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In the mix: round seven

Eddie Betts is a chance to resume this week - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs,In the Mix
Eddie Betts is a chance to resume this week


Get them in: Vice-captain Rory Sloane, veteran small forward Eddie Betts and defender Jake Kelly could return from injury to face Carlton. Midfielder Curtly Hampton and forwards Lachlan Murphy and Darcy Fogarty will be considered. 

Under the pump: Second-gamer Myles Poholke had just eight disposals against Gold Coast last Saturday night.

Medical room: Skipper Taylor Walker (hamstring) and midfielder David Mackay (glute) are in doubt. Sloane (foot), Betts (hamstring) and Kelly (hand) could all be available.

Verdict: Will depend on how the injured players train during the week. At this stage, Betts, Kelly and Hampton in, for Walker, Mackay and Poholke. No point risking Sloane unless he's 100 per cent. - Lee Gaskin

Get them in: After being rested for a week, Luke Hodge will come straight back in. The NEAFL team is killing it the past three weeks, with Claye Beams atop the list of players to impress.

Under the pump: After being dropped once already this season, Ryan Lester has struggled since returning two weeks ago and had just eight disposals against the Giants.

Medical room: He limped off in the final quarter, but Jarrod Berry will overcome his ankle niggle.
Verdict: 
Expect a couple of changes this week. Hodge will return for the suspended Nick Robertson, while Claye Beams or possibly Sam Mayes could come in for the struggling Lester. - Michael Whiting

Get them in: Darcy Lang was impressive in his first game of the season, finishing with 17 disposals for the Northern Blues. But he needs at least another game in the VFL before making his return to the AFL.

Under the pump: Jack Silvagni is struggling to win enough of the ball and may be ready for another spell in the twos. Lachie Plowman and Aaron Mullett are also battling.

Medical room: Speedster David Cuningham injured his hamstring early in the twos. The Blues hope to regain Matthew Kreuzer (groin) and Jacob Weitering (thigh).

Verdict: Depending on who is available to return, expect two or three changes. - Howard Kotton

Get them in: Key players Taylor Adams and Darcy Moore could return from hamstring injuries, rested trio Tom Langdon, Travis Varcoe and Ben Crocker are expected to be available and Alex Fasolo is close to breaking into the team. If Brodie Grundy isn't passed fit, young Sam McLarty could make his debut.

Under the pump: Most under threat are the three inclusions last week – promising debutant Flynn Appleby and experienced pair Chris Mayne and Jarryd Blair.

Medical room: Ben Reid (Achilles) and James Aish (knee) will both be sidelined for some weeks, Grundy (shin) is in doubt and Brayden Maynard (ankle) was also hindered against Richmond. At least they have players coming back.

Verdict: If fit, Adams and Moore will come straight back, as will the refreshed Langdon and Varcoe. - Ben Collins

Taylor Adams' return would make up somewhat for Reid and Aish's ommission. Picture: AFL Photos

Off the bench: The Bombers are hopeful Orazio Fantasia (groin) will be fit to face the Hawks on Staurday after two weeks out, while Conor McKenna is also ready to come back after serving his three-week suspension. Jordan Ridley and Dylan Clarke are also likely to be considered for debuts.

Under the pump: Jackson Merrett had only eight touches last week – the lowest of any Bomber – and hasn't taken his chance yet since being back in the senior side.

Medical room: Mitch Brown could be close after a couple of weeks out with a calf injury, while the big test will be on Fantasia's fitness. David Myers and Tom Bellchambers were rested against the Dees on Sunday and could be recalled.

Verdict: Expect several changes after back-to-back disappointing performances by the Bombers as they try to kick-start their campaign. - Callum Twomey

Get them in: The Dockers have some thinking to do about their forward line. Not many options jump out to replace Michael Walters. Should Shane Kersten be recalled?

Under the pump: Could Richmond's small forward line see Michael Johnson managed again? The veteran was back-up ruck in the Derby, but Brennan Cox could play as a forward-ruck.

Medical room: There aren't many reinforcements coming just yet. Bradley Hill could be some weeks away yet.  

