PORT Adelaide is set for a major selection shake-up, axing ruckman Scott Lycett and recalling key forwards Charlie Dixon and Todd Marshall for Saturday's crucial encounter with Essendon at Marvel Stadium.
The demotion of West Coast premiership-winner Lycett – recruited on a five-year deal at the end of last season – while retaining Paddy Ryder is the biggest surprise.
Always after a loss, and we've had a few in a row now, there's always going to be some changes - Robbie Gray
Having played together in the first half of the season, 2017 All Australian Ryder was dropped after round 13 and spent five weeks out of the side before being recalled for last weekend's one-point loss to Greater Western Sydney.
Power forward Charlie Dixon is set to return to Port's senior team. Picture: AFL Photos
Dixon comes back after booting four goals in the SANFL last weekend, while 20-year-old Marshall returns for his first senior game since the round eight Showdown loss to Adelaide.
Power star Robbie Gray was asked about those three changes on SEN SA on Thursday morning.
"Always after a loss, and we've had a few in a row now, there's always going to be some changes," Gray said.
"That will probably be the case when the team is announced later today."
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The Power (8-10) have lost four of their past five games to sit a game and percentage outside the top eight. Forward efficiency has been their biggest issue, kicking 22.35 in their past three losses.
Marshall – the 16th overall pick in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft - has shown glimpses in his 16 games, but also had to deal with the tragic loss of both parents during his time at the club.
Todd Marshall in action against North Melbourne in round six. Picture: AFL Photos
"The thing we forget about Toddy is he's only 20 years old, and he's been through a fair bit in the last couple of years," Gray said.
"He does a lot of little things that don't show up on the stat sheet and he's extremely clever.