ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: David Zaharakis of the Bombers celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round 23 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Essendon Bombers at Adelaide Oval on August 24, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Note: All win probabilities brought to you by Stats Insider.

North Melbourne (53%) vs Hawthorn (47%)

MCG 7:50pm (AEST) Friday August 2

Team News: The Kangaroos could have a new debutant with mid-season draftee, Lachie Hosie, performing well in the VFL, kicking seven goals in three weeks. Kayne Turner is expected to return after being rested last week. While out-of-form backmen Jamie Macmillan and Sam Durdin could face the axe, while veteran duo Scott Thompson and Shaun Atley will have to pass tests to prove their fitness on Thursday.

Very few changes are expected for the Hawthorn side this week, with Box Hill coming off a bye in the VFL, but if Tim O’Brien is fit enough, he will likely replace Jon Ceglar up forward. Midfielder James Cousins was in good touch for Box Hill before the bye, racking up 27 disposals and a goal, while youngster Tea Miles also impressed with 30 disposals and a goal.

Prediction: After securing Rhyce Shaw as head coach, the Kangaroos will come out firing. Kangaroos by 14.

 

Essendon (63%) vs Port Adelaide (37%)

Marvel Stadium 1:45pm (AEST) Saturday August 3

Team News: Essendon could welcome back captain Dyson Heppell and excitement machine Orazio Fantasia from injury this week, with Conor McKenna also in line to return after missing last week for a family wedding. Jayden Laverde and Ben McNeice are likely omissions, with mid-season draftee Will Snelling also sweating on his spot in the side.

Ken Hinkley is set to shake-up the Port Adelaide line-up once again, with Scott Lycett on the chopping block with Dougal Howard and Cam Sutcliffe. Key forwards Charlie Dixon and Todd Marshall are likely ins, while Ollie Wines will miss another week with a thumb injury.

Prediction: The Dons are in-form and will be difficult to beat on the fast Marvel surface. Bombers by 21.

 

Greater Western Sydney (74%) vs Sydney (26%)

GIANTS Stadium 2:10 pm (AEST) Saturday August 3

Team News: Brett Deledio is expected to return to the Giants line-up after being managed last week, with either Shane Mumford or Dawson Simpson expected to make way. Defender Sam Taylor will likely miss the next four weeks with a hamstring injury, with Adam Kennedy and Jake Stein lined up as potential replacements.

Wholesale changes could be on the cards as the Swans look to bounce back from four straight defeats. Dane Rampe and Colin O’Riordan will both miss Saturday’s derby through injury, while defender Ryley Stoddart could be sent down to the NEAFL. Jackson Thurlow, James Rose and Kieren Jack could be recalled, with Daniel Menzel also up for selection.

Prediction: GWS will continue their strong push for the top four with a resounding win over their rivals. Giants by 49.

 

Fremantle (29%) vs Geelong (71%) 

Optus Stadium 4:45 pm (AEST) Saturday August 3 

Team News: After losing defender Luke Ryan to a hamstring injury, Ross Lyon could be set to recall Bailey Banfield, who impressed in his last WAFL outing with 30 disposals and two goals. Ethan Hughes and Cam McCarthy could also be in the mix, with Aaron Sandilands and Hayden Ballantyne facing stints on the sidelines.

Zach Tuohy and Gary Rohan should be automatic ins for the Cats after being rested, while Sam Menegola has pushed for promotion with solid VFL performances. Quinton Narkle could also make his return to senior footy, with James Parsons, Tom Atkins and Jed Bews all in the firing line.

Prediction: Fremantle will be outclassed by a Cats side looking to stay top dog. Cats by 29. 

 

Melbourne (23%) vs Richmond (77%) 

MCG 7:25pm (AEST) Saturday August 3 

Team News: Three players are on the chopping block for Simon Goodwin after Melbourne’s loss to St Kilda, with Oscar McDonald, Corey Wagner and Oskar Baker failing to impress. Experienced forward Jake Melksham would be a welcome addition to the dysfunctional forward line, while Marty Hore may offer some stability down back should he return.

