated if they could settle on one set of rules across the season.
Collingwood hammies. Collingwood’s extensive list of hamstring injuries this year is far beyond bad luck. They have almost had a fresh hamstring injury to their injury list every week this season and that signals an underlying issue. Earlier in the year, people were questioning if it was their training surface and now people are questioning their sports scientist. They are a real contender for the top eight this season but they won’t be for much longer if they keep losing important players to three-week hamstring injuries.
Quote of the week:
“So I’ve recovered some brain cells in the last 24 hours and was thinking, how often has someone had a short power nap on the G, whilst dribbling through a snag at the same time? hmm” – Tom Phillips on his concussion against Geelong
Photo of the Week:
— Michael Klein (@kleinyheraldsun) May 12, 2018