EXPERIENCED Melbourne players Jack Trengove and Colin Garland have been left out of the Demons' final team to face the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Trengove played just three senior games in 2016, while Garland fell behind developing defender Oscar McDonald in the pecking order, and managed just six senior appearances last season.
The Demons have instead decided to back a young squad, led by star forward Jesse Hogan and exciting forward Christian Petracca, who has enjoyed a strong pre-season.
Demon draftee Dion Johnstone is the other Demon to sit the game out, despite impressing coach Simon Goodwin with his hardness at the footy across half-forward in match simulation at training.
The Bulldogs will welcome back Stewart Crameri from a doping suspension and skipper Bob Murphy from a long-term knee injury.
Crameri missed the entire 2016 season as a result of the ban for his involvement in Essendon's 2012 supplements program. Murphy ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last April and missed the Bulldogs' premiership triumph.
However, the Dogs have lost veteran backman Matthew Boyd who was a late withdrawal from the squad less than an hour out from the game.
The Bulldogs decided not to replace Boyd, with highly rated ruckman Tim English (pick 19 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft) and emerging onballer Patrick Lipinski (28) failing to make the final squad.
Key defender Kieran Collins is the other Bulldogs player who did not make the cut.
WESTERN BULLDOGS v Melbourne
Whitten Oval (Footscray), 4.40pm AEDT, February 18
Out: Patrick Lipinski, Kieran Collins, Tim English
Out: Jack Trengove, Colin Garland, Dion Johnstone
2. Robert Murphy, 6. Luke Dahlhaus, 7. Lachlan Hunter, 8. Stewart Crameri, 9. Jake Stringer, 11. Jackson Macrae, 12. Zaine Cordy, 13. Travis Cloke, 15. Tom Campbell, 16. Toby McLean, 17. Tom Boyd, 18. Fletcher Roberts, 19. Lukas Webb, 20. Josh Dunkley, 21. Tom Liberatore, 22. Mitch Honeychurch, 23. Jordan Roughead, 24. Shane Biggs, 25. Marcus Adams, 26. Declan Hamilton, 31. Bailey Dale, 35. Caleb Daniel, 36. Brad Lynch, 39. Jason Johannisen, 46. Lin Jong
Notable absentees: Mitch Wallis, Marcus Bontempelli, Easton Wood, Clay Smith, Liam Picken, Matthew Suckling, Dale Morris, Matthew Boyd
1. Jesse Hogan, 2. Nathan Jones, 3. Christian Salem, 5. Christian Petracca, 6. Jordan Lewis, 7. Jack Viney, 10. Angus Brayshaw, 11. Max Gawn, 13. Clayton Oliver, 15. Billy Stretch, 18. Jake Melksham, 22. Aaron vandenBerg, 23. Bernie Vince, 24. Jay Kennedy-Harris, 25. Tom McDonald, 26. Sam Weideman, 28. Oscar McDonald, 29. Jayden Hunt, 30. Alex Neal-Bullen, 32. Tomas Bugg, 33. Jake Spencer, 36. Jeff Garlett, 42. Josh Wagner, 43. James Harmes, 44. Joel Smith
Notable absentees: Michael Hibberd, Jack Watts, Dean Kent, Sam Frost, Neville Jetta