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In the mix: Who's pushing for selection in round 19

Jack Ziebell looks set to resume for the Roos when they travel to Hobart to face Melbourne - AFL,In the Mix
Jack Ziebell looks set to resume for the Roos when they travel to Hobart to face Melbourne

Defender Jake Lever (hamstring tightness) is a 50-50 chance to return for Sunday's clash with Collingwood at the MCG. Winger Wayne Milera (calf) will also face a fitness test after missing the past two games. Troy Menzel would be a like-for-like replacement for small forward Eddie Betts (appendicitis), but Paul Seedsman could come into the side with Riley Knight taking over the small forward role. Veteran Scott Thompson could replace inside midfielder Brad Crouch (fractured cheekbone). Harrison Wigg (27 disposals, eight clearances in the SANFL last weekend) was impressive in the midfield, but he's considered a half-back flanker at AFL level. - Lee Gaskin 

Fresh from their fourth win of the season, the Lions would be unlikely to make too many changes for Sunday's match in Perth against West Coast. Nick Robertson is highly regarded by coach Chris Fagan and should walk straight back in after missing a week with suspension. - Michael Whiting

With the Blues fielding seven teenagers last Sunday, they may be looking to inject some experience into their line-up when they face the Cats on Saturday night. Defenders Simon White (knee) and Caleb Marchbank (shoulder) may be ready to return from injury and they would shore up a defence that looked decidedly shaky at times. Veteran Dennis Armfield continued to press for a return to the seniors, booting two goals for the Northern Blues against North Ballarat last Saturday. - Howard Kotton 

Caleb Marchbank could come in to add some steel to Carlton's backline this week. Picture: AFL Photos

The Magpies are likely to be forced to make at least two changes for their clash with Adelaide at the MCG on Sunday after injuries to speedster Travis Varcoe (dislocated elbow and concussion) and key forward Darcy Moore. Tom Phillips appears set to regain his senior spot after being best-afield in the VFL with 40 possessions, six clearances, 10 tackles and three goals, while fellow youngsters James AishCallum Brown (19 touches, six tackles and a goal) and Josh Daicos (23 possessions, four clearances, six tackles and 0.6) could also be considered. If Moore isn't passed fit, big men Mason Cox (24 touches, eight marks, 47 hit-outs and two goals) and Lachie Keeffe (14 touches and a goal) will come into the frame to partner Ben Reid in attack, while ex-Docker Chris Mayne could also be a chance. Other possibles include defensive runners Josh Smith (34 disposals) and Jackson Ramsay (26 touches and nine tackles). - Ben Collins

Defender Patrick Ambrose made his return to the VFL on the weekend after back-to-back quad tears. In his first game since April, the tough backman collected 16 disposals, took four marks and got through unscathed, but it would seem likely he needs another run at that level before being ready for a senior call-up. Craig Bird (28 disposals) went back to the VFL after his one AFL game for the season and performed well, while senior pair Ben Howlett and Heath Hocking were also solid. Kyle Langford, Aaron Francis, Brent Stanton and Josh Begley are among the group of players at the lower level who could come in for the Bombers, who have a fit list at the pointy end of the year. - Callum Twomey 

Patrick Ambrose is back playing VFL but might be a while off a senior recall. Picture: AFL Photos

Ross Lyon insists that tall forward Matt Taberner isn't Fremantle's saviour in attack but the former rookie continues to post impressive numbers at WAFL level and – given the Dockers' scoring woes – would have to be under consideration for a recall. Taberner hasn't played AFL since round 11 but is in a purple patch for Peel, averaging nearly 26 disposals, 11 marks and booting 13 goals in his past three games. Suspended duo Brennan Cox and Luke Ryan are likely to be available after being slapped with club-imposed bans for drinking alcohol after the Western Derby, while Cam Sutcliffe was an emergency for the loss to Hawthorn and should still be in the mix. Brady Grey impressed with two goals from 20 touches in the loss to Subiaco while tall backman Sam Collins continues to perform at WAFL level and was named Peel's best player after picking up 17 touches and taking six marks. In his second game back from long-term calf trouble, Harley Bennell had just five touches playing deep forward. The 24-year-old is building towards playing a full match, and unlikely to be considered for AFL selection for several weeks at least. - Travis King

