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In the mix: round five

Lions veteran Simon Black could play his first senior game for the year on Sunday - ${keywords}
Lions veteran Simon Black could play his first senior game for the year on Sunday

Continued pressure form Adelaide's SANFL players will ensure coach Brenton Sanderson has plenty to think about at selection this week. Bernie Vince was dropped back to Woodville/West Torrens after a poor start to the season and was outstanding with 26 disposals, a goal and seven clearances, while Eagles teammate Brodie Smith managed a solid return from injury in the same match with 17 touches. Jarryd Lyons was named an emergency for last weekend's clash against the Bulldogs and kept his good form up for Glenelg, picking up 25 disposals and six clearances. Brodie Martin was also dominant for Sturt with 27 possessions, 10 marks and two goals. - Harry Thring

Click here to see the full round five injury list

Simon Black played his first match for the season on Saturday, collecting 26 touches for the Lions' reserves. Although he ideally needs another week of match fitness before returning to the seniors, Black may be rushed back following Sunday's shellacking at the hands of North Melbourne. The Lions will be without Pearce Hanley (suspension) and could also miss Ash McGrath (calf) for the round five match against Melbourne. James Polkinghorne (38 disposals) and Patrick Karnezis (30) will be closely considered after starring in the reserves. - Michael Whiting

Star forwards Jarrad Waite (calf) and Eddie Betts (jaw) could be available for selection in Saturday's twilight match against Adelaide at the MCG. Carlton also has several players staking their claims in the VFL, with the Northern Blues undefeated. David Ellard, in his two games since returning from a hamstring problem, has amassed 43 touches and seven goals, while key forwards Levi Casboult and Luke Mitchell kicked three goals apiece against Coburg on Sunday. Others who might come into contention include runners Dylan Buckley, Tom Bell, Josh Bootsma, top draftee Troy Menzel, defenders Matthew Watson and Nick Duigan, and usual backman Jeremy Laidler, who is being trialled as a forward. - Ben Collins

The five-day break between the Richmond and Essendon games dictates that the Pies will certainly makes some changes. Tyson Goldsack and Ben Johnson were left out of the side that comfortably beat the Tigers and are likely to be recalled. Dale Thomas started as the sub for the same reason but he will surely be selected for a full game. Goldsack shapes as the obvious replacement for defender Nathan Brown, who finished the Richmond game with a sore groin and must be doubtful for Thursday. Andrew Krakouer and Alan Didak impressed the coaches with their VFL form over the weekend and are edging closer to senior selection. – Ashley Browne

The Bombers have said there could be two or three changes from the side that beat St Kilda on Saturday, and one of those will be Michael Hurley. The star forward will miss Thursday's Anzac Day clash with Collingwood but he could be replaced by Stewart Crameri. Joe Daniher continues to press for a senior AFL debut after a four-goal haul in the VFL, while Travis Colyer and Nathan Lovett-Murray could be in contention. - Callum Twomey

Luke McPharlin is all but a certainty to come back into the Fremantle line-up after the medical staff ruled him out late against Hawthorn following his concussion in round three. Nick Suban will be under pressure to retain his place following his first half subbing. Lachie Neale took his opportunity and could play a full game. Hayden Crozier will be big chance to replace Suban after being an emergency against Hawthorn. Depending on how tall the Dockers wish to go against Richmond, Jack Hannath might be a chance but probably unlikely. - Alex Malcolm

Luke McPharlin will be a welcome inclusion for Freo against Richmond. PIcture: AFL Media

James Kelly is set to return to the Cats' line-up for Saturday night's clash with the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium. Kelly has missed the past two games with Achilles soreness. Cameron Guthrie heads a list of young players who have been pushing hard to win a spot in the team. Guthrie was among the best players in Geelong's VFL team last weekend. Ruckman Nathan Vardy will make his long-awaited return in the VFL this weekend. - Adam McNicol

Guy McKenna said the axe was being "sharpened" after last week's poor loss to Port Adelaide. Matthew Warnock (broken arm) and Joel Wilkinson (ankle) will miss Saturday's match against GWS, but a number of players are ready to step in. Young key forward Tom Lynch has now had three runs in the twos following his foot stress fracture, and after kicking 6.8 last week, will certainly return. Trent McKenzie (knee) and Danny Stanley (groin) have also regained match fitness in the reserves and are likely inclusions, while Harley Bennell will be racing the clock to overcome a hamstring injury. - Michael Whiting

