Note: All win probabilities brought to you by Stats Insider.
Adelaide Oval 7:50pm (AEST) Friday July 19
Team News: The Crows come into this clash with a full head of steam after their 95-point thrashing of Gold Coast last week. Forward Tom Lynch is unlikely to return from a calf injury, whilst Cam Ellis-Yolmen is still a week off. With no notable injuries coming away from last week, out-of-favour veteran Bryce Gibbs and Richard Douglas may find it hard to crack into the side, as it’s predicted that the Crows will go unchanged.
The Bombers’ enthralling five-point win over North Melbourne will be used as a massive confidence boost as they to Adelaide for the first time this year. The injury to key defender Michael Hurley means that Essendon will be hoping the Patrick Ambrose is ready to return from a quad injury. They should also welcome back skipper Dyson Heppell as he overcomes a foot injury, which would most likely be at the expense of Kyle Langford. Although, the Bombers are set to play mid-season draft pick Will Snelling.
Prediction: Both sides in good form, but the home advantage might just have enough impact to get the Crows over the line. Adelaide by 11.
MCG 1:45pm (AEST) Saturday July 20
Team News: No injuries for the Tigers after a solid win against the Giants. However, premiership player Josh Caddy has done himself no harm in his bid to return to the senior side. In a best-on-field performance in the VFL, Caddy is in line to replace youngster Eggmolesse-Smith, which will move Shane Edwards back. Baker, Butler and Graham are unlikely to be recalled.
After a disappointing loss at home to the Brisbane Lions, the Power travel to the heart of football to take on the Tigers. Port Adelaide suffered injuries to captain Ollie Wines (finger), Ryan Burton (hamstring) and Brad Ebert (knee). Former Docker Cam Sutcliffe is also under fire as his job on Lachie Neale backfired. These four players are likely to be replaced by Dan Houston (who missed last week with a virus), Duursma, Broadbent and Drew.
Prediction: As the Tigers gain momentum heading into September, they’re going to be hard to beat, especially at the MCG, whilst the Power boast an under-manned line-up against the 2017 Premiers. Richmond by 28.
Carlton (78%) vs Gold Coast (22%)
Marvel Stadium 2:10pm (AEST) Saturday July 20
Team News: After a surprising win in Sydney, the Blues have won three of their five games since caretaker coach David Teague took over. Their inspiring form led by veteran Marc Murphy and skipper Patrick Cripps has proved to be difficult to deal with for opposition teams. An injury to Carlton debutant Hugh Goddard and a quiet day for forward Darcy Lang can see these two out of the side for Cunningham and Weitering, given both pass required fitness tests.
The Suns are in disarray, with this season being labelled as one of their worst in their short existence. After a 95-point belting at the hands of the Crows, does coach Stewart Dew override the whole playing list? Or persist with who he has out there currently? A suspended Anthony Miles may mean that ex-Geelong player George Horlin-Smith gets picked. However, pick no.23 Jez McLennan could also make his debut this week.
Prediction: The Blues impressive form means they should win this one, but expect a fight from the Gold Coast Suns after their disappointing loss last week. Blues by 36.
Giants Stadium 4:35pm (AEST) Saturday July 20
Team News: The Giants have now lost three on-the-trot and to make matters worse, have lost their star midfielder Stephen Coniglio for potentially the rest of the season. Veteran Shane Mumford looks likely to return from a knee injury at the expense of Dawson Simpson, whilst Bonar, Hately, Caldwell and Shipley are all in line to replace Coniglio. Buntine may also come under a selection cloud as his output last week was sub-par, meaning Finlayson could return to the senior side.
The rejuvenated Magpies are hot coming off one of their best home-and-away wins in the club’s long history against the Eagles in WA. Despite the win, injuries has clouded the celebrations with Darcy Moore likely to miss multiple games and skipper Scott Pendlebury would be a surprise if he lined up against the Giants. Crocker’s return to the senior side could be short-lived given his performance. Howe and Adams are raring to go, whilst Scharenberg could help boost Collingwood’s defensive stocks. New-comers Noble and Quaynor are likely to hold their spot.
Prediction: Without Kelly and Coniglio, the Pies should dominate in the midfield which will go a long way to winning the game. The Giants will need to make most of their chances going forward. Collingwood by 18.
Brisbane Lions (69%) vs North Melbourne (31%)
Gabba 7:25pm (AEST) Saturday July 20
Team News: The Brisbane Lions are on a four-game winning streak and are hot favourites to make it five at home. Veteran Luke Hodge is likely to return from a rest, whilst the Lions are waiting to see if McCluggage and Hipwood pass their respective fitness tests. This could see Zac Bailey or Ben Keays dropped as well as Josh Walker. Ryan Lester or Marcus Adams may also be forced to make way for Hodge, as the Lions near their strongest line-up for the season.
