Collingwood vs Port Adelaide
Marvel Stadium 7:50PM (AEST) Friday May 3
Team News: Nathan Buckley confirmed Ben Reid’s return to the side to replace the injured Mason Cox, while the Magpies could also bolster their forward line with Jamie Elliot expected to have fully recovered from the bruised buttock that kept him out of the Anzac Day clash.
Experienced forward Robbie Gray had surgery on his hand this week, and is expected to missed a month of football. Co-captain Tom Jonas was a late out for the North Melbourne clash last weekend. Karl Amon has been confirmed to replace Gray, while Steven Motlop will be the travelling emergency. Former Melbourne captain Jack Trengove has been in sublime form for the Magpies, averaging 38 disposals and seven tackles a game in 2019.
Prediction: Two very attacking sides should make this an enticing battle. Magpies by 9
Melbourne vs Hawthorn
MCG 1:45PM (AEST) Saturday May 4
Team News: The Demons are certain to make one change with co-captain Jack Viney (shoulder) ruled out, there will be a number of players in contention for his spot. Oscar McDonald is set to return to allow his brother Tom to play forward, while Sam Weideman is heavily out of form and could make way for Declan Keilty who has been slotting goals in the VFL for Casey.
There could be a big lift for Hawks fans ahead of this one, with veteran Shaun Burgoyne set to undergo a fitness test for the hamstring injury that has sidelined him for up to a month. Harry Morrison, who was omitted for the clash against Carlton could make way for the suspended James Cousins. Morrison responded to the round five decision with a 32-disposal and three-goal performance for Box Hill.
Prediction: The Hawks’ midfield will prove too strong as Demons’ scoring woes continue. Hawks by 18
Greater Western Sydney vs St Kilda
Manuka Oval 1:45PM (AEST) Saturday May 4
Team News: Saints ruck Rowan Marshall will be hoping to return to his solid early-season form after he was a late out (illness) against the Crows last week. Alan Richardson may seek Darragh Joyce’s defensive skills against a quality GWS forward line. With Jack Lonie (knee) set to be sideline for two months, speedster Robbie Young could make his AFL debut as a like-for-like replacement.
It’s unlikely All-Australian Lachie Whitfield will get up for this Canberra clash, however both Coniglio and Davis should be good to go depending on fitness tests. Davis was forced out of the Sydney derby following an ankle injury, while veteran Brett Deledio is still a week away from selection.
Prediction: Giants to continue building form with a win in the nation’s capital city. Giants by 22
Brisbane vs Sydney
Gabba 4:35PM (AEST) Saturday May 4
The Lions’ NEAFL side are currently four from four this season, giving plenty of options for coach Chris Fagan at the selection table. Both Harris Andrews and Rhys Mathieson missed the Q-Clash win on the weekend with hamstring niggles, the pair will be looking to return against the Swans.
Superstar key forward Lance Franklin has been ruled out for the second consecutive week and will not fly up to Brisbane. It’s not all bad news however, with veteran Kieran Jack (hip) a chance to play. Fringe players Robbie Fox and Colin O’Riordan both collected 37 and 40 disposals respectively for the Swans NEAFL side, staking their claims for a call up to a struggling Sydney outfit.
Prediction: Brisbane to potentially jump back into top four position with a big win here. Lions by 27
Western Bulldogs vs Richmond
Marvel Stadium 7:25PM (AEST) Saturday May 4
Team News: There were no confirmed injuries to come from the clash against Fremantle for Luke Beveridge’s team. However, there may be a select few on the chopping board with Josh Schache, Pat Lipinski and Bailey Dale in decent VFL form, while Bailey Williams was omitted last round.
Richmond are set to lose key position players Jack Riewoldt (knee) and David Astbury (foot) with Shai Bolton the next in line for an inclusion. Captain Trent Cotchin is still a couple of weeks away as he nurses a hamstring injury.
Prediction: Even without key players, the Tigers are still too classy and will give the Bulldogs their fifth consecutive loss. Tigers by 19
West Coast vs Gold Coast
Optus Stadium 8:10PM (AEST) Saturday May 4
Team News: Inside midfielder Jack Redden is in the mix for the ‘battle of the coasts’ this weekend, young forwards Jake Petrucelle and Oscar Allen both had less than six disposals each against Geelong – but Adam Simpson may swing the axe after a damning defeat.
Gold Coast will be without defender Pearce Hanley (shin), paving the way for winger Will Powell to return. Aaron Young and Anthony Miles will also make the trip west to be up for selection, while exciting top draft pick Izak Rankine will travel only as a 25th emergency.
Prediction: West Coast to recover from back to back losses, but they’ll be tested. Eagles by 15
Carlton vs North Melbourne
Marvel Stadium 1:10PM (AEST) Sunday 5 May
Team News: Carlton have been handed multiple injury woes as the week has progressed, with defenders Kade Simpson (hamstring), Nic Newman (knee) and forward Mitch McGovern (hamstring) all recovering from Sunday’s match against Hawthorn. Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer (adductor) has struggled to play consecutive games in recent years, Andrew Phillips the obvious replacement. The Blues will be keen to replace McGovern with Charlie Curnow who has been a late withdrawal the past two weeks. Both Liam Stocker and Tom Williamson are every chance to be called up, while Will Setterfield is available following suspension.
At the other end, North have received some good news with veteran mid Shaun Higgins available while Ben Cunnington avoided suspension. All of Marley Williams (ankle), Dom Tyson (calf) and Ben McKay (illness) will face fitness tests. Jy Simpkin and Paul Ahern have made for an interesting selection with strong performances in the VFL.
Prediction: Blues have looked a lot more competitive in recent weeks, but the outs should tell too big a tale. Kangaroos by 9
Geelong vs Essendon
MCG 3:20 (AEST) Sunday May 4
Team News: Chris Scott has already alluded to the return of Jordan Clark after he was rested last week. There’s every chance he’ll be swapped for Jack Henry in preparation for Essendon’s smaller forward line. After playing every game so far this season, Tom Atkins was quiet in last weekend’s win in Geelong, but he’ll only make way if Brandon Parfitt (quad) proves himself fit.
Aaron Francis was solid in the VFL and should come in for the injured Mitch Brown (hand). The Bombers will be fretting on the extent of Devon Smith’s knee injury, who was forced to the bench late against the Magpies. Livewire goalscorer Orazio Fantasia is shaping as Smith’s potential replacement, after he was a late out (illness) on Anzac Day.
Prediction: Geelong are in fine form after defeating some quality opponents, and will get the job done again. Cats by 20
Adelaide vs Fremantle
Adelaide Oval 4:40 (AEST) Sunday May 4
Team News: Midfielder Bryce Gibbs will be hoping to return from a virus, and the speed of Chayce Jones may come in handy against the Dockers. Key forward Josh Jenkins is a small chance to come in for Elliot Himmelberg, but not certain. It will be difficult to change a winning side here.
Same goes for the Dockers, yet they will wait on injury news surrounding both Michael Walters (knee) and Joel Hamling (leg) after a physical game against the Bulldogs last weekend. The one knocking on the door is youngster Connor Blakely, who collected 20 disposals in his return to the state league following a hamstring injury.
Prediction: Fremantle handed it to GWS in their last road match, their speed and skill will open up holes within the Adelaide side. Dockers by 12