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In the mix: Who's a chance for round 18?

Wayne Milera is a chance to come in for the top of the table clash with the Cats, especially if Rory Sloane is unable to play - AFL,In the Mix
Wayne Milera is a chance to come in for the top of the table clash with the Cats, especially if Rory Sloane is unable to play

Winger Wayne Milera could return for Friday night's top of the table clash with Geelong at Adelaide Oval. Milera missed last weekend's trip to Darwin with a calf injury. The Crows might be forced into a couple of changes with midfielder Rory Sloane (concussion) and key defender Jake Lever (hamstring) in doubt. Young midfielder Jordan Gallucci was the travelling emergency last weekend and could add to his one game this season. Veteran Scott Thompson responded to being dropped with 22 touches and nine tackles for Adelaide in the SANFL last weekend. Outside midfielder Paul Seedsman (19 disposals) and draftee Myles Poholke (16 disposals, three goals) were also impressive. Defender Kyle Cheney is due to return this week from a hamstring injury, but likely needs a game or two in the SANFL. - Lee Gaskin

With feisty utility Nick Robertson to miss Sunday's match against Carlton through suspension, Chris Fagan will have to make at least one change to the team that lost to Richmond at the weekend. He could go for big-bodied Liam Dawson as a like-for-like replacement around the half-back line, or if he didn't mind getting even younger, the Lions coach might be tempted to unveil another draftee in Lions Academy graduate Jacob Allison, who has strung together some good form in the NEAFL. - Michael Whiting 

As the Blues' injury toll continues to mount, they hope to regain veteran Dale Thomas and young defenders Caleb Marchbank and Tom Williamson for Sunday's game against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba. With defenders Dylan Buckley, Ciaran Byrne and Alex Silvagni battling to be available after being injured against the Bulldogs last Sunday, Harrison Macreadie and Ciaran Sheehan will come into calculations. Macreadie impressed with 25 disposals and five marks in the Northern Blues' loss to Essendon last Saturday and Sheehan picked up 20 disposals. - Howard Kotton 

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The Magpies will be forced to make at least one change for their clash with West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday after losing skipper Scott Pendlebury to a finger injury. It might clear the way for the return of young midfielder Tom Phillips, who missed the previous AFL game with illness and had 17 touches in three quarters in the VFL on Saturday. Fellow runner Levi Greenwood will also be available after serving a one-match suspension. Other candidates for promotion include defensive runner Josh Smith, inside midfielder Rupert Wills, who has been in good form in the VFL and had 24 touches and 11 tackles at the weekend, Tim Broomhead (26 possessions and six tackles), Callum Brown (28 touches and six tackles), and defenders Jackson Ramsay (29 touches, eight tackles and a goal) and Henry Schade (19 touches and eight marks). - Ben Collins 

The Pies are likely to turn to Levi Greenwood now his suspension is over. Picture: AFL Photos

Bombers coach John Worsfold has said Jobe Watson will be back to face North Melbourne on Saturday. Watson was rested for last Friday night's win over St Kilda after complaining of soreness, and would be expected to come back in at the expense of his replacement, midfielder Craig Bird. Jayden Laverde has also shown he is ready to go at AFL level. Worsfold said last week the exciting youngster needed one more game in the VFL before being up for senior selection, and he delivered with a six-goal haul on Saturday in the Bombers' big VFL win over the Northern Blues. Kyle Langford should also be a chance after four goals and 26 disposals in the VFL, while veteran midfielder Brent Stanton gathered 36 disposals and two goals to press his claims for a recall. Aaron Francis, Jackson Merrett, Matthew Leuenberger and Matt Dea are others who continue to give the Dons some depth at the lower level. - Callum Twomey

Six goals in the VFL has Jayden Laverde in the mix for the clash with North. Picture: AFL Photos

Ross Lyon hasn’t guaranteed Cam McCarthy's automatic return from suspension but surely the forward will be back to face Hawthorn after two weeks on the sidelines. The Dockers were dysfunctional going inside 50 in the Western Derby loss and, although Lyon didn't believe the forwards were to blame, they needed another marking target and Matt Taberner must be in the mix after booting 11 goals in the past two weeks at WAFL level. Cameron Sutcliffe was outstanding in the wet during Peel's win over East Perth, finishing with 31 polished disposals, 10 tackles and a goal to stick his hand up for a recall, while Garrick Ibbotson (20 possessions), Josh Deluca (22, one goal) and omitted Brady Grey could also be chances. - Travis King 