Young star Sydney Stack is set to spend time on the sidelines after picking up a calf injury on Thursday, while Toby Nankervis and Trent Cotchin will miss this week as they continue their respective recoveries from injury. Josh Caddy has overcome an ankle injury and should be available, while Connor Menadue has had a strong fortnight in the VFL.

Prediction: The nightmare will continue for the Demons with Richmond winning their sixth-straight Tigers by 54. 

 

Adelaide (69%) vs St Kilda (31%) 

Adelaide Oval 7:40pm (AEST) Saturday August 3

Team News: Eddie Betts is straight back into the seniors after a four-goal performance in the SANFL, with Tyson Stengle expected to make way. Bryce Gibbs, Richard Douglas and Hugh Greenwood also starred in midfield, putting pressure on incumbents Rory Atkins, Paul Seedsman, Patrick Wilson and David Mackay. Forwards Lachlan Murphy and Riley Knight could also face demotion with rookie Chayce Jones hungry for a return.

Dan Hannebury and Jack Steven are both expected to return to the Saints line-up, while Blake Acres will have to prove his fitness to secure his spot. Josh Battle could replace Nathan Brown after a strong performance in the VFL and Doulton Langlands and Ben Paton could also face the axe.

Prediction: Brett Ratten will continue the success of caretaker coaches with a tough victory away from home. Saints by 10. 

 

Collingwood (86%) vs Gold Coast (14%) 

MCG 1:10pm (AEST) Sunday August 4 

Team News: The Pies will have to make at least two forced changes with Jordan De Goey and Isaac Quaynor ruled out with injury, but more changes could follow with Jordan Roughead and Tom Phillips facing fitness tests. If fit, Levi Greenwood and Taylor Adams could both return, while Tyson Goldsack and young midfielder Tyler Brown are also potential additions.

Jack Bowes, Ben Ainsworth and Jack Martin are all available for selection after making successful recoveries from injury. Jacob Heron, Corey Ellis and Jessie Joyce are three players who could be squeezed out should Bowes, Ainsworth and Martin be selected.

Prediction: Collingwood will be back on the winners list with a huge win over the struggling Suns. Magpies by 73. 

 

Carlton (29%) vs West Coast (71%) 

Marvel Stadium 3:20pm (AEST) Sunday August 4 

Team News: Zac Fisher is expected to return to the Blues’ side after overcoming an illness with last week’s late inclusion, Paddy Dow, expected to make way. Rookie midfielder Liam Stocker and forward Alex Fasolo impressed in the VFL, but it is unlikely that David Teague will make too many changes to the side which defeated Adelaide last week.

West Coast are also unlikely to make many changes to their winning side, but captain Shannon Hurn is expected to return from a calf injury, with Francis Watson the unlucky player to be axed. Mark Hutchings is also available for selection after overcoming a hamstring injury and could be named on the extended bench.

Prediction: Carlton are up-and-about and at home, but the reigning premiers will be too strong for the Blues. Eagles by 20. 

 

Brisbane (69%) vs Western Bulldogs (31%) 

Gabba 4:40pm (AEST) Sunday August 4 

Team News: Harris Andrews will slip straight back into the side after serving his suspension, while the club will have to wait on Alex Witherden’s fitness before selecting him. Josh Walker will likely be dropped for Andrews, while Ben Keays could come into the side should Witherden fail to get up.

With Dale Morris going down with another heart-breaking knee injury, VFL defenders Fletcher Roberts and Bailey Williams could come in as replacements. Josh Schache, Matt Suckling and Toby McLean are all available for selection after recovering from their respective injuries. However, it will be difficult for Luke Beveridge to drop anyone after his side’s strong performance against Fremantle in round 19.

Prediction: Brisbane should deal with the Bulldogs quite comfortably at home, as they look to cement their top-four position. Lions by 32.