Geelong vs Brisbane Lions
Thursday, July 9, SCG, 7.40 pm AEST
Team News: Geelong may rest dual Brownlow medalist Gary Ablett due to the five day turn around and following his 350th game, which means it could open the door for Lachie Fogarty to come in as Ablett’s replacement.
Other players that are lining up for a chance to pull on the white and blue hoops are Sam Simpson, James Parsons and Brad Close, but it is likely that Tom Atkins will extend his stint on the sidelines.
Lachie Henderson could also come in for the Cats but depends on if Jed Bowes can prove his fitness test.
Brisbane Lions captain Dayne Zorko could come back into the frame a lot quicker than expected as he needs to pass a fitness test for his calf. However, if he can’t pass his test it may open the door for a potential debut for Ely Smith.
Prediction: Lions to continue the excitement. Lions by 15
Collingwood vs Hawthorn
Friday, July 10, GIANTS Stadium, 7.50 pm AEST
Team News: The Pies will have to make at least one change in their clash against the Hawks as star forward Jordan De Goey will miss over an investigation into an alleged sexual assault charge from 2015.
It means that the Pies could bring in Darcy Cameron if they were to go tall or bring in Josh Thomas if they want a bit more of smaller forward option. Brayden Sier could also come in to bring an extra midfielder.
Father-son prospect Will Kelly has officially been confirmed to make his debut for Collingwood, with big man Mason Cox likely making way.
The Hawks will have two open spots available at the selection table with Mitch Lewis and Jack Scrimshaw both missing this week.
Gun forward Jon Patton is likely to come in for Lewis, whereas defender Harry Morrison could come in for Scrimshaw. Ollie Hanrahan could also be in contention to spark up their forward line as well as midfielders James Cousins and Finn Maginness.
Prediction: Hawks to bounce back against an undermanned Pies outfit. Hawks 8
Fremantle vs St Kilda
Saturday, July 11, Metricon Stadium, 12.35 pm AEST
Travis Colyer could come back into the side after he missed out last week after suffering a migraine. Brennon Cox has recovered quickly from his hip injury and skipper Nat Fyfe is in the frame to make a shock return from a hamstring injury.
Blake Acres had an impressive showing in the reserves so he could be in line for a debut.
It means that Zak Jones could come back into the fold after recovering from his own hamstring problems.
Paddy Ryder is also in the mix after missing out last week.
Prediction: Saints to make it three wins in a row. St Kilda by 27
West Coast Eagles vs Adelaide
Saturday, July 11, Gabba, 3.05 pm AEST
After serving a four-match disciplinary suspension, Tyson Stengle is back in the fold and impressed in the reserves.
Prediction: It’s hard to see the Crows getting up on this one. West Coast by 35.
Melbourne vs Gold Coast
Saturday, July 11, GIANTS Stadium, 6.05 pm
Team News: The Dees went unchanged for the second consecutive week against Richmond but it was a familiar tale with poor kicking despite having four more inside 50 entries than the Tigers.
Simon Goodwin could be forced to look at the performances in the reserves as Harley Bennell had a standout game and Sam Weideman could add another tall option to compliment the struggling Tom McDonald.
Meanwhile, the Suns have been dealt with a huge blow in their match against Geelong and will be forced to make one change as young gun Matt Rowell dislocated his shoulder.
Prediction: The Dees have been underwhelming since the restart but have also had more inside 50’s than their opponents. The Suns could lack that X-factor without Rowell. Melbourne by 18.
Essendon vs North Melbourne
Saturday, July 11, Metricon Stadium, 7.40 pm AEST
Meanwhile, North Melbourne may need to make some harsh calls as much of their selection depends on players recovering from previous injuries.
Ben Cunnington is set to miss out this week as he continues to battle back problems, while Tarryn Thomas is also set to miss a week due to concussion. Jack Ziebell could make a return from a hamstring problem.
Majak Daw is in line for a return but as a forward to compliment Ben Brown, while Bailey Scott has been banging down the door for a recall.
Prediction: Essendon have more depth to cover their injuries. Essendon by 26
Port Adelaide vs GWS Giants
Sunday, July 12, Metricon Stadium, 1.05 pm AEST
Team News: Port Adelaide are expected to make at least one change as they aim to bounce back from their first los of the season to the Lions.
The Giants could welcome back Callan Ward into the fold after being a late out in last week’s win over the Hawks, while star midfielder Tim Taranto could make his season debut after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Prediction: Port suffered their first defeat in the season and will likely respond with all guns blazing, while the Giants are on a winning streak. Giants by 17.
Richmond vs Sydney
Sunday, July 12, Gabba, 3.35 pm AEST
Team News: The Tigers walked away from their win over Melbourne wounded, with key injuries to Tom Lynch, Trent Cotchin, Dion Prestia and Toby Nankervis as well as having Bachor Houli and Shane Edwards declining to join the QLD hub for family reasons.
It will mean there could be up to five spots available, with Lynch optimistic of playing despite having surgery.
Prediction: Despite having a long injury list the Tigers should get the job done. Tigers by 27.
Carlton vs Western Bulldogs
Sunday, July 11, Metricon Stadium, 6.45 pm AEST
Team News: Carlton look set to welcome back Zach Fisher, who was a late out last week with a bout of gastro. The Blues could also welcome back Jack Silvagni from a fractured rib.
Sam Philip and Jack Newnes could make way after having quiet performances against St Kilda.
The Western Bulldogs could make up to four changes, with Lin Jong (syndesmosis) out for up to two months and Bailey Smith (concussion) and Laitham Vandermeer (concussion) unlikely. Hayden Crozier was handed a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Kangaroo Jack Mahony.
However, Lachie Hunter returns from his suspension in a huge boost for the midfield.
Prediction: Bulldogs to continue their momentum. Bulldogs by 26.