Sydney vs Western Bulldogs

Thursday June 25, SCG, 7:40pm AEST

Team News:¬†The Swans will be forced to make at least one change with Tom McCartin ruled out with concussion following their short break from Saturday’s clash against North Melbourne.

First-string ruckman Sam Naismith is set to return from a hamstring injury in what would be his first game since round one in March. Callum Sinclair is likely to be the unlucky candidate to make way for Naismith.

Late inclusion Hayden McLean impressed in his first call-up to the side this season and may have forced Justin McInerney out of a return.

McInerney joins Ryan Clarke, Chad Warner and promising youngster Dylan Stephens in being in the mix if for McCartin’s spot.

Hawks recruit Kaiden Brand will remain on the sidelines for some time while forward pair Lance Franklin and Sam Reid look to be making up ground.

The Bulldogs will be without Josh Dunkley for close to six weeks after the star onballer sustained a syndesmosis injury to his ankle in the dying seconds of Friday nights match.

Expect midfield-forward utility Patrick Lipinski to slide into Dunkley’s place, joining defender Louis Butler, who will make his debut for the Bulldogs this weekend.

Ben Cavarra has be seen wearing a protective glove at training while running with the main group and could push some pressure on last weeks starting squad.

Prediction: Luke Beveridge turning things around at the Kennel. Western Bulldogs by 15.

Greater Western Sydney vs Collingwood

Friday June 26, GIANTS Stadium, 7:50pm AEST

Team News: The Giants are set to welcome back Toby Greene (knee) and Josh Kelly (calf), with the latter a late out in last Fridays loss to the Bulldogs.

Kelly’s replacement Jackson Hately impressed but won’t keep the star midfielder out of the 22.

Added to their star inclusions, Lachie Whitfield looks fit to hold his spot after suffering a concussion in the opening quarter of last weeks game but will have to undergo more tests before Friday.

Highly touted draftee Tom Green could add some muscle to the Giants midfield if Leon Cameron looks to move a few more magnets around after after their poor showing in round three.

Collingwood will be delighted to have Mason Cox and Adam Treloar in connection for a return with the pair partaking in the clubs scratch match last weekend.

Cox looks destined to replace Darcy Cameron, with the American training with the Magpies main group on Wednesday. Cameron’s two touches against St Kilda won’t do much for his selection status.

The club are taking extra caution with Treloar’s soft tissue calf injury and won’t be looking to rush their gun midfielder back a week earlier than necessary. Expect a late call on Treloar’s spot in the side.

Veterans Levi Greenwood and Ben Reid could be back within a week, forcing pressure on a number of players in this weekends side.

Prediction: Pies backline a force to be reckoned with. Collingwood by 22.

Port Adelaide vs West Coast

Saturday June 27, Metricon Stadium, 1:45pm AEST

Team News: Port Adelaide will be without exciting youngster Xavier Duursma for the next month after the 19-year-old sustained a hamstring injury.

Young forward Mitch Georgiades was listed as an emergency against Fremantle and could be the name to replace Duursma.

Ken Hinkley is believed to have been impressed by Sam Mayes showing at training and could contest for the opening spot on Saturday’s team.

Ryan Burton remains another two weeks on the sidelines for the Power.

The Eagles are sweating on Jeremy McGovern’s ankle swelling to heal by the time of selection, with the suspended defender sustaining the injury during the clubs scratch match on Saturday.

McGovern’s return would likely see Will Schofield make way, who came into the side to face Brisbane following McGovern’s suspension.

Liam Ryan suffered a corked calf during Saturday’s match and could be fighting for fitness for this weekend.

Forwards Jake Waterman and Jamaine Jones are believed to be knocking on the door for selection after the Eagles front third failed to deliver against the Lions.

Prediction: McGovern back could sway this for the Eagles, either way it will be a tight one. West Coast by 7.

St Kilda vs Richmond

Saturday June 27, Marvel Stadium, 4:35PM AEST

Team News:¬†The Saints will have all sights on skipper Jarryn Geary’s return as the 31-year-old looks to return from a hamstring strain sustained in round two.

Geary has returned to training with the main group and will be looking to build a case for selection during the week.

Dean Kent and Jimmy Webster took part in the clubs scratch match on Saturday and could find a place in the side after the clubs disappointing performance against Collingwood.

Josh Battle and Jack Sinclair are also in the mix after being named as emergencies for round three.

Everyone will be paying close attention to Dustin Martin’s fitness after the star midfielder was forced out of last Thursday’s clash with bruised ribs.

Martin looks set to return alongside defender Liam Baker, who was withdrawn from the round three side after flying to Western Australia for a family matter.

Baker may take his spot back from Jack Ross, but with a number of other young Tigers underperforming, Ross may hold his role in the side.

With the Saints running a two-man ruck job, the Tigers could also look to add Toby Nankervis or Noah Balta to nullify the situation.

Prediction: Tigers back in the drivers seat with Dusty at the wheel. Richmond by 28.

Essendon vs Carlton

Saturday June 27, MCG, 7:40pm AEST

Team News: Conor McKenna was set to make run out for the Bombers for the first time in 2020 before recording a positive COVID-19 test and therefore postponing Sundays clash against Melbourne.

McKenna, along with the luckless James Stewart will miss out on selection due to forced isolation, meaning the Irishman’s place in the side is up for grabs.

Matt Guelfi was the name to make way for McKenna at last weeks selection and will likely be the name to come back into the side despite not missing out on a match.

Orazio Fantasia failed a fitness test in the build up to last weekend, meaning a strong week at training may see him return this week if all goes well at Windy Hill.

Captain Dyson Heppell will be spending some time on the sidelines with an ankle injury that was sustained at training on Friday while Joe Daniher’s fitness is being closely watched in preparation for this weekend.

The Blues left Geelong last Saturday night with no injury concerns and a massive win for their season.

Zac Fisher looks set to return but may be forced to play in a scratch match before getting any time at AFL level. Tom De Koning featured for the Blues reserves last week and is up for selection, but will find it tough to break into the side.

Paddy Dow and Caleb Marchbank both remain at least another week away with knee injuries.

Prediction: A lengthy break for the Bombers is a big upside to a rollercoaster week. Essendon by 16.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 05: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti of the Bombers and Billie Smedts of the Blues in action during the 2017 AFL round 20 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 05, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Gold Coast vs Fremantle

Saturday June 27, Metricon Stadium, 7:40pm

Team News: Izak Rankine is available for a call-up against the Docker, but the Suns will likely favour the exciting prospect to have another week of match preparation before making his debut.

Rankine impressed in last weekend’s scratch match, alongside last weeks omissions in Brayden Fiorini and Sean Lemmens as well as Will Brodie.

Another strong performance for Stuart Dew’s side may keep his changes limited as they face the winless Fremantle.

The Dockers will be running ruckman Sean Darcy through a number of tests come Thursday as their big man looks to return from a knee injury.

Stephen Hill is also in contention to return after being a late out for the clash against Port Adelaide following a corked calf at training.

Youngster Sam Sturt will be sidelined for the next 3-5 weeks after sustaining an ankle injury, potentially opening a spot for Hill’s return.

Connor Blakely is one name gunning for a spot on Justin Longmuir’s side after a quiet performance from a number of the Dockers key figures.

Prediction: Suns to continue shining. Gold Coast by 25.

Brisbane vs Adelaide

Sunday June 28, The Gabba, 1:05PM AEST

Team News: The Lions will be praying captain Dayne Zorko and ruckman Stefan Martin pass fitness tests in the build up to this weekend.

Zorko is likely to return to Chris Fagan’s side while Martin will need to get through a few more sessions with the main training group.

Cam Ellis-Yolmen replaced Zorko but had a great outing against the Eagles and could hold his spot in the side.

That means pressure will be mounted on the likes of Tom Berry and Daniel McStay, who both had a quiet night on Saturday.

Expect Archie Smith to make way for Martin if their No.1 ruckman gets the call-up.

New coach Matthew Nicks has every right to be cut-throat with selection this week after the Crows suffered their second disastrous loss in as many weeks.

Rory Atkins is set to miss some time after sustaining a shoulder injury on Sunday, with his spot open for one of last weekends emergencies in Myles Poholke, Elliot Himmelberg or Shane McAdam.

Prediction: Open and shut case in this one, but who knows this year? Brisbane by 51.

Melbourne vs Geelong

Sunday June 28, MCG, 3:35pm AEST

Team News: With no match to be played in round three following their postponement against the Bombers, the Demons held an intraclub match on Sunday to settle some selection doubt for this week.

Mitch Brown booted three goals to add some backing to his return to the league and potentially face his former club in Geelong.

The Cats struggled against the the Blues’ tall forwards last weekend, meaning Simon Goodwin could cull either Mitch Hannan, Kysaiah Pickett or Aaron vandenBerg from their small attack.

If either Michael Hibberd, Luke Jackson or former captain Nathan Jones managed to impress on Sunday, then they may stand a chance for selection.

The Cats collected several injuries during their loss to Carlton, with Luke Dahlhaus (concussion), Sam Menegola (back) and Rhys Stanley (knee) all checking into the doctors office this week.

Stanley looks likely to miss this weekend, meaning Darcy Fort could take on the matchup against Max Gawn, while Dahlhaus and Menegola are being put to the test for their returns.

Late out Brandon Parfitt is set to return from hamstring soreness while Jake Kolodjashnij is set to return to the Geelong backline.

Expect one of Jack Henry or Harry Taylor to miss out on Sunday clash for Kolodjashnij, while Charlie Constable and Jordan Clark will be circling the potential openings made by Menegola and Dahlhaus.

Prediction: Chris Scott would have had plenty to say this week in hope of turing things around. Geelong by 11.

Hawthorn vs North Melbourne

Sunday June 28, Marvel Stadium, 6:10pm AEST

Team News: The Hawks will likely have Paul Puopolo back in contention after being a late withdrawal from Thursdays game after suffering from calf soreness.

His replacement in Jack Scrimshaw proved to be a good problem for Alastair Clarkson after a great showing in the win over the Tigers.

Expect Scrimshaw to hold his spot, meaning if Puopolo is fit Harry Morrison could be the name to make way.

Clarkson has backed his tall forward line despite Jon Patton and Tim O’Brien having quiet evenings, meaning a strong run from Mitchell Lewis this week could force pressure on the aforementioned starters.

Ricky Henderson injured himself during last weeks match and could be in a race against the clock for selection.

North Melbourne will have star midfielder Ben Cunnington back in their engine room after being withdrawn from the Kangaroos clash with Sydney.

Marley Williams will also rejoin the team after the defender impressed in yeah clubs scratch match on the weekend.

Majak Daw, Nick Larkey, Kayne Turner and Ed Vickers-Willis have all made great progress but are unlikely to be ready by Thursday.

Dom Tyson has overcome a calf injury and could be in line for selection if a spot opens up for the midfielder.

Prediction: A tough battle that will go the distance. North Melbourne by 4.