Patrick Dangerfield is in substantial doubt to take on his former team, Adelaide, on Friday night. Dangerfield has bone bruising in his left foot after suffering the injury in his remarkable five-goal performance against Hawthorn. A last-minute decision will be made on his availability. Midfielder Scott Selwood is also unsure about whether he will face the Crows after being a late withdrawal from the Hawks' game with hamstring tightness. Veteran defender Andrew Mackie (wrist) was also pulled out late, but is on track to return against the Crows. Tom Stewart is a chance to return from a fractured eye socket this week or next, while Nakia Cockatoo could also play following a hamstring injury. Jackson Thurlow was the strongest-performed AFL-listed player in the VFL, gathering 27 disposals and using the footy with precision. Matthew Hayball played one of his best games for the club, finishing with 22 disposals and 10 marks, in an encouraging display. – Ben Guthrie

With co-captain Steven May expected to miss Saturday's match in Cairns against the Western Bulldogs with a hamstring niggle, the Suns need another key defender. May's likely replacement is Jack Leslie, who was also injured in the NEAFL at the weekend, but the club is confident will be available. Jarryd Lyons suffered bone bruising to his lower leg against the Magpies, with Jesse Lonergan the front-runner to replace him. - Michael Whiting  

Jesse Lonergan is ready to step up in the Suns' midfield. Picture: AFL Photos

Jeremy Cameron was a late withdrawal from last week's derby loss to Sydney with a tight hamstring, but is a chance to face Richmond at the MCG on Sunday. The star forward failed to train last week and wasn't risked against the Swans, so will need to extend himself on the track during the week to prove he's right. Gun midfielder Stephen Coniglio could also be a huge inclusion for this Sunday's clash if he can train strongly this week. The West Australian has played just two games this year because of two separate ankle injuries, but has recovered well from surgery in May, and should play at some level in round 18. Sam Reid (ankle) is another who could return against the Tigers after he missed last week's loss to the Swans, while draftee Will Setterfield has to be close to earning a debut after gathering 29 possessions in the NEAFL last week. - Adam Curley 

Don't expect too many changes to the side that will travel to Western Australia for the first and only time this year despite the narrow loss to Geelong on Saturday. Dallas Willsmore may be in line for a recall after 35 touches and two goals for Box Hill on the weekend, while Ty Vickery rucked for much of the day and kicked two goals. Tim O’Brien was quiet against the Cats after missing some training last week and perhaps the time is right to look at Vickery once more, given the Hawks' midfield is in better nick than earlier this year and the delivery of the ball to the forwards is the best it has been all season. - Ashley Browne 

Is it time for the Hawks to turn back to Ty Vickery? Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Watts and Dom Tyson are likely inclusions for Melbourne's all-important clash against Port Adelaide on Saturday. Watts has missed the last four games with a hamstring strain, while Tyson has been sidelined for the past two matches with a knee issue. Their returns will be welcomed, given the state of Melbourne's injury-depleted list. Jack Viney is a legitimate chance to play against the Power, despite having surgery on the plantar fascia in his foot just over two weeks ago. The co-captain ran well at training on Saturday and if he can run pain free on Thursday, the medical staff should give him the nod to return. Bernie Vince has accepted his two-match suspension from the Match Review Panel, while Dean Kent (shoulder) will almost certainly miss some time, and perhaps the season. Melbourne's VFL affiliate Casey had its bye on the weekend, although Ben Kennedy, Jack Trengove and Corey Maynard have been pushing their cases in the last month. – Ben Guthrie

Lock in demoted midfielder Trent Dumont for an AFL recall. Dumont amassed 35 disposals, nine tackles, seven inside 50s and five rebound 50s in an enormous VFL display for Werribee despite a 102-point loss. Defender Marley Williams (back) and forwards Mason Wood and Jarrad Waite (both calf) will return to the senior side if they are fit. Ruckman Braydon Preuss (back) could also come into contention, given Todd Goldstein's and Majak Daw's form struggles. Sam Wright returned with 22 touches for Werribee after a week off in relation to his long-term foot and ankle injuries, and should get an AFL look this season if his body behaves. - Marc McGowan 