Injuries, suspensions and form issues led Kevin Sheedy to make a raft of changes last week and Greater Western Sydney was more competitive, albeit against fellow strugglers Melbourne. Setanta O'hAilpin starred with five goals in just his second appearance for the club, but another recalled forward in Sam Frost had a quiet afternoon. Devon Smith could make a swift return from his one-week suspension, while Adam Tomlinson and Tim Golds are close to selection, having been emergencies on Sunday. Dropped last week, Will Hoskin-Elliott and Curtly Hampton could find it hard to find a place back after GWS' improved effort. It is another big game for the Giants, who face the Gold Coast in Canberra, the same team at the same venue where they tasted victory for the first time last year. - James Dampney
Three changes are on the cards for Sunday's clash with North Melbourne: Brad Sewell should be fit to return from the hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the past fortnight, Brent Guerra will face a test after withdrawing due to general soreness from last week's win over Fremantle, and recruit Brian Lake appears set to wear the brown and gold for the first time, as the replacement for injured key defender Ryan Schoenmakers. NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Jed Anderson may also be a chance to return after missing last week with a hamstring strain. - Mark Macgugan

Melbourne will be forced to make at least two changes this week, with Neville Jetta (suspension) and Mitch Clark (foot) to miss the game against the Lions. Jordie McKenzie has recovered from his calf strain and should be first in line to return, after collecting 31 disposals for Casey in the VFL. David Rodan (24 possessions) also put himself in to the selection frame with a solid game for the Scorpions. Sam Blease is another who could add important dash against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba. - Ben Guthrie

North will wait until the end of this week before making a final call on the availability of key forwards Majak Daw (concussion) and Robbie Tarrant (leg), but both remain strong chances to play against Hawthorn. Aaron Black did his chances of a senior recall no harm after kicking five goals in North Ballarat's 85-point win against Bendigo in the VFL last Saturday, while Ben Jacobs also starred with 41 possessions. But none of North's Werribee-aligned players are likely to come into selection calculations after all had quiet games in the Tigers' 83-point loss to Williamstown last Sunday. - Nick Bowen

Paul Stewart shapes as the main question at selection this week as he battles to rejoin the Power after missing the win on the Gold Coast due to a knee injury. He'll be assessed at training on Wednesday, but senior assistant Alan Richardson told he should be fine to line up against West Coast on Saturday night. Matt Thomas has been in sensational touch in the SANFL and continued that form with 30 disposals and a goal, while ruckman Jarrad Redden managed 19 hit-outs and a goal. - Harry Thring

Robin Nahas hasn't played since he came on in the fourth quarter as the substitute in round one, but he could be recalled to replace small forward Jake King (hamstring) this week. Nahas was an emergency against Collingwood, along with draftee Nick Vlastuin, who is in the frame for this week's trip to Perth with Steven Morris offered a one-game suspension. Aaron Edwards booted seven goals in the VFL for Coburg, but he could struggle to break into the team with Ty Vickery and Luke McGuane currently the preferred tall support for Jack Riewoldt in attack. Midfielder Brad Helbig continued his impressive form with 27 disposals. - Nathan Schmook

Aaron Edwards could be in line for a call-up to the Tigers' senior team. Picture: AFL Media

The Saints travelled to New Zealand with a squad of 26 players, with Sean Dempster rated a chance to return from a hand injury. Key defender James Gwilt (knee) also travelled with the group but is less likely to be available. Key forwards Justin Koschitzke and Tom Lee made the trip as potential replacements for Beau Maister (wrist). Coach Scott Watters has declared there is likely be at least one debutant from the group of Brodie Murdoch, Josh Saunders and Sam Dunell with small forward Stephen Milne suspended. - Nathan Schmook

The premiers' depth is starting to be tested as injuries gradually make more of an impact. Already missing Alex Johnson (knee) for the season and Rhyce Shaw for at least another week with an abdominal strain that is taking time to heal, now Lewis Roberts-Thomson needs an arthroscope on a knee problem. That is likely to keep the important utility sidelined for at least a couple of weeks. The injuries should allow Tony Armstrong and Dane Rampe – who are yet to demand selection in the backline – to maintain their spots to take on the Saints. Andrejs Everitt could be set for a quick recall, while Tommy Walsh is pushing his claims in the seconds and Jed Lamb made the flight to New Zealand as part of an extended squad as he inches closer to his AFL debut. - James Dampney


A shoulder injury to Ryan Griffen will see the Dogs make at least one change against the Cats. Patrick Veszpremi put his hand up in the VFL, with three goals in Williamstown's win over Werribee. He could prove a valuable inclusion, after the Bulldogs struggled to find avenues to goal in their round four loss to Adelaide. Mark Austin had a good game for Williamstown, and could also be considered. - Jacqui Reed

The Eagles have listed Patrick McGinnity (back), Brad Sheppard (shoulder), Beau Waters (calf), and Sharrod Wellingham (ankle) as chances to return from injury this week against Port Adelaide. In reality only Waters is a realistic chance. Darren Glass is a day-to-day proposition with his right shoulder but will more than likely play. Matt Rosa is a big chance after a solid outing in the WAFL. Mark Hutchings continues to push his case through the WAFL and will be strongly considered to make his AFL debut three years after he was rookie listed to St Kilda. - Alex Malcolm

Beau Waters could be a big boost for West Coast against Port. Picture: AFL Media

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs