Brisbane vs Collingwood
GABBA, 7:45pm (AEST) Thursday, April 17
In: Dayne Beams
Out: Chris Mayne
Prediction: These two teams look evenly matched but I will back the more experienced side in Collingwood. Collingwood by 4.
North Melbourne vs Essendon
Marvel Stadium, 4:20pm (AEST) Friday, April 18
After winning their first game of the season against Adelaide, the Kangaroos will take a fairly settled line up into round five. Luke McDonald will miss one week after he was suspended for striking Adelaide’s Chayce Jones. After being rested in round four, look for Bailey Scott to come straight back in as his replacement.
For Essendon, David Zaharakis is in some doubt after he was hospitalised with a leg infection on Tuesday. Joe Daniher is set to be available and may come straight back into the seniors for Zac Clarke or Tom Bellchambers, as the dual ruck set up does not appear to be working.
Prediction: Essendon is closing in on their best footy and should be too strong here. Essendon by 23.
West Coast vs Port Adelaide
Optus Stadium, 8:10pm (AEST) Friday, April 19
Lewis Jetta will be pushing hard to return to West Coast’s line up after he was a late withdrawal last week with a hamstring strain. If he is fit, it is difficult to pick who goes out, but it may be his late replacement in Josh Rotham, who would be very unlucky after a serviceable game.
From the outside, it looks like some of Port Adelaide’s kids are getting tired and they might need a rest. Zac Butters had limited impact against the Tigers and may be due for a rest. Steven Motlop has had a terrible start to 2019 and may be sent back to the SANFL to regain some confidence. Jackson Trengrove, Jarrod Lienert, Sam Mayes and Matthew Broadbent are pushing for senior selection after a solid patch in the reserves.
Prediction: West Coast has won six of their last seven games against the Power. I expect that trend to continue on Friday night. West Coast by 30.
GWS vs Fremantle
Manuka Oval, 1:45pm (AEST) Saturday April 20
For the Giants, Callan Ward suffered an ACL injury in the first half in the stirring win at the cattery and will miss the entirety of 2019. Jackson Hately might be the man to replace him after collecting 27 disposals in both rounds of the NEAFL season so far.
Nat Fyfe should be ready to return after missing a week with concussion and will likely replace Lachie Schultz after he had a quiet game on the weekend. Joel Hamling is unlikely after his concussion on the weekend. If he does not pass a concussion test later in the week, Brennan Cox will likely replace him.
Prediction: GWS should have too much class for the Dockers. GWS by 29.
Melbourne vs St Kilda
MCG, 4:45PM (AEST) Saturday April 20
The Demons are likely to go in unchanged with Oscar McDonald and Braydon Preuss expected to pass fitness tests later in the week. Neville Jetta, who was a late out last week, is a lock in the best 22 and will come back in if he can prove his fitness.
For the Saints, Matthew Parker is the main injury concern after he suffered an ankle injury in the win over Hawthorn. Daniel McKenzie suffered a concussion in the first half and will need to prove his fitness, while Jarryn Geary is likely to come back in after he was a late withdrawal last week. Jack Steven is sore but if he can prove his fitness, he will likely come in for Dean Kent.
Prediction: The Saints are seriously good value here after a strong start to the season. St Kilda by 17.
Richmond vs Sydney
Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm (AEST) Saturday April 20
Dustin Martin will be back after his one-week suspension, likely at the expense of the underperforming Jack Graham. Bachar Houli will be fit to take his place in the team and will replace Connor Menadue. It is unlikely that Jack Riewoldt will be ready to return.
For Sydney, Isaac Heeney is in some doubt after re-injuring his ankle on the weekend. Justin McInerney only had one disposal in his debut and will go back to the NEAFL to regain some touch. Young forwards Nick Blakey and Ben Ronke have had a few lean weeks and may be given a few weeks at the lower level to regain some confidence. James Rowbottom, James Rose and Robbie Fox will be considered as replacements.
Prediction: With no Rance, could we see a vintage performance from Buddy? Sydney by 7.
Western Bulldogs vs Carlton
Marvel Stadium, 1:10pm (AEST) Sunday April 21
Tim English is struggling in the ruck but offers plenty around the ground and needs to play to further his development. However, Jackson Trengrove could come in if Beveridge feels he needs some support.
For the Blues, Kreuzer should finally be ready to take his place in the senior line up after recovering from knee surgery in the preseason. Casboult and Lobbe will be very nervous come selection time after quiet games against the Suns. Jack Silvagni is also pushing for selection after a prolific game in the VFL.
Prediction: Would not pick Carlton against any team at the moment. Western Bulldogs by 31.
Adelaide vs Gold Coast
Adelaide Oval, 4:40pm (AEST) Sunday April 21
Don Pyke has to make significant changes this week. Kyle Hartigan, Lachie Murphy, Myles Poholke, Jake Kelly and Josh Jenkins are all a chance to be omitted, while Chayce Jones will miss after suffering a concussion. Patrick Wilson, Hugh Greenwood, Bryce Gibbs, Lachlan Scholl, Jordan Gallucci, Tyson Stengle and Andy Otten are all a chance to be selected.
Will Powell suffered a concussion in the win over Carlton and may have a week off to recover. South Australian’s Jack Lukosius and Chris Burgess are not offering enough up forward but may keep their spot as long as the team keeps winning.
Prediction: Surely the Crows get the win for Eddie in his 300th. Adelaide by 28.
Hawthorn vs Geelong
MCG, 3:20pm (AEST) Monday 22 April
Hawthorn continues to be decimated by injury in 2019. James Cousins (ankle) and Ben Stratton (concussion) will both need to pass fitness tests in order to take their place in the team on Monday. James Frawley will miss three weeks after injuring his hamstring against the Saints. In better news, Jaeger O’Meara should be available after being a late out last weekend.
The Geelong line up looks fairly settled after a strong start to the year. Jordan Clark is slowing and may need a rest in the coming weeks, which may come this week if Zach Tuohy can prove his fitness. Cam Guthrie will come back into the senior team as soon as possible, potentially at the expense of Jack Henry or Mark O’Connor.
Prediction: The injury toll is beginning to play a part in Hawthorn’s performance. Geelong by 14.