Utility Mark Blicavs will miss an extended period, including Saturday night's game against Carlton, with a fractured leg and syndesmosis ankle injury. Given his versatility, Blicavs' absence creates a few structural problems for the Cats as they work out whether they want to play both Zac Smith and Rhys Stanley in the same team. Geelong has a number of players ready to return, with veteran Andrew Mackie (illness/wrist) and youngster Brandan Parfitt (hamstring tightness) both likely to come back into the team. Nakia Cockatoo has missed five weeks with a hamstring injury but will be tested at training to see whether he is right to go. Wylie Buzza is also available to play, however there is a question mark over Darcy Lang (leg). Jackson Thurlow (29 disposals) was again the Cats' best AFL-listed player in the twos, while Aaron Black played one of his better games for the VFL Cats, kicking three goals from 12 touches whilst also taking six marks. – Ben Guthrie 

After missing three games in the past five weeks, champion midfielder Gary Ablett is expected to return for Saturday night's home match against Richmond. Ablett missed the weekend's loss against the Western Bulldogs with a hamstring niggle – the same one that cost him a match two weeks earlier. With Steven May (hamstring) likely to miss another match, young defender Jack Leslie is a chance to return and add some height to an injury-depleted back six. - Michael Whiting

Gary Ablett missed the Suns' loss in Cairns but could return at Metricon this week. Picture: AFL Photos

The Giants could receive a huge boost of confidence with stars Stephen Coniglio and Jeremy Cameron a chance to return for this week's clash with Fremantle. Coniglio gathered 36 possessions in his NEAFL comeback from ankle surgery last week and will bring enormous leadership and toughness in what would be just his third game of the year. Cameron has missed the past two games with hamstring tightness so will have to train well to put his hand up for the clash against the struggling Dockers. Young defender Harry Himmelberg (finger) also returned in the reserves with a strong performance last week, while draftee Isaac Cumming and Daniel Lloyd were also very good for the Giants in their upset NEAFL win over Sydney University. Recruit Brett Deledio took a massive step towards a club debut when he got through half of footy unscathed in the NEAFL, and looked sharp after finally getting over his string of calf injuries. The 30-year-old should play more minutes this week with a look at a senior return against Melbourne in Canberra in round 20. - Adam Curley

The key decision facing the Hawks this week is whether to bring back another key backman for the clash with the Sydney Swans at the MCG on Friday night. Kurt Heatherley responded to his omission from the Fremantle game last weekend with a best-on-ground effort for Box Hill and shapes as a logical inclusion if the Hawks want extra defensive height. Alastair Clarkson has flagged a debut for first year rebound defender Harry Morrison before the end of the season, and 26 touches and 11 tackles for Box Hill on Sunday did his hopes no harm at all. Despite the Hawks remaining a slim chance for the finals, the odds of Grant Birchall, James Frawley and Cyril Rioli not playing again this season are growing. But Jaeger O’Meara travelled to Perth last week and is back in full training. Look for him to play perhaps the last three games of the year. - Ashley Browne

Melbourne is hopeful Max Gawn will be able to overcome an ankle complaint in time for Saturday's game against North Melbourne in Hobart. Gawn has some swelling in his ankle but it is believed there is no ligament damage. Co-captain Nathan Jones will be tested on the training track this week as he bids to return from a five-week stint on the sidelines with a quad injury. The Demons are not expected to make many other changes, although rookie Corey Maynard (30 disposals and five tackles in the VFL) and Ben Kennedy (28 disposals) are the leading candidates for a senior call-up. Cam Pedersen booted two goals for the Casey Demons to keep his name in the frame. Angus Brayshaw (25 touches) made a successful return from a long stint on the sidelines because of concussion, but will be given a few games to find his feet at VFL level. Josh Wagner (24 disposals) was another to boost his chances of a recall. – Ben Guthrie 

Melbourne could welcome both its captains back in consecutive weeks. Picture: AFL Photos

The Roos should have some heavy-duty reinforcements as they bid to beat Melbourne on Saturday for the 17th straight time, a streak that began in 2007. Captain Jack Ziebell (managed), vice-captain Robbie Tarrant (back) – a late withdrawal on Saturday – recruit Marley Williams (back) and promising forward Mason Wood (calf) could return from injury. There has been a lot of discussion about North's ruck stocks, now led by Majak Daw, with 2015 All Australian Todd Goldstein playing in the VFL on Sunday and emerging big man Braydon Preuss (back) potentially returning this weekend. Veteran Lindsay Thomas, who was used in defence in his three most recent AFL matches, went forward in the reserves and kicked two goals from five scoring shots. But the Roos have made a concerted effort to blood youth, with 10 debutants so far this season. - Marc McGowan

