Sydney vs Melbourne
SCG, 7:20 (AEDT) Thursday April 11
In: K.Jack, J.McInerney
Out: J.McVeigh (quad), W.Hayward (broken jaw)
Jarrad McVeigh and Will Hayward were both injured in the win over Carlton and will miss multiple weeks.
Colin O’Riordan put in a strong performance in the NEAFL, while James Rose, who gathered 39 disposals and kicked four goals, has also been in good touch in the seconds.
In: B.Stretch, B.Preuss
Out: K.Kolodjashnij (head knock), A.Neal-Bullen
Tom McDonald has overcome an ankle injury, however Kade Kolodjashnij comes out due to a head knock. Braydon Preuss comes in for his club debut as a Demon.
Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost have been struggling for form and need to bounce back, with Marty Hore, Billy Stretch and Corey Maynard knocking on the door.
Prediction: Melbourne to start the season 0-4. Sydney by 12.
Collingwood vs Western Bulldogs
MCG, 7:50pm (AEDT) Friday April 12
Team News: Collingwood’s Darcy Moore tweaked his ankle in the loss to the Eagles but played out the game and should be fine to play. Daniel Wells should return from a foot injury in the VFL this week.
Reid returned in the VFL last week and kicked three goals but is unlikely to replace Mason Cox or Brody Mihocek.
For the Bulldogs, Jason Johannisen is likely to come straight into the senior line-up this week, potentially at the expense of young defender Lewis Young.
Lin Jong, Jackson Trengrove and Tom Boyd are also likely to be deemed fit but are more likely to return though the VFL.
Prediction: The Pies should be too strong here. Collingwood by 29.
Geelong vs GWS
GMHBA Stadium, 1:45pm (AEDT) Saturday April 13
Team News: Geelong look set to make limited changes again after their third straight win. Tim Kelly suffered a minor ankle injury late in the game against the Crows and will need to pass a fitness test later in the week, along with Mark O’Connor, who suffered a corked hip.
Tom Atkins was quiet with six touches but kicked a goal after a strong contested mark in the first quarter. Cam Guthrie and Zach Touhy are a strong chance to return at either AFL or VFL level.
For GWS, Toby Greene should return from calf soreness that has forced him to miss two matches and Callan Ward is an outside chance to return from a knee injury. Tommy Sheridan injured his calf against Richmond and will miss a few weeks.
Prediction: There is no tougher assignment in footy than the Cats at GMHBA Stadium. Geelong by 15.
Essendon vs Brisbane
MCG, 2:10pm (AEDT) Saturday April 13
Team News: Essendon have some injury concerns with Shaun McKernan and Kobe Much suffering serious hamstring injuries on Friday night. However, Cale Hooker is now available for selection and should come straight in.
Zac Clarke was quiet and could be replaced by Sam Draper. Kyle Langford and Dylan Clarke will be in the mix to replace Mutch.
Brisbane will make minimal changes again after their third-straight win. Zac Bailey suffered a serious hamstring injury in the win over Port Adelaide and will miss 4-6 weeks. Tom Cutler is likely to replace him after a 22 disposals and four-goal effort in the NEAFL.
Allen Christensen and Cedric Cox were also dominant as they look to force their way into the senior team.
Prediction: Lachie Neale to have 40+ disposals for the third week in a row. Brisbane by 29.
Port Adelaide vs Richmond
Adelaide Oval, 4:35pm (AEDT) Saturday April 13
Team News: Tom Rockliff (concussion) and Robbie Gray (shoulder) will need to pass fitness tests before being cleared to play but both appear more likely than unlikely.
Jackson Trengrove has gathered 40 plus disposals in both SANFL games so far and will be in the frame if Rockliff or Gray are unavailable.
Trent Cotchin (hamstring), Jayden Short (elbow) and Dustin Martin (suspension) are all unavailable from the Tigers team that played the Giants.
Bachar Houli appears likely to return from a hamstring injury, while Josh Caddy may return after playing VFL on the weekend. Jackson Ross is pushing for a senior debut.
Prediction: Richmond will be without their four best players. Port Adelaide by 10.
North Melbourne vs Adelaide
Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm (AEDT) Saturday April 13
Team News: For North Melbourne, Jed Anderson and Sam Wright look set to return from injury this week, while Paul Ahern should play his first game of the year.
The dual ruckman experiment has not worked, so Campbell will make way for Nick Larkey or Mason Wood. Luke McDonald, Jy Simpkin and Dom Tyson are all struggling and may need some time in the VFL.
Adelaide will be hoping Sam Jacobs can make a quick recovery from a knee injury but he appears unlikely. Paul Seedsman will miss four weeks with what was initially suspected to be an ACL injury, while Bryce Gibbs, Kyle Hartigan and Chayce Jones need to lift.
Hugh Greenwood, Jordan Galluci and Tyson Stengle have been toiling hard in the SANFL and may get their chance this week.
Prediction: Adelaide to kick over 100 points for the first time this year. Adelaide by 40.
West Coast vs Fremantle
Optus Stadium, 8:10 (AEDT) Saturday April 13
Team News: Liam Duggan will return for West Coast after missing a week. His replacement Josh Rotham will be the one to make way.
Nat Fyfe looks unlikely to play for Fremantle after suffering a head knock against Saint Kilda.
Sean Darcy should be available after missing last week with a corked thigh. If Darcy is fit, Jesse Hogan could move into the midfield to replace Fyfe.
Tom North, Mitch Crowden and Stefan Giro will also come under consideration after strong games in the WAFL.
Prediction: The Eagles are a class above. West Coast by 28.
Gold Coast vs Carlton
Metricon Stadium, 2:40pm (AEDT) Sunday April 14
Team News: Gold Coast have won their last two games and will likely stick with the same 22 this week. Will Brodie (38 disposals) and Sam Day (five goals) were strong performers in the NEAFL and could come under consideration.
Carlton suffered their third straight loss on the weekend and may look to make multiple changes. Matthew Kreuzer should be fit to play and will replace Matthew Lobbe after he was soundly beaten by Callum Sinclair on the weekend.
Michael Gibbons and Cam Polson were both quiet with eight disposals between them and may be sent back to the VFL. Mitch McGovern hurt his hamstring but should be fine to play. Matthew Kennedy and Jack Silvagni will come under consideration.
Prediction: Gold Coast to win their third game in a row. Gold Coast by 20.
St Kilda vs Hawthorn
Marvel Stadium, 3:20pm (AEDT) Sunday April 14
Team News: Dean Kent has had a slow start to his career with the Saints and may be replaced by Jack Steven, who should be fit to come straight back in.
Billy Longer returned from injury in the VFL and had 47 hitouts but Rowan Marshall continues to impress and should retain the number one ruck mantle.
For the Hawks, Jarryd Roughead should return after being a late out against North Melbourne with a corked thigh. Dylan Moore or Conor Nash will make way for the former captain.
Prediction: Will be closer than many think but the Hawks should get the job done. Hawthorn by 8.