The Roos would be shattered after their narrow loss to Essendon makes a finals berth extremely hard from here on out. Higgins, Wood and Larkey are all under an injury cloud, whilst Luke McDonald’s season is over. Curtis Taylor struggled to make an impact as did Hrovat. Assuming all are fit, North Melbourne will recall Higgins, Wood and Sam Wright for Ahern, Taylor and McDonald. A possible change could also be LDU for Hrovat.
Prediction: The hot form of the Lions will see most tipping them this week, especially since its at the Gabba. The Roos would be shattered last week, but Rhyce Shaw could rally his boys into some inspired footy. Brisbane by 26.
Fremantle (61%) vs Sydney (39%)
Optus Stadium 8:10pm (AEST) Saturday July 20
Team News: Both sides are currently suffering losing streaks, with the Dockers last win against Port Adelaide in round 13. The Swans have lost their last two, including to Carlton at home. Ross Lyon’s men desperately need a win and the inclusion of Jesse Hogan could prove vital. He will replace a lacklustre Colyer, who is yet to find his feet, while Logue and Duman were stiff to be dropped in recent weeks and may be looked at for a recall. Sandilands first game back in the Western Derby was brutal and it will be interesting to see if he is called upon for this clash.
More bad news coming after the Carlton loss, with in-form defender Jordan Dawson being suspended, whilst Franklin, Sinclair and McVeigh not being close to returning. The NEAFL form of Clarke and Stoddart may force show changes, whilst Robbie Fox may be brought in to relieve Aliir of his ruck duties and send him to the backline. Ronke will be unlucky to miss this week as he was one of a few forwards who struggled in the loss last week.
Prediction: The inclusion of Hogan gives Fremantle a better balance in the forward line with the Swans defence being under-sized, as well without a legitimate ruckman. Fremantle by 23.
Geelong (69%) vs Hawthorn (31%)
MCG 1:10pm (AEST) Sunday July 21
Team News: The Cats sitting two-games clear on top of the ladder are not playing their best footy in recent times, with a loss to the Bulldogs and a hard fought win against a young St Kilda outfit. The Hawks-Cats clash is always entertaining and history says that it will be close. Geelong will likely gain Kolodjashnij from concussion at the expense of Henry, whilst superstar Gary Ablett may miss due to a hip complaint. Fogarty and Parsons are knocking on the door for senior selection and one will be picked if Ablett were to miss.
The Hawks are on a two-game winning streak and finding some form as they push for a top eight spot. Wins against Collingwood and Fremantle can give them the confidence to do one better and knock of the ladder leaders. James Cousins did himself no harm on the selection table with his VFL performance while Brand and Mirra are always consistent down back. Gunston is set to return from his leg injury, meaning he should replace Nash. Ceglar is also ready to go.
Prediction: As these games go, the Hawks-Cats clash always prove to be hard-hitting, intense games. This game wouldn’t be any different, so expect a close one. Geelong by 10.
Melbourne (34%) vs West Coast (66%)
TIO Traeger Park 3:20pm (AEST) Sunday July 21
Team News: The Dees would see season 2019 as a write-off and may start playing some of their younger players in hope they gain more experience. Wagner, Kennedy Harris and McDonald are all pushing for senior selection after strong performances in the VFL. Quiet games from mid-season recruit Kyle Dunkley and Hannan could see changes occur this week. Brayshaw, Harmes and Preuss should all be fine despite playing through injury.
West Coast nearly had their full side in against Collingwood, despite Naitanui playing limited game time. However, an injury to the star ruckman as well as forward Jamie Cripps does result in changes. Waterman and Petruccelle are banging down the door for a spot on the senior side with the performances in the WAFL, whilst ex-Sun Brooksby may debut. Veteran Schofield is also set to resume his position in defense for Nelson.
Prediction: Expect a big response from the 2018 Premiers, while the out-of-form Demons be beaten at every turn. West Coast by 40.
St Kilda (31%) vs Western Bulldogs (69%)
Marvel Stadium 4:40pm (AEST) Sunday July 21
The Saints are on a four-game losing streak which resulted in coach Alan Richardson sacked by the club. Will care-taker Brett Ratten be able to turn this into a win like other caretakers? It is unlikely that there will be any changes going into this game for the Saints, given that Hannerbery can overcome a hamstring issue. It would surprise most if Ratten made changes from a competitive outfit against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.
The Dogs are playing inspiring footy, winning four of their last five games, including a narrow loss to Collingwood. McLean is looking at some time on the sidelines, whilst Bontempelli is in doubt after hurting his ankle. Veteran Dale Morris is also pushing for senior selection after three games in the VFL. Coach Luke Beveridge said Liberatore and Daniel could be a chance this week, while father-son prospect Rhylee West could make his debut.
Prediction: As history has shown us, the care-taker coach usually wins their first game at the helm, however, the current form of the Dogs should prevail against a desperate St Kilda. Bulldogs by 19.