The Power could be making a couple of changes for Saturday's clash with St Kilda at Adelaide Oval. One will be for midfielder Chad Wingard, who is set to miss two to three weeks with an ankle injury. Brendon Ah Chee (29 possessions, three goals in the SANFL), Aaron Young (34, two goals) and Karl Amon (28 disposals) all put their hands up to be recalled. Key defender Jack Hombsch is set to return after playing two games in the SANFL. Jasper Pittard could also force his way back into the side as the Power aim to rebound from last weekend's loss to Melbourne. - Lee Gaskin

With half-back Bachar Houli certain to return from a four-match suspension, the Tigers have a big decision to make in their well-performed backline. Corey Ellis and Nathan Broad were last in, but Jayden Short could also be among a trio of players the match committee looks at to make way for Houli. Midfielder Anthony Miles is also touch-and-go after suffering a minor ligament strain in his right knee at training last Friday, forcing his withdrawal from the senior team. He'll face a fitness test on Thursday. In the VFL, small forward Tyson Stengle booted four goals and is a form option if openings present. Tall forward Todd Elton (two goals) is an alternative to ruckman Ivan Soldo, who has been serviceable in support of Toby Nankervis. – Nathan Schmook     

Tim Membrey will slot into the team that travels to face Port Adelaide next Saturday, with his suspension completed. Tough nut Mav Weller picked up 28 disposals and two goals in the VFL against Geelong last Saturday. If selected, his leadership would be important, especially considering Nick Riewoldt could be rested against the Power. After being named as an emergency last week, Brandon White could replace Leigh Montagna (right hamstring). Schoolboy forward Josh Battle slotted four goals in a strong display after returning to Sandringham. Ben Long was the travelling emergency last week and is a possibility to come in. Ruckman Tom Hickey was influential with 29 disposals, 19 contested possessions, 12 clearances and a goal in the VFL but he won't be displacing Billy Longer anytime soon. Meanwhile, rookie Nick O'Kearney continues to play well in the reserves after collecting 33 disposals and 19 contested possessions at the weekend. – Dinny Navaratnam 

Tim Membrey and his fists look set to resume against Port Adelaide. Picture: AFL Photos

Sam Reid (groin) could be a chance to return against Hawthorn on Friday night if he can get through training on Wednesday, but after Callum Sinclair's starring role last week, he might have to come back through the NEAFL. Fellow big man Kurt Tippett kicked five goals and took 10 marks in the reserves last week to also keep the pressure on the senior side, while draftee Will Hayward booted six goals to give John Longmire another small forward option to look at against the Hawks. Jordan Dawson continued his exceptional form in the NEAFL with an incredible 40 disposals, three goals, 14 marks and 10 tackles, and must be a chance to crack the Swans' team. Harry Marsh, Jeremy Laidler, Jordan Foote, Aliir Aliir, James Rose and Brandon Jack are other players in great touch at NEAFL level but can't get a look in, given the senior team has won 10 of their past 11 games. - Adam Curley 

The heat is on West Coast’s match committee to make a statement at the selection table after Sunday’s capitulation against Collingwood, with fans desperate to see more youth injected into the line-up. Prolific midfielder Luke Partington has been pushing for a debut all season and kept his name in the spotlight with 29 touches and two goals in East Perth's loss to South Fremantle. The 20-year-old has averaged 27 disposals and better than a goal per game in 13 appearances this year at WAFL level and deserves an opportunity. Speedster Malcolm Karpany has been in and out of the Eagles' line-up but his pace and pressure have been assets and he should be back in the mix after laying seven tackles and booting a goal for the Royals. Big-bodied midfielder Kurt Mutimer had 21 touches with five inside 50s and might also earn a recall. Could the Eagles hand forgotten youngster Tom Lamb his second senior match after debuting way back in round one, 2015? Of the older brigade, Sharrod Wellingham (19 touches) and Chris Masten (27) performed well for the Royals, while Sam Mitchell (managed) should be back and key defender Eric Mackenzie (hamstring) and ruckman Scott Lycett (shoulder) could be available. - Travis King

Remember Tom Lamb? He could be in the mix for a West Coast recall. Picture: AFL Photos

Luke Beveridge will have to make at least two changes for Sunday's vitally important clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium, with defender Dale Morris (broken arm) and Jack Redpath (suspension) both unavailable. Premiership backman Fletcher Roberts and second-year key defender Kieran Collins loom as replacements for Morris, while Travis Cloke should fill Redpath's boots after several encouraging weeks in the VFL in his return from mental health issues. Lukas Webb continues to bang down the selection door, with the midfielder amassing 30 possessions and four goals in Footscray's win over Coburg last weekend. Veteran Matthew Boyd made a strong return from an Achilles complaint, picking up a team-high 36 disposals. – Ryan Davidson