WHO IS a chance to play in the preliminary finals?

In this week's In the Mix, brought to you by the Toyota WorkHorse Range, we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.

Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the ins. Check it out.


Get them in: Defenders James Aish and Matt Scharenberg and forwards Ben Reid and Travis Varcoe are the chief candidates to fill two vacancies for the preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney at the MCG on Saturday.

Under the pump: Young small forward Callum Brown has enjoyed a breakout year but would want to improve upon the nine disposals (including only one kick) he had in the qualifying final win over Geelong.

Medical room: Tom Phillips (hamstring tightness) will face the Giants but Jordan De Goey (hamstring) is hoping for a miracle return in the Grand Final if the Pies make it, and Levi Greenwood (ACL) will be sidelined long-term.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Aish seems certain to replace Greenwood after seven weeks out with a shoulder injury. There are a few options for De Goey's spot. They could throw Jordan Roughead forward and recall defender Scharenberg or leave Roughead back and go small in attack with Varcoe. It is, however, more likely that 'Roughy' will remain in defence and Reid will return, despite missing 11 weeks with only a recent VFL practice match under his belt. – Ben Collins

Nathan Buckley has a chat to James Aish at a recent training session. Picture: Getty Images

Geelong Cats

Get them in: Last week's emergencies James Parsons and Scott Selwood will be in the frame with Charlie Constable if the Cats opt to send Patrick Dangerfield more forward and replace Tom Hawkins. If they want a big body up front, Lachie Henderson could play forward or slot in defence should Harry Taylor or Jack Henry swing into attack. Mature-age ruck/forward Darcy Fort and key forward Wylie Buzza can't be discounted, either. 

Under the pump: If Mark Blicavs moves from a wing and returns to the defensive unit of seven to play on Tom Lynch, then it would be a raffle on who falls out. Jed BewsZach Tuohy and Jack Henry all impressed against the Eagles and Mark O'Connor has enjoyed a stellar season. If the Cats wanted a different look in their midfield, Sam Menegola would be the first to fall out.

Medical room: Gary Rohan is doing everything he can to prove he's over a knee injury that kept him out of the semi-final. The forward re-joined parts of main training with his heavily strapped knee on Tuesday and will need to tick a final box on Thursday. Mitch Duncan (knee) will miss again and Jordan Clark's season is over after elbow surgery.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Parsons' ability to play forward and a role outside gives him the edge over Constable and Scott Selwood to replace Hawkins. – Mitch Cleary

Will the Cats call on the lightning speed of Gary Rohan? Picture: AFL Photos

GWS Giants

Get them in: Young forward Bobby Hill, the versatile Lachie Keeffe and defender Isaac Cumming could all be looked at as a replacement for Toby Greene in Saturday night's clash with Collingwood (if the star Giant can't overturn his one-match ban at the Tribunal). Zac Langdon and Tommy Sheridan could be left-field selections despite missing most of the season with injury

Under the pump: : If the Giants choose to make any unforced changes, Adam Tomlinson or Daniel Lloyd could be the unlucky players to be dropped.

Medical room: Star midfielder Stephen Coniglio (knee) won't be ready to take on the Pies, but if the Giants make it through to their first Grand Final, the vice-captain will do everything possible to get up.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Keeffe comes in to give veteran Shane Mumford some help in the ruck against Brodie Grundy, and provide another key-position option, with Tomlinson missing out. If Greene can't beat his charge, Hill comes in to add some spark inside 50. - Adam Curley

Former Pie Lachie Keeffe could come in to take on his old side. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Versatile runner Connor Menadue (27 disposals, three goals) was named the VFL team's best in its preliminary final win over Port Melbourne, playing at both ends. Marlion Pickett (16 and seven tackles) stood up when the game was on the line, while Callum Coleman-Jones finished with 24 hitouts and 17 touches.

Under the pump: It was a very well-rounded performance from the Tigers against Brisbane in the qualifying final. Nathan Broad had just two disposals but is important to Richmond's defensive structure.

Medical room: Talented rookie Sydney Stack has been ruled out of this weekend's footy, having not yet recovered from surgery on a syndesmosis injury. Dan Rioli (rolled ankle) has been training well over the past week.

Verdict: A late-week injury aside, no change for the Tigers. – Sarah Black

Could the Tigers swing a surprise and pick Marlion Pickett for the clash with the Cats? Picture: AFL Photos