Lock in Trent Dumont for the match against the Bombers. Picture: AFL Media

Winger Karl Amon's outside running would be handy for the Power on the wide expanses of the MCG for Saturday's encounter with Melbourne. Amon had 23 disposals in the SANFL last weekend in his first game back from a knee injury. Brendon Ah Chee (24 disposals), Aaron Young (23) and Jesse Palmer (23) also found plenty of the ball in the midfield. Key defender Jack Hombsch had just nine disposals after getting dropped. Defender Matthew Broadbent is an outside chance to return from an ankle injury, but might need another week. - Lee Gaskin 

Key forward Ben Griffiths won't return to senior football this week, meaning the Tigers could stick with a small forward line, with Shai Bolton a leading candidate to play his first game since round 14 after booting five goals in the VFL. In his return from a hamstring injury, Ben Lennon booted four goals in a 102-point win against Werribee, while Tyson Stengle kicked 2.1 after being omitted last week. Oleg Markov (28 possessions) was impressive and should come under consideration but might find it hard to crack into the team. Connor Menadue and Sam Lloyd were both emergencies after being omitted and remain available for a crucial clash against Greater Western Sydney. – Nathan Schmook

A couple of Saints should return to the line-up to face Sydney on Saturday night at the SCG. Jimmy Webster is available after he was suspended against Fremantle in round 15, while the club would hope Billy Longer is over his hamstring corkie. Webster could be a straight swap for Sam Gilbert, who has had surgery on his right hand. Rowan Marshall, who was elevated to the senior list last week, looms as a contender to come in as a forward option. He's also spent time down back in the VFL and could be used in the ruck in a pinch. Blake Acres, Luke Dunstan and Brandon White pressed their cases for senior selection while playing for Sandringham, and Mav Weller would add toughness ahead of what will be a bruising encounter with the Swans. - Dinny Navaratnam 

The Saints could use Mav Weller's toughness and passion. Picture: AFL Photos

With the senior team flying the Swans won't be making many changes this week, but if they need too, there's plenty of players in form at NEAFL level. Jordan Dawson kicked four goals from 32 possessions and took 10 marks against the Giants last week, while usual defender Harry Marsh had 31 disposals and booted a goal playing on a wing and through the midfield. Ruck/forward Callum Sinclair didn't play at any level after being held over as an emergency last week, but has dominated at reserves level in recent weeks and could be an option, although the Swans have played with a solo ruckman of late. James Rose, Brandon Jack, Jordan Foote and Shaun Edwards are also among those playing good footy in the NEAFL. - Adam Curley 

Star utility Elliot Yeo battled soreness at the back of his knee last week and missed the derby, but the Eagles are desperate for him to return and battle Collingwood's gun midfield this Sunday. Crafty forward Malcolm Karpany should also be back in contention after a tight quad kept him out of last round. East Perth didn’t have many winners in their loss to Peel on Saturday, but young defender Tom Cole looks likely to be recalled after racking up 25 touches. Luke Partington was also handy in midfield with 28 disposals and a goal, while experienced campaigner Josh Hill kicked one goal but was relatively quiet with 14 touches. - Travis King

Elliot Yeo should be back to face Collingwood. Picture: AFL Photos

While the Dogs will lose Jake Stringer (hamstring) for Saturday's clash with Gold Coast in Cairns, they'll regain vice-captain Easton Wood from suspension. Veteran Matthew Boyd could return from an Achilles complaint that forced him to miss the win over Carlton, but he may also resume through the VFL. Luke Beveridge floated Travis Cloke and Tory Dickson as replacements for Stringer, with the forwards prominent for Footscray on the weekend. Premiership forward Clay Smith reminded the coach of his worth, picking up 32 disposals and laying 10 tackles. Midfielder Lukas Webb continues to find the footy and finished with 27 possessions and a goal. Injury-prone defender Josh Prudden put up his hand for a fourth senior game with a best-on-ground performance. Key defender Kieran Collins continued his good state league form, taking several intercept marks and defending well. - Ryan Davidson