Verdict: What the Dockers do without Matt Taberner and now Walters in attack is a headache. Kersten and Cox must be in the mix, although if Tommy Sheridan is called up after 29 touches for Peel then David Mundy and Nat Fyfe could spend long periods forward. - Travis King

Get them in: Gary Ablett thinks he's ready, but a call will be made after Wednesday's main session. Scott Selwood will be back from concussion but Brandan Parfitt (foot) and Daniel Menzel (groin) will be tested. Zac Smith, Charlie Constable and Stewart Crameri's strong showings in the VFL will see them considered. With the Giants' strong key forwards looming large, Timm House could earn a debut to bolster the defence. 

Under the pump: Late inclusion Zach Guthrie (four disposals) didn't nail down his spot in the 22. Lachie Fogarty (11 disposals) could be in line for a rest after a six-day break. Jackson Thurlow (17 disposals) was a late inclusion last week. Rhys Stanley was comprehensively beaten in the ruck last week.

Medical room: George Horlin-Smith will be assessed after he was concussed in last week's loss to Sydney.

Verdict: Straight swap with Scott Selwood for Horlin-Smith. Smith looks set to bump Stanley for his first game since round one, while Menzel and Parfitt could return for Zach Guthrie and Fogarty. - Mitch Cleary

Get them in: With two games back from injury in the NEAFL, it's time to recall Callum Ah Chee, and although he has his flaws, Aaron Hall has speed and excelled in the NEAFL with 31 disposals, 15 of them contested.

Under the pump: After a terrific start to the season, defensive forward Nick Holman has struggled recently, including just eight touches and three tackles against the Crows.

Medical room: Both co-captains, Tom Lynch (knee) and Steven May (hand) will miss this week. Lynch will actually miss the next month. Kade Kolodjashnij will again be assessed following his recent concussion.

Verdict: Some difficult decisions for Stuart Dew. The Suns have very few talls on their list to replace May and Lynch, so expect them to go with a small forward line and recall Ah Chee and possibly Hall. - Michael Whiting

Aaron Hall has some failings but would bring in plenty for the Suns. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Draftee Aiden Bonar continued his solid form in the NEAFL last week with 24 possessions, six tackles and a goal, while Isaac Cumming could also be close to a debut.

Under the pump: Harry Himmelberg has struggled to have a huge influence playing as a key forward but his role in giving the Giants a mobile target has been important.

Medical room: Toby Greene (foot), Josh Kelly (groin), Rory Lobb (knee) and Zac Langdon (knee) are all in doubt for Friday's clash with Geelong, with all four unlikely to play if they can't train on Tuesday.

Verdict: If Langdon doesn't get up, Bonar will be seriously considered, but playing Cumming in defence could allow Ryan Griffen to go forward. - Adam Curley

Get them in: James Sicily will return from suspension to stiffen the backline and hopefully will not cross Michael Christian's path any longer. Vice-captain Liam Shiels is a walk-up start if he has recovered from back stiffness.

Under the pump:  The Hawks were reasonably depleted against the Saints, so to walk away with a 35-point win was a good result. Whoever makes way for Sicily and Shiels will be unlucky.

Medical room: Ruckman Ben McEvoy sat out much of the final quarter on Saturday night, with the explanation that he was being managed once the result was beyond doubt.

Verdict:  Tough selection calls this week, but my vote at match committee would be David Mirra for Sicily and James Cousins if Shiels is passed fit. - Ashley Browne

James sicily has served his suspension. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Christian Salem will miss the game against the Saints with a broken thumb, while Christian Petracca remains in doubt because of a dog bite on his finger that required surgery. Tim Smith, Cameron Pedersen, Josh Wagner, Sam Frost, Joel Smith will all be in the selection discussion.

Under the pump: Alex Neal-Bullen, Jayden Hunt and Sam Weideman will come under the microscope, but may be spared if Petracca does not get up.

Medical room: Jesse Hogan (ankle/knee) will be monitored this week but should be fit to play. Jack Viney is a chance to be cleared to play the following week.

Verdict: Tim Smith is a fair chance to play his first game for the season after promising VFL form and could replace an unlucky Weideman. Wagner seems the likely in for Salem. - Ben Guthrie

Get them in: Taylor Garner (hip/groin) put his hand up for senior selection with four goals in his second VFL game, while Mason Wood booted six as he tries to regain the coaches' faith. Paul Ahern had another big ball-winning day and Sam Wright (foot) continues to gain match fitness.

Under the pump: The Roos have backed in their players for most of the year, but something has to give with Shaun Higgins likely to return from concussion. Cameron Zurhaar has performed OK in the past fortnight, but seems the most vulnerable. 

