Main content

In the mix: Who's a chance for this week's finals?

Daniel Menzel will be hoping for a recall for Geelong's semi-final against Sydney - AFL,Geelong Cats,Sydney Swans,GWS Giants,West Coast Eagles,In the Mix
Daniel Menzel will be hoping for a recall for Geelong's semi-final against Sydney

The Cats will be forced into a couple of changes, with Cam Guthrie (calf) and Jake Kolodjashnij (calf) unlikely to be available after they suffered injuries on Friday night in the loss to Richmond. James Parsons had treatment on the foot he initially injured in round 23, and while he played out the game, will need to be monitored this week. Daniel Menzel was omitted from the qualifying final team and seems likely for a recall given the Cats struggled for firepower against the Tigers, but Nakia Cockatoo remains an outside chance on the back of rehab from his third hamstring injury this season. Wylie Buzza was also omitted ahead of the final and could be considered if they want to further change their forward structure, while Jackson Thurlow will be in discussions after he was also an emergency on Friday night. - Jennifer Phelan

Around the state leagues: Who's staking a finals claim?

With star forward Jeremy Cameron (hamstring) and ruckman Shane Mumford (foot) gone for the season, coach Leon Cameron will make at least two forced changes this week. Steve Johnson and Devon Smith could be in line to replace Cameron if they can prove they're over their knee problems, while youngster Tim Taranto is another possibility. Smith missed last week's loss to Adelaide but Johnson and Taranto got through a reserves scratch match the following day. Mumford's injury brings Dawson Simpson into contention after the ex-Cat acquitted himself well in round 19 and 21. Veteran Ryan Griffen also played in the match against Adelaide's reserves and could be a selection bolter, after not playing an AFL match since round three because of two significant ankle issues. Sam Reid, Harry Perryman, Will Setterfield and Daniel Lloyd others in the frame if more changes need to be made. - Adam Curley


Coach John Longmire picked his strongest team of the year last week and he's unlikely to change it after the massive win over Essendon. Lance Franklin is sure to overcome a corked thigh, but if the Swans suffer a setback during the week, as they have a few times this season, there are plenty of players in form. Kurt Tippett was a surprising omission last week with questions over his ability to get through a big final, but he gathered 15 touches and was solid in the Swans' NEAFL Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Lions. Livewire forward Will Hayward was also dropped for the elimination final and while he went goalless in the reserves' decider, he laid seven tackles and picked up 14 touches. Jordan Dawson continued his outstanding year with 28 disposals and four goals, while Dan Robinson and Jordan Foote both had 27 possessions to keep themselves in the mix. - Adam Curley


The Eagles' match committee stuck with the same 22 for the first time this season for their epic elimination final, but will have to make some tough calls whether to bring in fresh legs after an exhausting four quarters and extra time against Port. Sharrod Wellingham and half-back Will Schofield both travelled as emergencies to Adelaide and could provide some run against Greater Western Sydney on Saturday. Jackson Nelson, Chris Masten, Malcolm Karpany and Tom Cole might also be in the mix. The other selection questions are intriguing. Could the Eagles roll the dice on electric small forward Willie Rioli after another week of training, and is he fit enough to play four quarters? It seems he has moved ahead of Josh Hill in the pecking order. The question all season has been asked about Nic Naitanui's return date. It appears highly unlikely he will face the Giants, especially considering Nathan Vardy's and Drew Petrie's efforts against star ruckman Paddy Ryder, but perhaps if the Eagles advance to a preliminary final he might be considered for a stunning return. - Travis King