Medical room: Shaun Higgins (concussion) is progressing well and hopes to play on Saturday night. Nathan Hrovat (thumb) made a successful return in the VFL at the weekend, but Mitch Hibberd will miss up to three weeks after suffering a knee injury in the same game. 

Verdict: Higgins plays if he passes a fitness test and will probably replace Zurhaar if only one change is made. But Wood and Garner could come into calculations. - Marc McGowan

Get them in: All Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder, defender Jasper Pittard and midfielders Sam Powell-Pepper and Tom Rockliff could return to face West Coast.

Under the pump: Aidyn Johnson and Dom Barry were quiet in the Power's win over North Melbourne. One of the Power's defenders might be squeezed out to accommodate Pittard.

Medical room: Forward Chad Wingard is set to miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury.

Verdict: Pittard, Ryder and Powell-Pepper will likely play. Johnson and Barry are likely to miss selection, although one of Jack Hombsch, Dan Houston or Riley Bonner may be left out instead. The Power might be cautious with Rockliff given the hard playing surface at Optus Stadium. - Lee Gaskin

Paddy Ryder (right) would be a huge inclusion for the Power. Picture: AFL Photos

Get them in: Brandon Ellis and Jacob Townsend were squeezed out of the side last week. Neither played VFL and could provide fresh legs with the Tigers set to play their third game in 13 days.  

Under the pump: Kamdyn McIntosh was quiet possession-wise but spent time on the wing, effectively curtailing Jordan De Goey so might hold his spot. Reece Conca was also down on touches while Jack Higgins was the quietest of the small forwards.  

Medical room: Trent Cotchin is in doubt with a tender knee and will be given the week to get up. There are sure to be others sore given the Tigers' recent fixture, so surprise omissions are possible.

Verdict: Ellis and Townsend to come in for Cotchin (if too sore) and Higgins. Ivan Soldo will be considered to help against Aaron Sandilands, but the Tigers have proven that winning the hit-outs isn't the be-all-and-end-all. – Jennifer Phelan

Get them in: The VFL team had a bye but David Armitage, Hunter Clark and Rowan Marshall are in the frame to return.

Under the pump: Draftee Nick Coffield was quiet against Hawthorn while midfielders Jack Steele, Luke Dunstan and Jack Sinclair weren't especially prolific.

Medical room: St Kilda is relatively healthy.

Verdict: Armitage in for Steele and Coffield to be sent down to Sandringham for Clark. - Dinny Navaratnam

Get them in: Ruckman Darcy Cameron had 27 possessions and nine tackles in the NEAFL last week, and also kicked two goals, so could be finally ready to debut.

Under the pump: Young midfielder Dan Robinson didn't have a big day against the Cats last week and could be forced out if Aliir comes in.

Medical room: Lance Franklin (bruised heel) and Dan Hannebery (groin) have already been ruled out, while Dean Towers (eye) is also highly unlikely to play.

Verdict: The Swans' small forward line worked last week but Cameron's inclusion could give them a tall target, plus some support for Callum Sinclair- Adam Curley

Get them in: If there are any mids battling soreness – Dom Sheed didn't train on Tuesday – the Eagles have options. Brayden Ainsworth could become the sixth debutant, Mark Hutchings racked 33 disposals up at East Perth and maybe Brendon Ah Chee could play against his old club after two solid WAFL games.

Under the pump: Not many. The Eagles need pace and Jack Petruccelle will hope for another chance after a quiet debut.

Medical room: There is a watch on Lewis Jetta who tweaked a calf against the Dockers.

Verdict: If Jetta is fit the Eagles could be unchanged, otherwise rebounding half-back Francis Watson could be a similar type of replacement. - Travis King

Get them in: Jackson Trengove looms as the man most likely to fill injured skipper Easton Wood's spot in defence and can also help in the ruck. Dumped premiership defenders Shane Biggs and Fletcher Roberts could also be considered.

Under the pump: Tim English was quiet in the win over Carlton, and the second-year ruckman may need a rest after playing every game this season in the highly combative position.

Medical room: Wood will miss up to a month after his troublesome hamstrings let him down again. Jack Redpath's season is all but over after he required further surgery on the right knee he's had reconstructed twice.

Verdict: Trengove in for Wood. - Ryan Davidson